Day One - Round One
It was Saturday, October 6th in the year of our Lord, 2007. A beautiful and mild day for flying I thought to myself as I peered out the glass door at Tony and the boy loading my colassal pieces of luggage into the bed of the pick-em-up truck.
I tried and tried to whittle down the amount of crap I had packed up. Deleting various pairs of shoes and casual clothes by the handful. My Mother swore that she was going to get all of her stuff packed into one reasonably size suitcase the night before when she was packing.
I thought to myself, I'll be damned if she gets all her shit shoved into one "reasonably sized" bag and I can't. But I couldn't and I was at the point of accepting my defeat when we left the house to go pick her up.
As we pulled down the drive way, my uncle was helping her roll her reasonably sized bag out of the garage, followed by yet another bag nearly the same size as her reasonably sized bag. Hmmmm. Defeat? Me thinks not. Get 'em hoisted and let's go. The sunny skies are waiting on us.
We took off for McGee Tyson airport here in beautiful Alcoa, Tennessee. Tony helped up get the bags out of the bed of the truck and almost dropped a nut trying to get her suitcase out.
"A little heavy there, huh?" I asked him, whilst cackling at her.
"Just a little." He said. Shaking his head that I can be so snide and yet so loving at the same time.
We gave each other some seriously tight hugs and sweet kisses and I went on in to check in our stuff.
"Name and identification, please." The robotic sounding lady at the American Airlines counter blurted out.
"Well, ok. Gotta dig it out." I said as I start shuffling through my carry-on bag looking for my passport.
"Ah. There it is!" I say proudly, as my digging expedition proved I hadn't forgotten my passport. I lay it on the counter in front of her.
"Very good. Will you be checking any thing through today?" as she peers over the counter at the obviously over stuffed luggage at my feet.
"Mmmm, yah. These two." I rolled my eyes as I lifted them onto the scale.
"Ok, they are checked all the way through to Frankfurt. Have a nice trip."
Sweet! Phase one of the objective was complete. Mom's turn.
"Name and identification, please." Robot lady says to her.
Mom handed her passport over and started lugging her bag up onto the scale.
"Oh my." Says robot lady. "It appears we have a problem. This first bag is nearly 17 pounds over the limit. You can try to redistribute it, or you can pay the $50.00 over weight fee." (Have photographic proof of overpacking. Sorry mom, you knew I'd use it).
In typical JLamb fashion my mother overpacked for real. And Tony said my bag was way heavier than hers, hmph. I wasn't the one sitting in front of the check in counter redistributing 67 pounds of crap to meet the weight limit. Hahahaha.
"Gonna fit it all into one bag are we?" I say to her as I cackle a little more at her packing defeat.
She shoots me the most evil of all evil looks and says, "I can fix it."
She unzips the offending suitcase and proceeds to pull out a fat bag of hair products, a Bible, several books.
"Sweet Jesus, Mom." I ask in amazement. "How the hell did you get all that in there to begin with?"
"Can you please put some of these in your carry-on and I'll put the rest of it in my other bag?"
"Yah, yah, yah." I babble as I shove her books and other random small items into my bag. I decided rather than start her off pissed, I'd shut up and pick another battle later.
There's nothing better than messing with my Mom. I don't do it to be mean to her. I just find it to be the most entertaining activity around these days.
"Let's see if that does it." She says as she pushes the suitcase back up on the scale.
"Just made it." Robot lady said, actually cracking a smile. "Have a nice trip, Mrs. Lamb." She said as she handed mom's boarding pass over the counter.
Mom couldn't say anything, she just smiled back as we walked toward the secure area.
"Damn, mom." I said with sincere realization. "I really think I should go chain smoke for a few minutes since it's gonna really suck once I cross that security line."
She showed her compassion and said, "Ok. Let's go outside."
She sat there in the waiting area while I chain smoked a couple of cigarrettes and got enough of a ciggie buzz to border on a headache.
"Let's go, Mama." I said as I walked back up to her.
With that, we were off toward security check point.
"Oh shit!" I whined.
"What now?" She asked me.
"They're gonna take my lighter. I just bought that lighter."
"You can buy a new one when we get there." She said.
"Fine." I took the lighter out and pitched it in the lighter collector jail they had set up.
So, we made it through security and we were on our way. Quite an eventful afternoon and we hadn't even left Knoxville yet.
Day One - Round One