Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Airport is a great place to meet people

I just got back from a week in Waldorf, Maryland last Friday and while in the airport, a funny thing happened. I was standing next to the wall near the baggage carousel, waiting for it to come to life so I could get my bag. I had my phone out playing on it when out of the corner of my eye I noticed there was an older woman coming my direct, and she appeared to be ready to faint.

She wobbled over to the pillar I was standing against and immediately I could tell something was wrong so I asked the woman, "Ma'am, are you OK?"

The smell of tobacco and alcohol assaulted me as she slurred, "No" and that was when I realized, this lady was 9 sheets to the wind drunk. I got a better look at her at that point. She was about 5'2, between 50 and 90, thin gray hair, slightly hunching over and dressed entirely in chocolate brown. Her pants and shirt had that velvet look to them and she had a brown purse with her as well. She stared at me, with that vacant look you get when you have had one to many shots of whiskey and I think I could actually see her mind working to try to catch up.

She leaned against the pillar and from out of nowhere a young African American guy who worked for American Airlines manifested himself next to the woman. Their conversation went like this.

AA: "Ma'am, are you all right?"
DW: "No, I'm not..."
AA: "Are you flying somewhere?"
At this point the Drunk Woman just stopped and waited about 6 seconds.
AA: "Ma'am, are you here to pick someone up?"
I immediately thought how that sounded like the worst idea ever but she must have rebooted completely because she started talking again.

DW: "Ahm goin' ta Nashvul."
AA:"Do you have a ticket?"
She looked at him and thought for a second when he added, "Maybe in your purse?"
She actually did have a ticket in her purse and when she handed it over I was surprised to hear the man say "Ma'am, you came from Nashville and are going to San Antonio. Let me walk you to your gate."

She eyed him suspiciously when he offered her his arm but after a second she must have reasoned that she should go with him, or forgot why she didn't want to go in the first place. She took his arm and they casually walked towards the gates. She almost tripped over a man's suitcase as they went.

I can only guess that somehow she got drunk during a layover or on the plane and wandered out of the terminal. She had no luggage and was entirely alone.

Diana came inside to meet me and when we were walking out we found that the AA guy was a liar. Instead of the gate, the woman was sitting in a chair as two police officers were talking to her. We overheard the question, "How much have you had to drink tonight?" as we walked away.

That is all,


2 Ripples in the pond:

Carrie said...

Ha. It's funny the kind of people you find in airports. I met more types of people on my way to Germany than I have in my whole life, I'd wager.

:/ I really hope this one made it home alright.

Soda and Candy said...

Haha, what a cool little slice of drama! Well told, T.