Mrs. Tudball goes to Sarasota
Both passengers were a bit feeble, her more so. He had a portable oxygen concentrator or POC. This is a small, battery-powered machine that takes nitrogen out of the air and provides supplemental oxygen to someone with lung disease. Passengers can’t bring on a personal oxygen bottle, so this does the trick. They have to have it pre-approved and carry a doctor’s statement attesting to its use.
Lucille, “Oh, this is just terrible. I’m just not going to make it. I’ve never had anything this bad in my life. This is terrible. Just terrible. I just can’t go on.”
Me, “Sure your can. I’ll help you get settled. You’re right here in this second row.”
“I’m so cold. I’m just so cold. I need a drink. And I mean a real one. I want liquor.”
“Here’s a blanket. Would you like two? I’ll get you a drink just as soon as we’re in the air.”
“I can’t have it now? I have to wait?”
“Yes, ma’am. You have to wait. We’re leaving in just a minute and the FAA has a rule that we have to take up anything we serve you on the ground. I don’t have time to pour it and you don’t have time to drink it.”
“Now, why would they do that? What if I’m not finished?”
“Don’t know, but that’s the way it is.”
Burgess, “I need to sit in her seat. I have my oxygen.”
Her husband has boarded and is behind me. And he’s right. The person with the POC has to sit by a window so they don’t impede another passenger’s exit in the event of an emergency evacuation, but she’d sat down while he was still getting on & I didn’t know he had it yet.
“I’ll help you swap seats.” After much shuffling–think of Mr. Tudball and Mrs. Whiggins going in circles– they’ve swapped seats. Burgess is sitting at the window and Lucille’s on the aisle.
Pulling on my sleeve, she asks, “Where’s my drink? I want real liquor.”
“I can’t give it to you until we’re in the air. We’re leaving in just a second and you won’t have time to drink it.”
“Okay, but you won’t make me wait too long. I don’t know how much time I have, you know.”
“Right now, you need to fasten your seal belt.”
“Where is it?”
“Right here, I’ll help. Why don’t you tell me what you want and I’ll bring it to you as soon as I can.”
“I want a Cabernet.”
(We left the gate, took off, and I later brought her the Cabernet.)
“Are you going to give me any peanuts?”
“Not yet, I gave you your drink before anyone else was served, I need to give everyone else something to drink. When I finish that, I’ll bring around a snack basket and you can choose something then.”
“What would you like to drink?” I ask her husband.
“I want two hookers and a stick.”
“I’m sorry, you want what?”
“I want two hookers and a stick.” (I think, I never did get a clear idea of what he was saying, maybe they were on a stick.)
“I don’t have that brand. How about a second choice?”
“I’ll have a ginger ale.”
“Now, what were you saying earlier to me? Two hookers and something?”
“It’s a scotch on ice.”
“Oh, okay. I have Dewars. Would you like some?”
“Not now, can’t touch the stuff.”
Lucille, “I never drink liquor.” (She’s wearing a white jacket now and her red jacket is on her lap.)
“Well, you asked me to bring you liquor when you first sat down. You said, ‘I want liquor and I want real liquor.'”
Burgess, “Yes, dear, you did, that’s exactly what you said.”
“Well, I guess I could have a glass of Vodka now.”
“Not now. We’re landing. Maybe next time.”
“I need to go to the bathroom.” She starts struggling with her seat belt and jacket. “I can’t go in this jacket.”
“Right now? We’re on approach into Sarasota. If you go now, you’re going to have to be speedy, we can’t land with you in the toilet.” I helped her take off the white jacket.
She got back in her seat just as the wheels dropped.