Wednesday, May 7, 2014

IWSG: When Characters Fall Out Of The Sky

                                                                   



It's time for another addition of  Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. Be sure to visit the diversely talented members who will welcome you with open arms.

The night before our flight home from Israel, we upgraded our seats to the exit aisle. Since we had to leave for the airport early in the morning with only a few hours sleep, we both took turns dozing off on the flight. Shortly after, the first character from another dimension appeared.

The exit aisle was located next to the restroom. Though I was too far away to see if the "Vacant" or "Occupied" sign was on, the man's body language led me to believe that he was first in line. He started swaying back and forth doing the "potty dance." This dance occurs at an early age when children are having so much fun playing outside that they hold it in until the last minute. This results into spastic convulsions in a panic to race home to the bathroom. Sadly, this condition often begins to reappear in middle-age, and can be set-off with as little as a cup of coffee.

As time passed, he decided to turn our little exit corner into his own personal gym. He did a series of exercises from running in place to a complete stretching routine. I was looking forward to getting back to my book, when the next character appeared.

This man was in his late sixties, and enjoyed shuffling between the galley, and the restroom. He acted like an overserved patron at a singles bar. While nursing a cup of water, he unabashedly flirted with a pretty, young woman as she waited to use the restroom. When he ran out of people to bother, he eventually used the facilities himself. Afterward, he slid into our exit corner to tuck in his shirt, zip up his fly, and buckle his belt. It was almost as if he thought he was entering a fifth wall where no one would be able to see him. If only he had been invisible, then we wouldn't have had to see his Howard Hughes toenail peeking through the hole in his sock. For all of the rules on airlines, not being allowed to take your shoes off should be one of them.

I began to doze off again, and awoke to a crowd full of people. Suddenly, our little corner was converted into a cozy comedy club. A group of men were laughing it up before their wives came to spoil their fun. Each of the three wives looked like one of Cinderella's wicked stepsisters, while each of the husbands looked like they wanted to find another hideout.

Then I started wondering what they thought about me. Did they catch me sleeping with my mouth open? Was I covered in crumbs from the tasteless lunch? Could they see that I ran out of clean socks, and was wearing navy tweed with black? Of course my shoes never left my feet, as I follow my own rules.

If the first character was The Gym Rat, the second Herbert The Pervert, the third Cinderella's Steps and Their Fellas, who would I be? Just a pale observer of unsavory characters, who looked like she could've been traveling from Wisconsin instead of a very warm climate from halfway around the world. Whoever said that you had to look out the window to see interesting sights?


36 comments:

  1. Is it possible that you were the Fairy Godmother, and the men were laughing at you for being asleep on the job? This must be the sequel to Cinderella, because the step-sisters were single in original story. I notice you didn't call them "ugly sisters", because you're a kind lady who would never make bitchy remarks.

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  2. Long flights are tough. It is nice that you found some entertainment to pass those long hours.

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  3. Love your character names LOL. Long flights are such a nightmare but you made this one entertaining to read about at least. :)
    Hope you had a great trip, Julie.

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    1. Julie - I agree that long flights are a nightmare! Fortunately, this group made the time go by faster! Thanks Julie!

      Julie

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  4. You had crappy seats!
    But funny it gave you an opportunity to see some interesting characters. With those names, you need to write a story about them.

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  5. I am often that person pacing or moving about in the isles. I just get so bored on really long flights. Sounds like you found a solution for it.

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  6. Nope. Good people watching happens wherever people gather. I just had a great time of it in NYC! Sounds like an entertaining flight!

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  7. Sounds like most of the flights I've been on. I never get bored when there's human nature to observe in all its finest. Apparently that's when they're waiting to pee.

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  8. Gorilla - I just dozed off a little bit, as I was taking my exit guard position very seriously! I like the idea of being their Fairy Godmother. Thanks for thinking the best of me, Gorilla! If only it were true!

    Arleen - They did make the flight go by faster!

    Alex - It was worth it for the extra legroom. Nice play on words, Alex! It might be interesting to see where these characters go next!

    Rhonda - I'm constantly pacing on long flights too. I always need to stretch my legs before the cramps kick in, but this flight was more entertaining than usual!

    Kim - I love NYC! It is one of the best cities for people watching! Glad you had a great trip, Kim!

    Nancy - You can tell a lot about a person waiting in line. It's amazing how some people will never walk a few extra steps to find a vacant restroom.

    Julie

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  9. I have the perfect image of your journey! I do believe I saw Herbert the Pervert one time at the beach, though.

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  10. The journey seems to have been as entertaining and enlightening as the destination, Julie.

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  11. Great way to snap up some creative characters for a writing project. Always keep you eyes open (well, except during that in-flight nap!)

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  12. I don't mind long flights as I think of inspiration for writing poetry.
    Lovely to have you back.
    Yvonne.

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  13. Welcome home, kiddo! We've gotta take our entertainment where we can get it, and people-watching is always a great way to pass the time. (As long as you don't slip up and address them by their "names"...)

    Alas, my hubby has fallen into that little kid "potty dance" stuff. He gets so busy working on something in the garage, he doesn't want to stop. Totally cracks me up.

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  15. Sounds like you'll be living off that flight for quite some time! People watching is endless fun. :)

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  16. Carol - I actually Googled nicknames for perverts, and that name came up! I think it was from Family Guy. Hope your Herbert didn't get too carried away!

    Lee - We spent a few days in Paris at the beginning of our trip, and that was pretty entertaining too!

    Liza - As always my timing was off, and my naps were better during the day than in the middle of the night! Great advice though!

    Yvonne - That is a great time for writing. Of course my notepad was packed away! Thanks Yvonne!

    Susan - They probably wouldn't have understood me if I had called them by their "names!" I would so love to meet you and your husband sometime! I love how you always keep each other laughing!

    Nick - If only I had some popcorn for my live-action in-flight movie!

    Julie

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  17. That was very entertaining. A great way to view the world around you. It was rather like reading a book without words from your descriptions and view point. Thanks for the great post.
    Juneta at Writer's Gambit

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  18. It's fun to people watch on an airplane. A tiny microcosm where no one can leave (successfully, anyway).

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  19. Juneta - I'm glad that I was able to paint a pretty clear picture for you, though you really had to see this unusual cast of characters to believe it! Thanks so much Juneta!

    Shannon - Great line about the "tiny microcosm!" This was a lot better than a previous long flight, where a passenger's poor hygiene ruminated throughout the plane. I was hoping that we'd be able to drop him off early!

    Julie

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  20. LOL Julie, do you always take the funny flight? I thought these things only happened to me - come to think of it I'm the one who must appear "funny". People keep giving me drinks (those tiny ones in cans) and I have to hide them in my bag. I fear getting drunk and showing myself up. They also offer me drops to put in my eyes to stop them from looking red (perhaps I did get drunk).
    I loved the potty dance and the Howard Hughes toe nails - ahhh!

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    1. Fanny - Sounds like you've been voted the most popular flyer ever! I can understand offering to ply you with alcohol, but I'm surprised that they'd have extra eye drops to spare. Oh, how I'd love to see you in action! Thanks so much, Fanny!

      Julie

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  21. This is such a great piece! full of wonderful observation and thoughts. Let's hope that they saw thru the crumbs from lunch and recognised you as the Writer, casting them into a mental drama!
    Reminds me to pick the exit seat next time I travel. It beats looking at crummy movies on the seatback in front

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  22. I loved this post! I agree with some of those who said it above, you should put these characters into a book. I loved the way you described everyone.

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  23. Jenny - I'm not sure if "they saw thru the crumbs at lunch," or not, but it did help the time go by! You are funny, Jenny! Thank you!

    Daisy - Thanks for the words of encouragement! It would be fun to explore their lives after the flight!

    Julie

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  24. Julie, you are too funny!
    Your characters are so alive! They belong SOMEWHERE... in your humorous story/novel based on the life of a jetsetting woman/air hostess... or something...

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  25. Oh Julie, only you could turn a nuance of your flight to Israel into a full blown sit-com. I'm glad you had entertainment between bouts of shut-eye on that neverending flight.

    Welcome home. I can't wait to learn more about your trip.
    xoRobyn

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  26. Great post, full of interesting quirks.

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  27. Michelle - I like your idea of a "jet-setting air hostess!" Hmmm... I'd have to do a lot more undercover research for that assignment! Thanks Michelle!

    Robyn - It did seem a bit like I was sitting in the audience of a live sitcom! I'll try to scrape something together for next week! Thanks Robyn!

    Nas - They were definitely a "quirky" group! Thank you Nas!

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  28. An interesting cast of characters - and annoying, yes - but it still beats "Screaming Baby That Mommy Just Pretends to Ignore For 5 Hours," right?

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    1. B & B - Most of the babies were pretty well-behaved, but there was one screamer on the other side of the plane. You're right about how their parents usually ignore them!

      Julie

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  29. Hi Julie .. oh gosh you must have fun - your brain is always in major creative mode .. if only those queuers for the loo knew you were rumbling them for characters .. that toe thing is perfectly horrible to think about = gross! Yugh ..

    I really don't like air travel - but put up with it .. as a necessary evil when the time is right .. but I don't enjoy it .. good to see you back .. cheers and Moo to you! Hilary

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  30. I'm no fan of flying. At least you made the experience entertaining to some extent. I try to do the same thing in those kinds of situations.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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  31. Funny post, especially since when I was returning home from a trip to Israel, I took some photos of a woman wearing dirty socks. She was covered with crumbs, and you know now that I think about it, she looked a little like . . . Oh never mind.

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  32. Hilary - I really don't enjoy flying either, but this group helped me make the most of it! Thanks Hilary!

    Lee - I agree that long flights are the worst. It helped that we had comfortable seats, and a great view!

    JJ - Who told you about my dirty socks?! You've been on quite a roll with your last few comments! Now, I want all the copies of the photos!

    Julie

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