The flight to Boston was not without stress. My flight from Little Rock, AR was delayed just over two hours. The stress this caused as I feared I would somehow miss my connection (having only a 30 minute window) was astounding. I cannot recall the last time I felt so much stress. There were other minor incidents leading up to that and I honestly just wanted to turn back and go home. Finally on the plane and safely in the air the next hurdle was at first a welcome; my connection flight was also delayed slightly. While not delayed quite 45 minutes it put me getting into Boston even later than I anticipated. My prearranged cab ride had notified me that if my flight was delayed more than 20 minutes they would not wait. I likely would have spent the entire flight stressing about this if I had not met the Zone Creeper.
The Zone Creeper, ZC as we will call him moving forward, was in the window seat and I in the aisle. He outed himself as a “zone creeper” to me right away and with pride. Explaining that when he is seated in zones 3 or 4 he creeps into zone 2 when they are boarding and gets on the plane early. This particular agent had busted him and told him sternly that he was in the wrong zone. He later also identified himself as a lover of zombies and professed having once dressed up, complete with zombie baby, for some event. In minutes ZC had me laughing so hard tears were pouring down my face.
Keep in mind we are on a flight at midnight. I am sure our fellow passengers would have liked us to be quieter, though no one said anything to us. Perhaps we were entertaining for them?
ZC was returning home, just north of Boston and had a great accent. He could also speak hillbilly. When I told him I was from Arkansas he exclaimed in a lively voice his love for Arkansas, his friend Brooks who lives there, and Bill Clinton. I shook his hand and professed my undying love for Clinton and we made fast friends. He told me stories of his times in Arkansas going into a Southern twang that was dead on and not the least insulting. He seemed to fully understand that hillbilly twang did not make one an idiot.
The highlight of comedy was actual a moment of phrase confusion rather than a joke. ZC says to me, “Did you see the guy with the cat on the plane?” I had seen the cat earlier before boarding. I didn’t realize he would be permitted to take the cat onto the plane with him, I just assumed they stowed the cat in a different compartment. “There’s a cat on the plane?” I said. “Oh yeah,” he says, “that guy up there has him in a little doggie bag.”
I busted out laughing. I immediately had an image of a small cat in a take out bag with a side of rice. I laughed so hard and the entire time ZC looks at me like I’m nuts until I choke out, “you mean dog carrier?” “Yeah,” he says, “what did I say?” I am laughing hysterically now, “you said doggie bag, like a take out bag.” He cracked up and when I told him my image of the cat with a side of rice he howled. Yes, we were either lovely entertainment or a pain in someone’s ass that entire flight to Boston. Possibly both.
I wish I had taken the time to get this guy’s Facebook information. I caught his name, but it’s a common one and so far I haven’t located him. He absolutely cheered up my entire day. I arrived in Boston an hour later than anticipated, exhausted but happy.