Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #588

Walter, left: “And what does this here gadget do?”

Greer, right: “Sir, I respectfully ask that you not touch amenities that are not included in your ticket price. Could you please return to your seat whilst we finalize flight preparations?”

Walter: “But we’re still at the gate. And I’m bored. And nobody wants to talk to me because of my suit jacket. I never should have listened to that salesman. Or slept with him.”

Greer: “How interesting for you and not me. Look, if I pour you a cocktail, could you find it in your heart to be not annoying for a smidge?”

Walter: “Why is the cocktail in a thermos? That doesn’t seem very festive or considerate.”

Greer, fake-smiling: “Your seat is in coach, dear. What happens back here is not as important as what happens in the front of the plane. You’re still a number, not an actual guest. Besides, it’s 1942. Air travel is a new and unexplored thing. We’re still trying to figure out the best way to keep all the passengers lubricated and sedated, even those who buy the cheap seats and then whine about what a cheap seat really means. So, do you want the thermos cocktail or not?”

Walter: “Of course I want it. Then again, at one point I wanted both this jacket and the salesman. But all I really got out of it was a visit to a health clinic.”

Greer, not smiling as much: “Has it ever crossed your mind that perhaps you share too much? Especially with someone who will never see you again? Or is that the appeal, with the gratuitous gifting of ungainly gossip and then you’re a gone girl? Perhaps you should pursue therapy options once we land.”

Walter: “Me? What about you? You seem to be a bit malevolent for someone who is paid to be nice to people.”

Greer: “Really? Well, the next time you get assigned to work coach instead of first class, even though you’ve slept with every pilot at this damn airline, give me a call and we’ll chat. Until then, take this drink and pour it in your piehole. And be quick about it, because that’s the only cup we have for this whole section.”

Walter, grabbing and guzzling: “Oh my. That mess packs a wallop. What the hell is in this?”

Greer, snatching away the mostly-empty cup and dumping the dregs back in the thermos because there were budget issues: “It’s basically jet fuel. We have to multi-purpose. Did I not mention that we’re still figuring things out?”

Walter, stumbling slightly: “Well, my liver is figuring out quite a bit right now. You could have warned me about the octane level so I could put this cigarette out before our flight turns into a Hindenburg tribute.”

Greer: “Oh, please. It’s 1942. Everybody smokes everywhere. Even the children. Now, how about you trot back to your seat and not remember my existence until we land.”

Walter, glancing behind him: “Wait, there’s someone in my seat.”

Greer: “Of course there is. Do you still not understand that you’re in the cheap seats? You have to time-share with the other cheap passengers. Now run along so the two of you can decide who gets which half of the seat.”

Walter: “I can’t believe that TWA would treat their passengers this way. Trans World Airlines has a sterling reputation, even though the industry is only three days old.”

Greer: “Sterling reputation? Oh, now I get it. You’re confusing this TWA with the other TWA.”

Walter: “There are two? Why would I not know about this?”

Greer: “Perhaps it’s because you’ve been too busy banging suit salesmen instead of reading your Twitter feed.”

Walter: “I don’t understand that last bit about Twitter.”

Greer: “And in the future, the pollsters will overlook Twitter as well and make some very bad predictions. Anyway, this TWA is Transgender World Airlines, where all of the employees have made certain revisions to their birth certificates.”

Walter: “Really, now. Actually, I’m all in favor of that. But this is 1942. What country would support such a brilliant concept?”

Greer: “Well, certainly not the United States. My psychic tells me that in the year 2020, that country will still be in the midst of a cultural war where so many people still refuse to accept that everyone should be allowed to be who they want to be. Something about an evil man named Stump and his many followers who want to make America hate again. I didn’t get all the details, as my hour was up and my psychic was late for his Pre-Pilates class.”

Walter: “How sad. But trust that I have your back. Love what you should be.”

Greer, softening: “I appreciate you saying so. And that jacket actually looks quite fetching on you. Just as I knew it would.”

Walter: “Wait a minute. I thought there was something familiar about you. So you’re the guy from Macy’s.”

Greer: “I was the guy. Now I’m the girl, thanks to a certain layover in Copenhagen.”

Walter: “Well, doesn’t that beat all. Good for you. I hope you’re happy.”

Greer: “That’s sweet of you. And of course I’m happy. When you finally stop playing games and really see yourself in the mirror, it only gets better from there. I just wish more people would embrace who they are and stop letting themselves be defined by people who never look in the mirror. Now, scoot back to your seat, I have something in my eye and I need to tend to it.”

Walter: “That thing in your eye is hope.”

Greer: “Stop it! Scoot!”

Walter: “But there’s still that guy in my seat.”

Greer: “Oh, right, that. Don’t worry. These might be the cheap seats, but I still take care of my passengers in my own bitter way. I once measured you for a suit jacket, and I remember what fits you well. Consider it an upgrade. And Walter?”

Walter: “Yes?”

Greer: “Thank you. But you still only get one packet of peanuts.”

Walter: “That’s good enough for me.”

Photo graciously provided by Rivergirl.

20 replies »

  1. My parents used to take martinis to the beach in a thermos like that. I know this because at age seven I thought it was lemonade. It wasn’t lemonade. But mom and dad did seem to enjoy the beach.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. THIS!
    “When you finally stop playing games and really see yourself in the mirror, it only gets better from there. I just wish more people would embrace who they are and stop letting themselves be defined by people who never look in the mirror. ”

    Now I’ve got something in my eye😢 (where is the “happy, full of emotion, tearing up” emoji??)

    Liked by 1 person

    • It makes me tingle (in a good way, natch) that you zeroed in on these two lines. I love writing humor and will always do so, but I always try to tuck some warmth into the absurdity. Laughter opens the door, but my heart walks through it…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Water: There’s no jump in that Stump.
    Gear: He’s got the covid.
    Water: What’s that??
    Gear: It’s what you get when you mix 100 mls of arrogance, belligerence, cruelty and narcissism (you can find it in a packet mix at a house that’s painted white; it’s a free gift upon entry) with 200 mls of stupidity and add half a litre of moronic followers. I’ve got some here in my Thermos. Want a try?
    Water: Um, I think I’ll just go back to cheap seat now and sit in a lap. You’re a little scary.
    Gear: So are you without your mask.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “That thing in your eye is hope”…. might you have a little extra for me? I just spent twelve soul-crushing minutes on Twitter and am feeling low. Fortunately my cat stepped on the keyboard and ended the session, else I’d be there still. If you have no hope to share, a martini will do.
    Your work is much appreciated, good sir. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Twelve minutes? Well, you’ve beaten my longevity record. I usually hop in and right back out, staying only long enough to respond to any notifications. Although I post a lot, 99% of those posts come from WordPress. It’s just TOO MUCH information and I never know what I’m doing. I hope you can recover from your extended expedition, and I certainly feel your pain. (Martinis are on standby chill, should they still be needed.)

      Liked by 1 person

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