Back in December I took a quick trip to Gulfport, Mississippi to visit my three friends who moved down there a few years ago, and that trip became a two-part column. I had no idea that by the end of January one of my friends, Gary, would unexpectedly pass away from a heart attack. On the first of March I flew down for a six-night visit with my two remaining friends, and while this might not sound much like the start of a humor column, just as my visit was in remembrance of Gary, so too is this two-part Pretzel Logic look at Dave doing Dixie dedicated to him.
I'm Dave, Fly Me
I traveled to Gulfport from Chicago, by way of Memphis, on Northwest Airlines, instead of taking the train, which is my usual method of travel. If I keep on doing all this flying, someday Amtrak's going to put a contract out on me if I'm not careful.
At Least They Didn't Use Chewing Gum To Hold The Engines On - I Think
The four strips of black duct tape used to hold the airplane's air conditioning grill to the cabin's ceiling was a lovely decorative touch.
There's a 'Jim Neely's Interstate Bar-B-Que' in the Memphis airport.
I Wonder If They Also Sell A T-Shirt Of Johnny Cash Holding A Maltese Falcon In Casablanca
The Rock & Soul Museum Store, also in the Memphis airport, sold a 'Man in Black' T-shirt that bore an image that looked an awful lot like a young Humphrey Bogart with a cigarette and a guitar.
I Got Stuck By The Store's Stinky Stax Stock
I liked this red 'Stax Records' T-shirt at the Stax Records store at the airport, but they only had them in small. The lady working there was not very encouraging when I asked if they might get in more mediums and larges by the next week ( since I wanted to get one during the layover on my flight back ) .
Lucky Me, My Seat Was 22-B
Right before boarding time for the flight from Memphis to Gulfport one of the Northwest Airline workers made an announcement that because the airline had unexpectedly changed the type of plane for this particular flight, they would be seating passengers in only the first 21 rows because that's all the rows the plane had, and they would try to make alternate plans for anyone without a seat.
Is This Any Way To Run An Airline?
For some odd reason it was about this time I began to think of them as 'Northworst Airlines.'
I Was Beginning To Think Amtrak Arranged This To Get Even With Me For Not Taking The Train Any More
After seating the passengers with tickets for the first 21 rows, Northwest allowed those of us remaining to get on the plane to try to find a vacant seat.
Yeah, Sorry About That Bud, But Heidi Klum Gave Me Her Ticket
I found the last available seat on the plane, a window seat that was hard to get to because a beefy, long-legged straight guy was in the aisle seat. He had placed his newspaper and some other stuff on it as if it was being reserved. I asked if anyone was sitting there, and he reluctantly said no, cleared his stuff off of it, scrunched his legs up and let me get over. Right after I sat down he joked 'To be honest, I was hoping a supermodel would be sitting next to me.'
I Was Right, Amtrak Is After Me!
One evening early in my trip my friend Mike and I were driving back to his house when we drove over a railroad crossing, that, because of the configuration of the track and the road, hid the fact that there was a freight train a few hundred feet down the track coming right at us. We did not see or hear anything until we were on the tracks and the train's headlight shined on us and the train hit its horn, and did I mention that this particular railroad crossing had no flashing lights or warning gates at all?
…Oh Good, Let's Give Them A Second Crack At It, Shall We?
My heart was still racing when we turned the corner, went about a quarter of a block or so and came to another railroad crossing, and I said…
If you have had your own awful airline experiences with Northworst Airlines, or if you have ever sat in a plane next to a supermodel, you can e-mail me at PretzelLogicDave@aol.com to tell me about it.
And I'd give anything to get an e-mail from my friend Gary just one more time.