01 May 2010

rental car adventures, part 2

Driving back down to the capital in the dark the next morning, I discovered some charming character traits of my sweet-ass rental ride.
1. The inside light doesn’t come on when you open the door.
2. The dashboard lights don’t seem to have a corresponding knob to turn them on.
3. There is no ice scraper anywhere.

Completed with the facts that
1. The sun doesn’t rise until 7:30, and it is currently 6:15, and
2. There is frost on the windows, because it is October 4th in the northern Midwest,

this means that
1. I can’t see to read my map to get out of this weird, twisty neighborhood where all the houses look the same,
2. I can’t see how fast I’m driving until an hour into my trip, and
3. I have to use my driver’s license to scrape the windows.
Oh, and did I mention the fog? It’s alright, it had all burned off by the time I reached the airport.

In the airport, there are no screens announcing departure gates. But it’s a small airport and no one else seemed concerned that they were drifting aimlessly, so I just went with the herd to the security screening area. I had long ago given up checking bags, despite the 3-1-1 liquid and gels rule, so I knew I was running the risk of being frisked or arrested at any point for my anti-poofing hair creme. What can I say? I hate the frizz. In fact, I did get stopped, but only for that blasted jar of pickles Marian apparently thought I had to have. I did not, so no loss, but it is perhaps ironic that while searching for, and eventually confiscating, the terror-loving pickles, the little security dude (complete with “Look, Mom, I’m all growed up!" peach fuzz ‘mustache’) missed the cosmetics bag full of toothpaste, hair creme, face creme, liquid soap, and a 6-ounce bottle of perfumed hand creme floating around in my carry-on. It’s a good day for beauty.


Now I am sitting at my gate (as it turns out, you just keep walking in a straight line until you see your arrival city on a sign) with a woman talking loudly on the phone to someone at home who is apparently in charge of loading the dishwasher, and he seems to be having trouble. I am also sitting back-to-back with a woman holding a small dog-ish creature, so inbred it can’t open its mouth normally or breathe. (A pug? Or some tiny bulldog? I don’t keep up with these things.) She very much loves this little furry beast, and coos things like, “No, you ain’t goin’ nowhere, you rascal!” Madam, I want to say, this thing cannot even handle the task of breathing in and out easily; it cannot understand you.

Nearby there is also a husky-voiced, salt-of-the-earth woman who insists on loudly and gleefully narrating every move and assumed emotion said beast is experiencing. She, too, loves this stranger’s dog. She loves it so much she is talking to no one about what a “pistol” he is. There is also a small child nearby who is apparently being murdered from the sound of things, or else his/ her parents are trying that whole “let it work itself out” tact. I don’t think that works.

But, here’s the weird part: I’m pretty sure I’m sitting next to John Waters. Of course, he really does belong in this scene. Classic. I want to tell him how much I loved Pecker (I’ll forgive Dirty Shame–he’s still brilliant), but he doesn’t look like he wants to be bothered. So, I hope he will appreciate my silence and complete lack of eye contact. Someone as nuanced as him is bound to notice. And the fact that I have showered and am not talking loudly in speech peppered with curse words and double negatives–or would he prefer that?

I sneak a peek while he’s texting– oh yeah, that’s John Waters with that pencil mustache in those red skinny jeans and oversized pinstriped blazer. Who else could it be? This guy is weird! And I’m not going to say a word to him. Playin’ it cool. Just as I am silently patting myself on the back for my decorum, I sense that he is turned my way in my peripheral vision. He is, he is! Be cool. I look up and smile, half-heartedly, the way they must do at cool-person parties ( I am guessing because I have never been to one), and I see he is looking down at my plastic, scuffed Payless pumps with an expression that is part pity, part fascination: "I love your shoes".