My Hometowns Are Better Than Yours, Part 1 (or, "The Undesireables")

I visited my hometowns over the weekend to see my parents. I have two. Hometowns. And parents. Everyone has two parents, but not everyone can claim two hometowns. This is just one reason why I'm special. The other one is because I can touch my tongue to my nose. So you can see I have some things going for me.

Here I go again on my own, like a drifter. (2014)
I landed in Portland, Oregon, one of my hometowns, after a solid eight-hour day of flying. And boy are my arms tired. Just kidding. I'm not actually able to create the requisite thrust and lift with just my arms. I took an airplane.

I'm an unlucky airline passenger. I always have to sit by the Undesireables. You know who they are. Haven't showered. Hog the armrests. Have to go potty a lot. Snore. Listen to really loud music through really cheap earbuds. I always have to sit by them. This is because in first grade I made fun of the recess lady's weight issues and now the universe is slowly righting my cosmic wrong.

At the airport before I board the flight I usually try to pick out who I'll have to sit by. It's fairly easy -- I just look around to see who is annoying me and that's typically my neighbor on the flight.

When I was getting ready to leave Washington for Minneapolis, where I'd catch a connecting flight to Portland, there was a guy talking really loudly into his Bluetooth earpiece. He was mid-40s, had a round face and a round body and a moustache that reminded me of a sea cucumber. His phone rested in a holster clipped to his belt that pinned his one-size-too-small polo shirt across his jiggly belly and into his jeans. I wagered his name was Don or Paul or Otis, but definitely not Jeremy or Tyler or Alex or Smalls. I thought to myself, "Oh man, dang. I'm sitting next to that guy."

Well, I boarded the plane, and I didn't sit next to that guy. I sat next to an even larger guy with an amazing mullet spilling from the back of a worn-out Orlando Magic proback cap. He monopolized the armrest and sat on the non-adjustable half of my seatbelt so that I couldn't buckle up without A) talking to him, or B) sliding my hand under his bum. I wasn't in a talkative mood, nor a bum-grabbing one, so I just made the other half of my seatbelt as long as it could go, stretched it across my lap, and folded my arms over it when the flight attendants walked by.

After an hour layover in Minneapolis, I boarded my second flight -- this one longer than the first. I worked my way back to my assigned seat, and there, sitting in the seat next to mine, blustering into his Bluetooth headset, was Don/Paul/Otis. I'm like, "Look, universe, I'm sorry about what I said about the recess lady. She was just big-boned. I know that now."

Don/Paul/Otis slept for most of the flight and snored, grunting and shifting his girth into my hip whenever somone came on the intercom. I tried to watch out the window when we came in for a landing but Don/Paul/Otis stuffed his fat face in front of the window so I couldn't see. Somehow I'm sure I deserved that.

Next time I'll introduce you to my other hometown, which, like Portland, is better than yours. Unless you're from Pensacola, in which case you win.