Sunday, March 7, 2010

Legend in His Own Mind -1

May, 1980

Dear Lázaro,

Toilets! My first letter to you and I’m writing about toilets. Well about one toilet in particular but still…you know what I mean.

Here I am on my way to Hollywood to become a famous movie star; writing these letters to you in hopes that you will keep them because you know they’ll be worth a lot someday; and I start the very first one talking about a toilet.

You see what happens when you’re not with me!

I was on the plane for what seemed like an eternity. I had never been on a flight that long. Okay fine, I had never been on a flight. (I’m not counting the helicopter ride off the Pan Am building).

I managed to spill some food on myself. Those trays are very unmanageable and those seats are small. My knees were under my chin the entire time. And God forbid the person in front ever wanted to recline.

Anyway I went to the bathroom to check the damage to my pants. I didn’t want to make a terrible impression on Mother’s distant cousin who was going to pick me up. This wasn’t a bathroom. It was a Port-a-Potty with lights. An elevator was roomier.

Anyway I couldn’t see the stain very well because the mirror wasn’t full length. So I stood on top of the toilet to get a better view when the whole plane shifted. (I found out later that they call it an air pocket) It felt like the big lurch when the A train goes over the bridge to Rockaway. So I slipped and my foot got stuck in the toilet.

Now this isn’t a regular toilet either. This thing has a flap that opens up. I guess it goes out into the atmosphere. I don’t know but it scared me to death.

I’m pulling and pulling but my foot won’t budge. So then I see a little button that says stewardess. I figured it was like an alarm button on an elevator. So I went for it. Except I couldn’t reach it very well, stuck like I am with my foot in the toilet. So as I’m twisting around trying to hit this button another one of those nasty air pockets happens and my hand hits the flush button.

Suddenly the bottom of this toilet opens up and I see my foot being sucked down. I had this strange vision of landing in L.A. with my left leg hanging down from the plane. Very Flintstones. So I gave my leg a big yank and managed to pull my foot out. Unfortunately the shoe did not come back with it. I imagine it landed somewhere in Indiana. (I hope not on top of anyone).

Can you imagine? Cow killed by Unidentified Flying Oxford.

I walked back to my seat with a step and a thwap. A step and a thwap. And every thwap left a wet footprint on the carpet on the aisle.

I landed in L.A. with one shoe and one very wet sock. Needless to say my distant cousin has become a long distance cousin.

What an embarrassing beginning to a future illustrious career.

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