Monday, August 10, 2015

Day 8.132 Ring tone

I board Alaska flight 190 in Los Angeles, destination, Settle. We have a stop in Oakland.  It is August of 1995.

With all due respect to those of you who fly first class, the boarding process must be embarrassing for you. You sit there sipping champagne looking past the serfs with blank condescending faces doing everything imaginable to avoid eve contact.

I sometimes smile right past you, sometimes stare, sometimes greet. Depends mostly (in the post 9-11 world) on how roughed up I have been humiliatingly screened by TSA.

On this flight as we stand like ducks in a row, overloaded with carry-on waiting for tiny women to dead-lift overstuffed suitcases into overhead bins. I look at the gentleman sitting in seat one, row one. He was wearing a black leather jacket and as he raises flute to sip I see a couple of football sized championship rings on two fingers of his left hand. I cannot tell if he is looking back at me because he is behind a huge pair of shades.

'Hello Mr Davis, congratulations of all your success', I say, omitting the 'I am a big fan' white lie.

I have no idea as to how he will respond, but since we are both at rest in the same space, at least be cheerful and courteous, I think.

After his slight nod of approval, I continue, 'And an outstanding selection with your first draft pick this year, sir'.

The cat out of the bag is Husky tailback Napoleon Kaufman, taken as the 18th overall selection.

Al looks around to see if there are any NFL spies listening and using the two fingers carrying rings branded with the onyx and diamond Raiders logo, he begs me to come closer.

Eyes widened by his intent, I bend slightly to catch his drift.

'Kid has got a rocket strapped to his ass.'

The line moves and I must go.

'He does, I've seen it. Have a nice flight sir.'

Al smiles, nods, turns to look out the window.

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