Yes, I’m bored, and you guys are a captive audience, so here goes.
Here I sit in O’Hare, waiting for my flight to board. Cleared TSA in IND with no problems, though the boarding agent advised me to inform TSA when I got to the gate that I had checked a firearm. They were very polite and professional. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop…but so far, it hasn’t.
The flight attendant (Excuse me, stewardess..) was the very picture of Nordic beauty – short blonde hair, ice-blue eyes, and a truly incredible pair of legs. I thought this would bode well for the short journey ahead. Alas, it was not to be.
My neighbor turned out to be a short, rotund Indian (dot, not feather) woman who smelled strongly of mothballs, anise, and foot funk with a touch of ass for flavor. She had her iPod earbuds jammed deep into her ears, though I could still occasionally catch a few bars of what I imagined to be badly played sitar (OK, allow me the literary license here ).
The source of the foot funk was immediately revealed as soon as she sat down: Her ratty old Air Gandhis looked like they had spent the last 15 years pulling a manure cart through a dusty Punjabi street. Apparently the bacteria, fungus, or both that were responsible for the pungent aroma are also pruritic: She pulled off the stinking shoes and began digging between her big ashy Third-World toes with her yellowed eagle claws.
My eyes began to water. The miasma was absolutely unreal – I have smelled some repulsive things in my short life, and this is definitely in the top five. (I’d have to rate it somewhere in the neighborhood of a festering corpse in a car in July, and just above 2-mercaptoethanol.)
The digging and scratching continued for the next forty minutes almost nonstop. One would think she had to be reaching live tissue by the time we landed in O’Hare. I stole a glance every now and then to see if there might be freshets of blood I’d need to dodge, but the debridement didn’t reach that stage by the time we landed.
It’s been over an hour since I got off that plane, and I can still taste Punjabi Festerfoot in the back of my throat. I’m going to go find a friendly A&P and see if he’ll lend me a cup of Jet-A to gargle.