First Class!

“American Airlines Flight 634 Passenger Timothy May, please check in at the gate”

Oh geez! Now what? Bumped? No…I have my boarding pass already. I’m only called ‘Timothy’ when I’m at the doctor”s office.

Wait a minute…did I push some “surrender-my-seat” option at the self check-in kiosk? Oh ‘Timothy’, just go see what they want for crying out loud….

“Good morning Mr. May. Are you traveling alone?”

“Yes ma’am”

“You have a center seat in coach, row 13…”

“Yes ma’am”

“May I have your boarding pass?”

“Ahhhh sure…yeah…here you go”

“We will be upgrading your seat today to First Class”

“Holy cow! I’ve never flown ‘First Class’ before


She looked at me, I’m sure she was making a mental note of my age (certainly not my charm) and said: “well it’s about time you do”

OK Tim(othy). Go sit back down…try to curtail the happy feet dancing along the way.

A few minutes later: “Attention travelers. We will now begin our boarding of Flight 634 to Washington Reagan. All first class passengers may now board at this time”

‘Dup-de-dup, yo-de-doe….oh my gosh….that’s me! I’m ‘First Class’. Wait…wait damn it…hold on…’

Tim(othy)! Come on man…gather your stuff – hurry up. “Wait for me, I”m coming”.

Originally I was supposed to be boarding with Group 3 (as FS once said, several years ago, when about getting on a really cheap, cheap, cheap flight to NYC to see his favorite sister, “am I in the cargo bay with the farms animals?”). Y’all know that feeling being in “Group 3 or greater, right?

The pilot greeted me. Wait…what, the pilot? OK, sir. Let me assume the pre-flight checklist is done, you’ve walked around the plane and touched a few movable airplane parts to be sure, and now you’re just small-talking with the likes of us. So I asked him about the rain on the east coast. With confidence he said it would be moved out of DC by the time we arrive.

“We will probably approach from the north, and down the Potomac. Which side of the aircraft are you sitting?”

“Seat 4A”

“Oh good. You will have a fantastic view of the Washington landmarks as we land”

I was excited and already digging for my stowed camera. I had a window seat!

“Lets see here…let’s find that ‘First Class’ seat…Seats A & B are on my right side…rows 1, 2, 3, 4….here we go. OK Tim(othy), plop yourself into that wide-body seat for crying out loud!”

You know how it is when boarding for coach seating (usually in group 3 or greater for me anyway), there are times when the already-boarded first class passengers stare at you with this seemingly annoyed look about them? It is that look that gives you the feeling they consider coach passengers to be “second class”…yeah?

Well that’s not going to be me, no siree. I smiled politely and cordially at every coach passenger coming on the plane…and not in a “nana, nana, boo, boo I’m in first class” smirk-smile sort of way either I might add.

Now hang on. Who is this very timid looking, older-than-me couple stopping at my my row? Folks…I realize the ‘First Class’ seats are wide, but I also know there will not be room for three of us in these two seats.

In a very soft, polite tone of voice the lady said: “Excuse me Sir. I believe you are in the wrong seat”

“Nooooooo” (actually it was another word) went racing through my head….

“Oh I think not ma’am. I’m in Seat 4A”, as I reached for my boarding pass to prove it.

“OK, well that’s 2 rows up. You are in row 6”

“Oh…really? I am so sorry! You see I just counted four rows back and sat down”

“That’s ok…I don’t know why they the seating starts with row 3”, stated the gentleman.

So why do they start the ‘First Class’ rows with three? Now I must move forward, against the boarding flow of coach passengers, to my ‘First Class’ seat. It is these passengers now looking annoyed with me…they have that look about know it: ‘who is this ya-hoo First Class passenger anyway?’

Yes, I am a ‘First Class’ rookie….

Finally, we’re fastened in and the cabin doors are closed. Up, up and away. First Class! Ahhh yes!

I had no idea the flight attendant would bring so many beverages. Within 10 minutes of takeoff, the guy next to me was asleep. Oh boy, I should have peed before getting on this 3 hour flight!

“Would you like a red or white wine today Mr. May?” What do you mean…I get wine with my lunch? I don’t know if I have ever had wine with my lunch…ever. And, for crying out loud, I had my choice of wines! (Hmmm, maybe I should have asked for a glass of each).

I then started looking for a place to set my drinks, iPhone, and iPad. OK now Tim(othy), you have a college eduction. You can find the tray table if you just stop and assess all the possible and logical locations. Look at the lady across the aisle. Where did she get hers? Oh, they have it all folded up in the arm rest? So how does this work?

Oh and by the way, that little slide-out mobile phone-sized tray on the center console – pregnant idea you airline designer people!

Hot towels – now why in the world are they bringing me these? Ohhhh! Hey, these feel so good on my face. I wonder if they’d mind if I shaved now. No Tim(othy), holster your redneck tendency…come on now, think ‘First Class’ you knucklehead!

Here comes lunch. What? I’m eating off real China dinnerware…at 32,000 feet?


Hey now! There are beets in my salad…and apples and walnuts too. These are foreign ingredients for the salads I usually eat. Olive oil balsamic vinaigrette – wow. This sure isn’t my typical Ranch dressing over Iceberg lettuce.

Lunch was snarfed. An after-lunch beverage is offered (and gladly accepted). So is a mint. ‘First Class’ passengers apparently cannot have bad breath or something.

I wonder if the ‘First Class’ lavatory is equally “First Class”? Well damn if the guy next to me is not back to sleep. Bejesus man, these seats are comfortable and all, but they are not a bed mattress. What’s with this guy? Why isn’t he awake and enjoying all this ‘First Class’ treatment? Hey you, my fellow ‘First Class’ passenger, don’t you know I still gotta pee?

Wait just a minute. No way! Is that the close-your-eyes-and-inhale-long-and-slow heavenly smell of cookies baking filtering through ‘First Class’…at 32,000 ft…on a damn Air-o-plane! It is! “Ma’am, since this gentlemen is asleep, I will gladly hold his cookie until he awakens” (yeah right). A guy could get used to this ‘First Class’ kind of travel p-r-e-t-t-y easy.

20130716-134600.jpg Continue reading “First Class!”

Tooling about while at the beach

Did I mention that on my recent excursion to the left coast, I took one day to do a 10-mile bicycle ride?

Well technically, it was a 10-mile ride on 2 different bikes…but both required moving my legs in a circulation motion, if that counts. (and you know it does)

I have long wondered whether a recumbent bicycle (the bike where it feels like you’re dragging a#$ on the pavement) is a ride enjoyed. Those particular bicycles have always been a source of curiousity for me.

I’ve never taken a “test drive” with one.

That is, until last Friday….

Continue reading “Tooling about while at the beach”

Return from a Paradise

So the Blog has suffered some neglect of late. I’ve missed two weekends of college football – ughhhhhhh; one week’s worth of sarcasm opportunities have escaped these pages; Mackie Queen of Scots still lays across my lap in an effort to not let me go anywhere again without her.

But it was worth enduring all those daily-grind withdrawals. My co-workers, my heart, soul and sanity, and most importantly my family needed me to go away for a while on a trip to Canada…with Dad and OFB Terry.IMG_3951 I’m so glad we did just that.

This vacation was bought and planned for nearly a year by the sons (brothers). It was a combination Christmas, Birthday, and Thanks-for-being-our-Dad gift for a 75th birthday and milestone celebration of 50+ years of fatherhood. So we went fishing, damn it! Continue reading “Return from a Paradise”

Be back at it on Friday week

I’m going fishing…in Canada…with my Dad…and OFB TR…we will be at a place that knows no internet…Walleye and Northerns will be caught and consumed in considerable quantities…I won’t have time to blog, nor be able to…until I get back…then you guys get a look at all the pictures I plan to take, and the stories I expect to tell (or make up). OFBB Jai Jai and OFSIL Bec – you two try not to let the Cubbies and the Jaybirds lose their first pre-season game tomorrow.  And while you’re at it, watch out over my Mildcats would ya? The Saint has … Continue reading Be back at it on Friday week

The German town of McGregor

img_8290Yup it is. Along with Scottish, Indian, Afro-American, and Hispanic folks populated by the railroad industry. Stopping short of a Texas history lesson of the town and region, let me just say this: we went, we enjoyed, we will go back…and the Bluebonnets are up!

Deb and I ventured to McGregor for a short weekend. Actually, one of Deb’s “Dinner Dames” friend and husband asked us to come visit them and the beautiful new home they are building outside of town. The true intent of our invitation was for Jayne/Rusty to get advice on how to landscape their home.

dscf2386Note to others with similar intentions…I love to dole out landscape advice to friends and family, but please lets have a discussion not an argument if you don’t agree with the free opinion I offer. I’m too old and grouchy to argue with you about my expertise. I look forward to going back to McGregor with the landscape summary of my thunkin’ for Jayne and Rusty.

It was an interesting weekend to say the least. Here’s a abridged version:

Continue reading “The German town of McGregor”

Hill Country Christmas

img_5076Ahhh, Christmas this year was spent a bit differently. Ohhhh we had our kids with us for sure, but it was out of the “home” for the second year in a row. Last year we traveled to San Antonio – that was cool. This year we were again close to San Antonio…about 45 minutes northwest in Wimberley.

Even though it went from 36° to nearly 80°…and then back to 40°, we had a img_5237awonderful time in the Hill Country over Christmas. We had days where we woke up to the furnace running and ate dinner with the AC blowing. Something about not having cold temps and snow on the ground at Christmas just isn’t right.

FD and Mark, FS and Tammy, and Frank and Lupe joined us for a relaxing, special time together.  The time went by so fast and very little college football bowls were watched – which made it even more neat for everyone. Continue reading “Hill Country Christmas”

What I Did on my Summer Vacation

Recent posting had me pouting about everyone else’s vacations. Well this past weekend, I got an urban vacation – not Dubai, Maccuhu Pichu, Steamboat Springs, NYC, nor Alaska. FS and FSTBDIL came to Dallas (no further) and we met them at a hotel. FW (I will probably get in trouble for that…or at least questioned) Deb found a deal on two rooms at the Intercontinental Hotel through Hot Wire. Side note, that hotel is appropriately named as it truly was a vast, interesting blend of cultures and nationalities walking through the lobby. They even had a Larry-guy singing Frank Sinatra songs in the lizard lounge, and I would venture a guess Ol’ Blue Eyes is not on the top seller list in New Delhi. Continue reading “What I Did on my Summer Vacation”

Where did everyone go?

It seems y’all were gone at the same time…except for Mac and me.

My Dad, brothers and their families will be coming off the mountain this weekend. Dad spent the last two weeks at a family vacation tradition – Seedhouse Campground in the Routt National Forest north of Steamboat Springs. My brothers, sisters-in-law, and 2 nieces joined him last week. I found myself checking the weather in Steamboat – 70° highs, low 40°’s lows – throughout the last two weeks, taking heavy, heavy sighs and wishing I were there instead of the +100° heat of Dallas. Oh well – Deb told me to go but like a typical husband I didn’t take her advice. I did check out plane fares to Denver and rental cars…almost booked a trip but figured my employer would not appreciate me just packing off for a few days without any prior notice. Perhaps the family can send pictures to add to this post. The rubbing-it-in phase will probably start Sunday. Continue reading “Where did everyone go?”