To quote Colonel Kurtz in “Apocalypse Now” — “The Horror…the horror…”

(Mother-In-Law Visit, Part 1)

Peggy works for a living, so the middle-aged houseboy can live in the slacker-style of living that HE has grown accustomed to; after all – who in their respective RIGHT MIND would even CONSIDER for 11 continuously-running seconds hiring ME to do anything but clean the latrines, I wanna know?!

So The Slacker — or “Le Slacquer” to you French readers — is appointed with the fine task of picking up M-I-L at the airport; is it too early to commence to drinking? Off I go, hoping for the best but KNOWING for the worst. (Insert Cereal Break here)…

***

O.K. — I’m back; where the hell was I? Oh yeah — the airport run. At Peggy’s insistence, I go to the gate to meet her, which means I gotta beg the TSA hard-ons to let me through, because I’m not actually FLYING.

After the perfunctory cavity search (“Thanks, Dr. Feel-Good; now how ’bout dinner & a movie?”) by one of those crime-fighting elite, I pull my u-trou back up and head down to the gate.

Of course I’m an hour EARLY, since it would be CATASTROPHIC for me to let MIL wait for FIFTEEN SECONDS for me to arrive and usher her to Baggage Claim. Here she comes — last one off the plane, ushered in by a VERY COURTEOUS airline employee — those poor bastards really ARE overworked and underpaid!

She IMMEDIATELY advises me that we need to get to Baggage Claim — “Really Ma?!” I take over the wheelchair-pushing duties, after greasing the attendant — ’cause that’s what you DO if you’re from Jersey; hell, I learned to tip the crossing guard back in Kindergarten!

On we go, as I fight back the overwhelming desire to push this wheelchair through one of the Emergency Exits and out onto a runway (Whoops! I DID not THINK that!). As I get the unsolicited blow-by-blow on the flight, I’m thinking — “Two weeks, huh? Could be trouble — I only have SEVEN quarts of Jack Daniels in the liquor cabinet!”

We wait at the carousel, and as the bags jettison out of the “baggage bowels”, she points to EVERY OTHER BAG — I am NOT kidding — and says “That’s mine!” I scoop it off the carousel, bring it over, and “Oh, that’s NOT mine; sorry!” I’m getting the stinkeye from just about ever’one in short order.

Of COURSE, there’s ONE bag that doesn’t show up; given the sheer VOLUME of luggage that she brought for her two week stay (approximately as much as you might pack for a seven month safari into the depths of the Brazilian Rain Forest, for reference), it’s no surprise — they prolly had to dispatch another aeroplane just to carry it!

Now those of you who have had a piece of luggage “lost in transit” KNOW what THIS means — ANOTHER trip back to the airport SOMETIME in the next few days! Happy-happy Joy-joy! Anyway, we load up the FIVE massive antique Samsonite suitcases that DID show up (the EMPTY weight on these rascals has gotta be 30 pounds!) as I hope to myself that I have a big enough gratuity to tip the poor skinny Red Cap who is clearly regretting being the one we picked to help us. I hasten off to the parking lot to get my 13 year old SUV (that Mom absolutely HATES, BTW) and bring it ’round to curbside to load it up for the trip back to La Casa…

( to be continued)

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