Previously on “Are we there yet?”
KM and I were driving to the beach for a week. The plan was to fly home six days later, leaving the rental car at the Panama City Beach Airport. That would be the rental car I had picked up in Memphis. Why Memphis? Because I could not find a flight to Little Rock on the date I needed. Why was I flying only one way? Cheap. Plus I had free vouchers for the rental car as well. Now if I could only find a two-for-one Amberjack dinner at The Back Porch, I’d have it made in the (beach umbrella) shade.
So we left KM’s car at the Memphis Airport and were driving the Nissan Altima down I-55 toward Jackson and Hattiesburg.
Everything pretty well went according to plan (except for the Bama game and a few untimely three-putts at Regatta Bay).
Then, as is always the case when I’m at Blue Mountain Beach, the time to return to reality came much too soon. So KM and I left around seven on departure Friday and headed to the airport, which was about 50 minutes away.
The guy at the Southwest check-in desk was nice, and told us he had lived for a time in Sheridan. But then he looked down at his screen and said, “That’s not good.” There are lots of things you don’t want to hear at an airport, and “That’s not good” comes in near the top of the list, just getting beat out by, “Sir, please step over here,” and, “She’s got a bomb!”
He said it looked like there might be some delays but to let him see what he could do. I asked if I had time to use the restroom and he kind of snickered, as if to say, “You have time to remodel a restroom pal.”
So I walked away, fully expecting the worst when I came back. But when I did, KM was smiling and the counter guy was, too, as he handed her our boarding passes.
“If that’s the result of flirting, keep up the good work,” I said to her.
“Cause I’m a wooooman!” she came back with a grin and a shimmy that still works well.
We made it through security, KM in the faster and easier TSA line (more flirting I figured) and me in the angry faces, no shoes, four busboy tubs, arms above your head line.
Fifteen minutes later, after getting everything back to where it was supposed to be, I found her drinking coffee and trying not to look too smug, but not really pulling it off.
We found some seats across from Gate 3, where it said the Southwest flight to Houston Hobby was departing at 9:50 and was “On Time.”
I drank my coffee, ate a turkey and Swiss on wheat, and looked at some of the pictures on my iPad I had taken during the last five days. They were of white sand and blue water, images that are the same every October but of which I never tire.
It was only 8:20, so we had plenty of time. I blame KM for that, who takes the “Arrive at the airport an hour and a half before departure” literally, which doesn’t make sense as she usually has a free pass through security.
I looked back down at my photo of the Heron standing in the surf and heard KM’s phone announce a text had come in.
“This isn’t good,” she told me, sounding like the check-in guy from Sheridan.
And it wasn’t good. Stay tuned.
Jay Edwards is editor-in-chief of the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist. Contact him at email@example.com.