Sunday, September 23, 2007

It was probably something I ate last night.

This morning, as has become my habit, I was out with the sun in the light ground fog practicing pitch and putt. I enjoy that quiet and cool time of the day, broken on occasion by the “click” of a well struck ball. To say little of the solid thump, bump, bump of a ball falling and halting within three feet or so of the pin. 

Today though turned nostalgic. It wasn’t anything in particular.  Not really.  I had been mulling a post Kat placed about someone trying to take advantage for money of Bloggers and refusing to speak on the chat. She explained her thoughts without elaboration, but the post left me thinking as I was not at what I believed was the particular game being referred. What it left me thinking about was my habits. 

Being fairly old school about poker, I don’t chat much. Maybe an occasional comment about something – usually totally off topic from the chat conversation going on. Which usually puts people off. Quite a bit in fact. Having poor people skills in that respect, along with the “First learned, best remembered” habits when starting poker of no chat.

I also have another habit developed only recently. Only recently, as in since playing Kat’s Friday Night Re-buy Tournament. I have avoided re-buys like the plague all these many poker events. Since the first attempt, I like to play Re-buy tournaments attempting to use the minimum amount of money possible. It’s one of those self imposed things that keeps the game interesting for me. It doesn’t work too well, as I have never placed in the money in a Re-buy, though I have final tabled. Which doesn’t do well at all if you are the very shortest stack around.

When thinking about all of this and trying to hit a golf ball hard enough to get there, yet softly enough not to go too far, my thoughts slid off to the “Mute Chat” function. If it is available, I will mute chat on an individual player in a heart beat if they begin to show ill manners. That doesn’t bother me. As a matter of fact I’m very happy the function is there because it allows me to mute, on sight, before play begins, those players experience has taught me have potty mouths, negative reactors or the ones that talk a lot. But I’ve never muted Kat. I don’t do well paying attention to two things at once, so I found my self this morning leaning on my Nine Iron in the fog, and that’s when it all went nostalgic.

I’m not certain of the association of thoughts here, or even why one seemed to lead to the other, but I got to thinking back to a trip from Heathrow to Washington D.C.. I was going home, with a courtesy stop, on leave.

We had cleared Ireland and the Stewardess was poling for drinks and our comfort needs for the initial “out of national lines and rules” alcohol.  She had a running conversation with a passenger ahead of me and she used the word “fire”, as she whisked by toward the galley in the rear of the plane.

I happened to be a window seat, though there was little to see now that we had cleared land and were twenty minutes over the Atlantic, and was forward of the wing.  When I heard the word “fire” I looked over my shoulder, looking for the glow of reflected exhaust from the engines. There was none, as we were in clear skies and the exhausts were on the outboard side of the engines on this plane.

I did, however, find two small lights that did not belong there. They certainly appeared to be fires in the outboard engine compartment that had melted their way through the cowling. I mulled that a bit and decided that rather than make a scene I’d wait on the Stewardess to return before yelling the word to the world.

Which she did in good time, and I spoke to her attention and nodded outside. She looked. And in her turn nodded, and disappeared aft.

Shortly thereafter the Co-Pilot appeared, leaned across my companion seating, placed his hand on my shoulder, and peered out and aft. The sight of a man licking his lips eight inches in front of my face and his hand on my shoulder, while short lived, was disconcerting, to say the least. And the smooth, no nonsense, glide he effected toward the flight deck was bothering.

I looked at the offending area again and, as I watched, the lights flickered and the area turned dark.  Soon the pilot announced that we had turned back to Shannon and would be landing. He did not specify the reason.

TWA, a now defunct airline, was kind enough to assign me an official Stewardess during our time on at Shannon. She was kind enough to buy me two (2) Irish Coffee’s and arrange for me to receive a bottle of Irish Whiskey.

Now, every thing I had ever heard; every prohibition given me by friends, and all the horsey type laughter received on mention of Irish Whiskey, did not deter me. I bought that bottle of Irish Whiskey. Why?  Well, my future wife said at one time, that her father liked Irish Whiskey, but couldn’t get it.

At that particular time I could, and did. And carried that bottle as carry-on baggage to Washington, D.C.. And did give it to that man. For which I was thanked and life went on.

Reading this, I suppose it was the ground fog this morning that turned my thoughts to this incident. It had to be, because there was ground fog at Shannon Airport the night we landed and I remember wading through it on the way to the terminal.

But it doesn’t completely explain the nostalgia. Dwelling on it, the true incident was the follow-on memory of seeing the guy digging in the upper reaches of a hall closet in his home. He drew forth that bottle of Irish Whiskey, carefully poured a shot, tightly recapped the bottle, returned it to the closet, hiding it well. He then sniffed the short, touched it to his lips, and downed it in one go.

I sneaked off before being seen.

I asked my wife some years later had her father ever finished that bottle, because at the time of my seeing him drink that shot fourteen months had passed from then to the gifting.

The ex-wife said that he had; But he had made it extend over twenty-nine months.

Pity, really, that I never again was in Shannon. I really liked that man.


From the reaches,

Ten Mile

About tenwhiskey

User tenwhiskey is also the author of this blog. He currently lives in small town Kansas in a semi-retired condition. His kids are married and gone (thank you). An empty nester. Divorced. Very happy with life as it is. Ten Mile maintains a personal blog here, writing of events as they appear to him; commentary, and opinions abound. He deviates into fiction as the mood strikes and creates flash fiction stories and short stories. He will not warn the reader when he drifts from fact to fiction. He feels adults are, generally, smart enough to figure out which is which. He does, however, attempt to make his fiction sound as true to life as possible. You have been warned. He, as time permits, writes and occasionally sells writing. More often than not he gives it away to various non-paying publishers of Ether Magazines, forums or for entertainment on a wall for in need of a hand friends. He likes candy, pies and a certain amount of strife. In the matter of strife - in his yourth on the farm, he became embroiled in a slinging fight. The fight involved lath as a launcher, fresh cow patties as ammo and it was a six way free for all. A little mud only adds (Umm?) a certain taste to life.
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