8:45 AM - We were supposed to take off from San Diego ten minutes ago, yet here we sit – still at the gate. Hispanic Hotness (henceforth "HH") has the window seat next to me. She's keeping her kid entertained with a Disney DVD…and "entertaining" the rest of the plane by turning the speaker volume up to 110.
8:55 AM - 20 minutes after our original departure time, we're told that our plane is having problems with one of its batteries. Maintenance has been dispatched and a replacement should arrive soon. For the next 20 minutes, every passenger within my earshot makes the same "I should've packed my jumper cables" joke.
9:25 AM - We're told that a replacement battery couldn't be found, so they've pulled one out of another plane, installed it in ours and we'll be on our way just as soon as we pass the minimum diagnostics. For those scoring at home, with hundreds of lives on board, their "solution" is the same one I use when the TV remote control batteries die and one of my son's (working) electric toys is within reach.
9:30 AM - For the past five minutes, every passenger within my earshot makes the same "Do you think they're going to tell the pilot of the other plane that we're taking their battery?" joke.
9:40 AM - Aaaaaaaaand, we're off. After only a 65-minute delay. I glance over to HH for the second or third (or 44th time) and see that mother and child are asleep. And, yes…I was thinking what you're all thinking. Giggedy.
10:00 AM - HH and her kid are simultaneously awakened when the seat in front of them reclines right into their laps. I grope…for something clever to say, knowing that my renown wit was rewarded with three consecutive "Music Zone Writer of the Year" awards at 411 and Inside Pulse.
"Do you want to trade seats?"
Still got it.
10:01 AM - HH politely declines. And, English doesn't appear to be her first – or second – language. Wait…she was flying out of San Diego?!
10:45 AM - During a particularly rough patch of turbulence, the passengers are told to return to their seats and buckle their seat belts. HH…God bless her…confuses this announcement with the "…we're beginning our final descent…" one and thinks we're right over Dallas. "Is it almost over?", she asks me. "We've got another hour", I reply, smiling softly in her direction.
11:00 AM - For the last hour or so, HH has been doing her very best to keep her child under control. Like any other one-year-old, he was squirming pretty good and in no mood to be seated in her lap. HH would stand him up, sit him down, feed him arroz con leche…rinse, repeat. Apparently, over the course of this activity, the boy bumped the reclined chair in front of him a few times. Just then, the passenger in that chair turns around and snottily asks the mother to "tell your child to stop kicking my chair".
This unabashed A-hole had a thick British accent, which made it even more difficult for HH to understand him. She got the gist of his unwarranted assault, eventually, and proceeded to apologize profusely in mostly broken English.
And, what was Benny Hill's rebuttal? "How would you like it if I came back there and kicked your seat?"
Like a panther…I pounced: "Don't threaten them because you got a sh*tty seat assignment, azzhole. The kid's a year old. He's gonna bump your seat. Shut up or move."
11:05 AM - HH is still thanking me for coming to her defense. The unwelcome foreigner in front of us has, lucky for him, opted to shut up. I still don't know where that came from. I'm pretty sure I haven't publicly stuck up for Mrs. Bootleg in all the years we've been together. (As she readily confirmed when I told her this story.)
11:10 AM - With her child now confined to her lap, HH spent the rest of the flight doing everything she could to keep the boy away from the bad, bad man. In return, the kid kept grabbing the v-neck collar of her blouse and pulling it down. Unfortunately, as her newly-minted knight in shining armor, I had to play the role of "gentleman" and look away when it appeared I might be seeing more than I…
11:11 AM - It's a pink bra. Jesus, Joseph and Mary…set against her butter pecan complexion, this is easily the most spectacular thing(s) I'll…
11:12 AM - There it is again! How much longer could this possibly…
11:12 AM, 30 seconds - Bam! Again!
11:45 AM (1:45 PM, Dallas time) - We've landed in Dallas and HH (henceforth "my next wife") thanks me, yet again. She tells me she's on her way to Puerto Rico to visit her mom…and husband, who is working down there for the next six months. HH says it's a "surprise".
And, did I mention that she "just found out" she was pregnant? Yeah, see, that's the surprise she's bringing with her. I am NOT making any of this up.
It looks like the imaginary actions of my eventual evening imagery just got even more impure.