I'm grateful I flagged down the Park-n-Fly shuttle on the lower level of Terminal A when I did. Funny thing to be thankful for on a long Thanksgiving weekend, but there you have the word of the day:
"good nature," from Fr., from bon "good" + homme "man."
bon·ho·mie \ˌbä-nə-ˈmē, ˌbō-\ noun
French bonhomie, from bonhomme good-natured man, from bon good + homme man
1779 : good-natured easy friendliness — bon·ho·mous \ˈbä-nə-məs\ adjective
When I clambered aboard there were already six passengers. They were comparing notes on the baggage claim situation in Terminal A. For some reason, known only to the gnomes deep beneath the terminal, the luggage from six flights was being sent to a single claim carousel. The other carousels were empty. Travelers were packed around the carousel so tight if they spotted their luggage they couldn't get it out through the crowd.
Shared misery started an esprit de corps that carried into the parking lot shuttle. As another half dozen people boarded the shuttle, an eternal optimist jovially asked if we all had a good Thanksgiving. We all nodded, but the man with the toupee sitting across from me piped up, "Yes. We liked the boyfriend!"
Ah, that's very good, we all agreed. "You are lucky," I said. "Maybe you would have had better luck convincing my dad to move into assisted living than I did."
"How did that go?," others asked.
"He's not budging," I said.
The eternal optimist chimed in, "I'm ready to move in right now--activities, meals, manicures!"
"Me, too. Assisted living is wasted on old people!"
"Not me," a quieter woman commented. "It gives me the heebie jeebies."
"It will be fun," the optimist opined.
"You think having six flights' baggage at one claim carousel is fun!"
"Liking the boyfriend is good. We are meeting the girlfriend at Christmas," someone told the first dad.
"Me, too, at New Years," I said.
"It's serious. The boyfriend is coming to our house in three weeks," the first dad said. Turns out the daughter is a fashion design student in California. Maybe she can design the wedding for her final project and save her folks a bundle.
The conversation turned to the smaller holiday crowds at airports, and to flight delays. "We got out of John Wayne on schedule," someone reported. Geez, that sounds like an elderly bowel update! I had no idea John Wayne was an airport. Will John Malkovich be next?
Talk turned to the topic of finding our cars. We had given the shuttle driver the cards marked with our parking space numbers. He was playing 88.1 KNTU jazz on the radio to add to the party atmosphere.
Like the first call of a bingo game, the driver yelled over the music, "18-53."
"I win!," I hollered, "but I can't see my car."
"That's okay," the smiling optimist said. "They just let you out somewhere in the wilderness."
"You would think that's fun. You said you'd love assisted living."
"That's right," she said. "I find fun wherever I go."
Lots to ponder from a ten-minute ride. Fortunately, I found my Buick once I was let out in the wilderness. Life is good. I bet I'll like the girlfriend. Maybe she will choose my nursing home!
© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder