Unfortunately, bad news always gets the headline over good. It is for that reason that until now you've heard only about the tragedies involved in my trip to New York, and not necessarily about any of the comedy. I was so caught up in the airport drama (which, incidentally, did not subside for the return trip) that the only funny story you heard was about Lily pooping in the stranger's front yard. And while she doesn't produce quite the belly laughs Lily does, Avery has always been good for one or two funny pieces of artwork. The stories of two such works follow.
Finally having arrived at LaGuardia late Tuesday afternoon, we loaded up in mom's car and headed North toward our destination. The newness of seeing Meema and Tess had quickly worn off, and Avery was looking for something to keep her entertained. Sans electronic media, we resorted to a notepad and pen for her to draw some pictures. As any supportive adults would do, occasionally mom and I would ask Avery and the girls to show us what they'd done. Ave has gotten good at drawing animals and bugs . . she had some impressive drawings of horses mixed in with a number of different insect-collages. A few moments later she handed another drawing forward for review, this time unprompted. Mom and I looked at it and both immediately burst out laughing, to the point that I nearly had to pull the car over I was laughing so hard. Take a look for yourself.
The young lady, as I understand it, has asked the dog if he will in fact "be her dog". At the top of the page, for clarification, is an excerpt from the "Dogword dictionary" indicating that the phrase "bow wow" in fact is equivalent in dog words to a response of "no". Continue on to the dog's response, and you'll notice his response to her request, a convincing "bow wow". Well, at least he thought he was being convincing. The young girl, having apparently missed her opportunity to consult the "Dogword dictionary" before making her interpretation of the response, promptly and confidently responds to the dog, "I'll take that as a yes!" The idea, in and of itself, is not what's funny. I'd theorize that we misinterpret our pets' thoughts and intentions a vast majority of the time. But to see the idea put to paper in such a way really does cast the relationship in a different light. I can just hear the dog's response in my head . . "Yeah, that's right lady, you just keep right on thinking whatever makes you happy. Put words in my mouth like you always do and then lock me outside when company comes over."
On our trip (toward) home, Avery and I again waited all day in the airport. This time, however, we were at LaGuardia and facing an entirely new set of circumstances that was preventing us from getting on the plane. You see, in my haste to get the girls off of the plane a week earlier, I left my wallet in the seat-back pocket of the plane. Fast forward to our attempt to return home, and you can only imagine the scene when I arrived at the TSA checkpoint without a single form of identification. The process to clear security without any photo identification in today's travel climate is akin to applying for a job at the Secret Service. These people know everything there is to know about you, and they will quiz you with questions you'd better know the answers to if you want to have a shot at getting through to the airline terminals. Well, to make a short story long, the process of getting through security took close to an hour, and we missed our direct flight to Charlotte by around 5 minutes. 5 hours, a total of 3 pat-down searches, and 2 more background-checks at TSA later, we finally boarded a flight headed for Dallas. It was the only plane that was going to get us out of New York that night, and it was scheduled to arrive in Dallas 30 minutes after the last flight left for Charlotte. We boarded the plane, and finally we were able to relax.
After taxiing and taking off, Ave and I were still so wound up that neither of us could sleep. Bored by the SkyMall magazine and uninterested in our books, we decided on a game of hangman. Neither of us had any paper, but I somehow managed to hang on to a pen throughout the day. Avery scoured the seat-back pocket in front of her and came up with a barf bag. What the hell, I thought, so she started drawing the gallows. Just then, I noticed that all-too-familiar smell wafting through the air . . someone had taken advantage of the large number of people in close proximity to let a ripe fart loose without being identified. I leaned over to Avery and, in an attempt to add a little humor to our otherwise upsetting day, said "Ewwww, somebody pooted!"
Her response said it all. She looked at me, gave me that sheepish little grin, and chirped "It was me!"
"Oh dear Lord!" I yelled as I elbowed her and pushed her away toward the window seat! She just sat there and laughed hysterically as I suffered through the remnants of her gas.
A few moments later, when the smell had subsided and we'd both stopped giggling, we decided to resume our game of hangman. Avery thought for a moment, and then drew the blank spaces where the letters for her phrase would go. I began by guessing a few different letters, some wrong and some right. Stumped at first by the fact that the "y" I guessed did not complete the 3-letter word that began the phrase, I plugged in the only other vowel you can add to W-H- and make a word . . and then it all clicked. I snatched the barf bag away from her as I laughed hysterically at what I'd guessed was the answer to her clue. Keep in mind the story of the virtual "hot-box" she'd put me in earlier with her gas, and I wonder if you can guess what the answer is?
That's right . . W-H-O P-O-O-T-E-D?????