We were on the plane to Memphis from Atlanta. SH planned a trip to Memphis for me as a birthday present and a wonderful birthday present it was.
We were sitting about 12 rows back from first class.
I saw a soldier board the plane and walk past us to get to the back of the plane.
A few minutes later, the flight attendant started walking through the cabin. "Where's the soldier?" she asked. "A passenger in first class wants to give him his seat."
Well isn't that nice, we all thought. Someone who wants to make a small personal sacrifice to recognize the much larger sacrifices that so many of our military personnel make. That makes me feel good about being human.
And we all basked in the reflected righteousness of a Good Deed. We were complicit by our mere presence.
A few minutes later, after the soldier had taken the first class seat, we heard a loud, shrill voice coming from first class. She loved the military! LOVED it! God bless our military! she said.
A few seconds later, we heard, Girls weekend! Only rule is you have to eat and drink!
And then, We're from Salt Lake City!
I thought, She's not Mormon that's for sure.
Heads had started to lift. Eyes were looking to first class. I saw someone put on a set of noise-cancelling headphones.
We had not even taken off. The doors hadn't even closed. Yet headphones were being donned.
The loudness continued.
The guy sitting across from me muttered, in a thick Middle Eastern accent, Now we know why he move.
Shocked silence, then hearty laughter from everyone in our section.
Even once the plane had taken off, we could hear her. Inside voice! I called, but it did no good.
When we landed, I watched her stand up. She couldn't keep her balance. It was hard to watch - she was pathetic.
She stumbled off the plane.
As we disembarked, I expressed my sympathies to the flight attendant. It's so hard when they get worked up like that, she said.
We need to bless her heart and pray for her, I said.
I lost sight of her until we were waiting outside of baggage claim for Leigh, who had actually done the hard thing and gone inside to wait for us rather than do a drive-by pickup. I saw the not-Mormon drunk woman pull out a cigarette, light it, then put her arm around a cop. That's when Leigh showed up.
Look! I said. That woman was drunk on our plane!
Leigh gasped. She's the one who fell as she came into the waiting area!
We shook our heads. I put something on facebook about the cigarette to follow my previous posts
You can't even see the wagon she fell off of, my cousin's wife wrote.
When SH and I took a walk down Beale Street that night and saw all the staggering drunks (not the best face Memphis has to present), we looked for her. We didn't see her. I hope she was somewhere sleeping it off.