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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Harmony on the way to Vegas

We had enough time between planes at YYZ to change terminals, grab something to eat and shop for snacks, books, magazines, and overpriced iPod accessories.

I said, “Excuse me,” to a very well manicured man so that I could move past the fashion mags to the good mags – the ones in the plastic bags. He wore a tight t-shirt, which said something about a homophonic symphony or something, carved shapely trousers, the finest in leather belt and loafers.

He projected a distinct cloying miasma of cologne for 12 feet around himself.

I noticed small crowd of people, including some children, looking at an abandoned bag near the front of the store. I stole a peek and what did I see? The head of a little pomeranian dog sticking out of the suitcase. (I think the body and legs and tail of the little pomeranian dog were inside the suitcase.)

Sure enough the little dog started to climb out of its travel pouch.

“He’s getting out!” said somebody.

And sure enough, the slippery Italian loafer guy sashayed over to the bag. He looked angry. His 50-pack abs seethed with pomer-frustration.

I was expecting him to bellow at the poor little shaking mutt but instead, his well-dictioned high-pitched voice uttered,

“Harmony! Inside!”

He gestured at the bag again.


Poor little Harmony did as he was told and I went back to my shopping.

We found the gate for our WestJet flight to The Holy Land Las Vegas (per Hall and Oates, “Las Vegas Turnaround”). I decided to make a call or two and that’s when I realized that my pre-paid Virgin phone, with $17.00 still on it, would expire while we were away.

I called everyone I know. I called people I don’t know. I left expansive nonsense messages, trying to use up every cent of time.

By the time we boarded the plane, I was down to 17 cents worth of time. Screw you, Richard Branson!

I spent the next 20 minutes playing the game of, “Oh dear God I am sorry for everything bad I ever did and please do not let that sweating, waddling person take the aisle seat next to me.

Yes, in a fit of illogic, I’d booked a window and a middle seat for this flight.

I was in 6E, Mrs. Flusher in 6F.

"You're six-ee baby. Get it? Sexy? 6E?", she purred.

"And you're... you're... a Six-Eff-ful gamblester," I replied.

And a person did sit down in the aisle seat next to me, but fortunately she had a good sense of humor (and was slight, and didn't reek of garlic or fish or apartment hallways), and we started chatting. She suggested that she would likely sleep most of the flight away, but if I had to get up – you know – to use the bathroom – I should just ask her to get out of her seat. I shouldn’t hesitate, I shouldn’t feel bad – just wake her and ask her to let me out.

Mrs. Flusher and I shared my take-off ritual – Luck be a Lady by Frank Sinatra roared through our earbuds just as our WestJet jet jetted off the tarmac and into the night sky. The glittering streetlights of Toronto would soon become the glittering neon of the Fabulous Las Vegas Strip and of course, Glitter Gulch.

As luck would have it, there was an open aisle seat one row back with an empty middle next to it.

The woman next to me, who I had come to think of as ‘the woman next to me in the aisle seat’, got permission to move over there. She’d have more room, I’d have more room. It was a win, win.

My parting words were, “I’ll still wake you up if I have to go to the bathroom.”

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