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… at your own risk.

This was the outtake from the trip back from Texas the other day by my friend Texas Linda. You will maybe remember her from many of my more outrageous situations described here.

Her trip back was no exception … 

It was meant to be a flight from Houston to Baltimore, with a short layover in Memphis.

English: HOUSTON, Texas (Dec. 11)--The Port of...

English: HOUSTON, Texas (Dec. 11)–The Port of Houston, the busiest in the nation in terms of foreign tonnage, is accessed by a 54-mile long ship channel. In an average day more than 700 vessel transit the channel. Here, a ship passes under the Fred Hartman bridge on the Houston ship channel, December 11. USCG photo by PA2 James Dillard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As they were getting ready to take off from Houston, the pilot’s voice came over the loudspeakers …

“Is there someone on the airplane who is missing a shoe?” Thoughts went to a child who may have lost a shoe.


“This is a man’s sneaker here.” Thoughts went to wondering how a grown man could be missing a shoe and not notice.


“Actually this is a man’s sneaker and a cell phone here.” Thoughts went to the Shoe Bomber and the remote detonation by the Boston Bomber.

Low mumbling.

“Okay, I guess we will be taking off now.” Thoughts went to the hopes that both shoe and cell phone were rendered harmless.

Landing in Memphis for a layover, there was relief … at least in Linda’s area. 

Folks got off the plane. Folks got on the plane.


… Many minutes later …

The plane got ready. The plane made starting sounds. The plane turned off.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I am sorry to say that there is a broken switch here in the cockpit. It needs to be fixed before we can take off here.”

A grim-faced Linda turned to her seat-mate “OK. How important is this switch anyway? Is it the one that lowers the landing gear? Or just the one for a light in the corner?”

… Many minutes later …

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the switch is fixed and we are ready to take off again.”

The plane got ready. The plane made starting sounds. The plane made that loud sound that it makes right before it starts to accelerate down the runway.

“OH MY GOD !!! THE PLANE IS GOING TO CRASH !!! I AM GOING TO DIE !!! WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE !!!” frantically screamed a woman in the back of the plane.

Obviously not a frequent flier.


The plane slowed down. The plane turned around. The plane opened the doors.

The woman rushed off … into the arms of the Police, the Fire Fighters, the Airport Security.

“Ladies and Gentlemen. We need to top off the fuel again before we take off.”

Oh. Great.

… Many minutes later …

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we are ready to take off … again.”


As the plane began its trip to Baltimore, some uncomfortable sounds came from the man two seats away from Linda.

“Oh, no” he said “My blood sugar. I need something to eat. I need something. My blood sugar is dropping.”

And of course, flights have nothing. To eat.

Fortunately, Linda had put the small container of Cinnamon Toast Crunch from her breakfast in her carry on bag.

The carry on bag up in the overhead luggage area.

Much hassle, fussing, loading and unloading of luggage … oh, and “The Seat Belt sign is still on. You can’t get up if the Seat Belt sign is still on.” comments from the stewardesses.

Let’s just say that if looks could kill …

… many minutes later …

“Ladies and Gentlemen, it appears there is a violent storm directly in our path. We will take evasive action and go around the storm. This will delay our arrival.”


Good thing they topped off the fuel.

Eventually the plane did touch down. The three-hour flight took five hours.

Linda swears nobody kissed the ground in Baltimore, but I’m thinking a few people came close.