While waiting for my plane, a nattily dressed man sat down next to me in my pleatherette chair. His breathing was labored, as if he had OJ Simpsoned through the terminal to catch his flight. I didn’t bother looking over until I noticed he was still breathing intensely five minutes after he planted himself next to me, as if it was a triathlon and not an airport sprint. When I glanced in his direction, his socks instantly seized my attention. He had removed his oxfords, revealing brown socks with hot pink and orange polka-dots. Inscribed across the instep were the words “Funky Socks.” I should say so!
“Excuse me,” he said after a few minutes. “I seem to have left my wallet at the security checkpoint. Would you mind watching my bag while I go back?” Why me; why is it always me? I vacillated for a moment, but was eventually convinced. He placed his orange and hot pink polka-dotted feet back in his brown oxfords and leisurely made his way back towards security.
I waited for his return. Over the PA, they called for First Class passengers to board. I waited a while longer. Gold, Platinum, One World Alliance and military personnel were invited to line up. I peered back towards his trail, hoping to catch a glimpse, but there was nothing. Group 1. Still no sign. Group 2 come on aboard. Where is he? All remaining passengers, this is the final boarding call…
The dilemma – Do I miss my flight, waiting until Mr. Polka-dot returns or do I desert my watch and hop on my plane? I attempted to hand the bag to the flight attendant at the door, but she would have nothing to do with it. In the end, I abandoned his bag near the jetway and settled in seat 16D with just moments to spare.
I feel guilty and maybe a better person would have missed their fight. I’m certain I now have a black mark on my traveler’s Karma which will most likely appear as lost luggage, four hours on the tarmac or a missed connection. Sigh.
Tuna fennel sandwiches with Pink Polka-dots
Inspired by a Real Simple recipe
1 Small Fennel bulb, thinly sliced
½ c. Italian parsley, roughly chopped
3 T. Olive Oil
2 T. Mayonnaise
1 t. Siracha (or to taste)
2 6 oz. cans Spanish or Italian oil packed tuna
2 T. Capers, chopped
2 t. Caper Juice
2 T. Balsamic vinegar
2 Lettuce leaves
2 Radishes, sliced thinly
4 Slices sourdough bread, buttered and browned in a cast iron skillet
Combine Fennel, parsley, 2 T. oil, salt and pepper. Roughly mix with hands to bruise and soften fennel. Set aside. 2. Combine mayonnaise and Siracha. 3. Combine tuna, capers, juice, 1 T. oil, balsamic and pepper. 4. Spread two slices of bread with siracha mayonnaise. Cover with lettuce and radishes. Pile high with tuna and finish with fennel. Cover with additional bread slices, cut in half and enjoy.