For about the past 5 years or so, my
friend Ricky has tormented me with the same joke.  At least I think its
been a joke. 

I just talked to him and he doesn't
think this story is going to go over well in my blog.  He doesn't think
that I'll be able to make my adoring public truly appreciate the joke. 
So I am going to start with the punch line and then I'll give you the
backstory.

Some of you have experienced the joke
because you've been on planes with me, you've sat at the airport and
you've heard my cackle, because everytime he did it, it was funny.

Tonight
when we were talking – I was torturing him by asking for feedback on
this very blog.  We started to talk a little bit about my irrational
fear of serial killers.  Or rather the fact that I am certain I've been
stalked by the same serial killer for many years now.  (See
Yesterday's Blog for more on this topic.) 

So, in
screenplay form again:

Ricky:  Yeah, I don't really
think serial killers are your biggest threat.

Sherry:  Really,
what do you think is my biggest threat?

Ricky:  Well, me picking
you up from the airport.

**insert my hardcore cackle
and trying to say between laughs that was the funniest thing he'd ever
said to me…. cause it absolutely is….unless you count his repeated
insistence to be allowed to simply email a few words that someone could
read for my funeral …instead of actually attending and providing a
meaningful, funny and poignant eulogy for his ole pal, Sher Bear**

The Backstory

In my previous job, I traveled A LOT.  Which meant a ton
of time spent driving to airports, taxing to airports, sitting in
airports, waiting to take off, waiting for a gate, driving to hotels,
taxiing to hotels… what have you…. you get it… lots of down time. 
A pretty good portion of that time has been spent on the phone with
Ricky.  It works out well, he gets to try out his latest material and I
get entertained for a bit.  About a hundred years ago on one such call I
mentioned that was headed to the airport.  To which Ricky replied with
the following story:

Did I ever tell you
about the time I saw a plane crash? I was a little kid and my mom and I
went to pick up my dad at DFW airport.  I was standing at the window
watching all the planes land and that Delta plane that crashed and
killed all those people hit as I was standing at the window.  It was
freaky.  You know, I've never seen weather like that night.  Well, until
tonight. Tonight is exactly like that night.

So,
basically, I have this asshole telling me a plane crash story before I
took off on a flight.  And so began a very ridiculous tradition in our
friendship.  The tradition of Ricky reminding me before every single
flight about how he saw that plane crash when he was picking his dad
up.  Sometimes he thought I was testing him, I would say something about
AN AIRPORT and he'd bring it up… and I would have to let him down by
saying that I wasn't getting on a flight.  Hes even dropped me off at
the Austin airport with the reminder of the crash he saw.  He was always
at his best if I was in bad weather. He'd make up dramatic stories
about why the Delta plane crashed and how he heard things about the air
traffic coming out of Newark. Blah, Blah, Blah …

But
it became part of my travel tradition. I don't much like getting on a
plane anymore without hearing him tell me about that crash.  I need to
know that's it out of the way, so that I can sleep peacefully on the
flight. 

Apparently I need to be worried less about
serial killers and more about Ricky picking me up from the airport.  I
haven't yet figured out how to leave behind forensic evidence that Ricky
just has shitty luck and seems to see dramatic catatrophies on a fairly
regular basis.

None the less, I hope in some part I
have been able to make this story relatively funny.  Its was always so
funny to me, especially in the beginning because I would forget about
it, but he never did.  Every flight, if I so much as said plane, or
flight, or airport…. boom… "Did I ever tell you about that time I
saw a plane crash?"  And the surprise always made me cackle.  Trust me,
people at the Admiral's Club don't really appreciate someone cackling
that loud in their special private lounge space… but I did anyway.

So,
Ricky, don't forget, I head to Cabo on Thursday morning.  We take off
about 9:35… talk to ya then.