I awoke to a flight attendant nudging at me, “Sir, we’ve landed in Miami. You can depart the plane now. Follow the other passengers over to baggage claim. Thank you for flying United,” she said with a smile. I grabbed my shoulder bag from the overhead storage and exited the plane. I still felt it around my right thigh. It wasn’t an annoying feeling. In fact, it kind of tickled. It was also a little itchy. No worries though. The beach babes await me.
I followed the queue towards our baggage claim area. As I walked down the corridor, I reflected upon the past 12 hours, trying to recall if I packed all that I needed for my 3-day weekend in the sun. The evening before my morning flight I was full of anxiety. I couldn’t sleep. Although I love traveling, it does make me nervous. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all about sunshine, beaches, bikinis, and fun. There’s just something about travel that worries me. When I’m away from home, I seem to be a magnet that attracts slapstick oddities with the most inappropriate timing and precision. I am a voyager geek. Regretfully, beautiful women are always witness to and sometimes participate in my embarrassments.
Back in Chicago, I had nearly missed my plane as I over slept. In such a rush, I grabbed a few pairs of assorted clothes, toiletries, and a couple miscellaneous items and tossed them into my case. There was no time to shave or shower. I threw on the baggy jeans I wore the night before and hurried out for the airport.
I was the last person to board the plane. Ten minutes after locating my seat we were airborne and I could feel that odd thing on my leg again. Was it alive? This time I felt it around my knee. It was a subtle feeling, nothing irritating at all. Diverting my attention, the guy next to me struck up a conversation. We chatted on and off for an hour. The remainder of the flight I dozed off and dreamed bikini dreams.
The queue stopped and passengers gathered around the baggage carousel. I maneuvered the area weaving in and out of people and located a hassle free place towards the back of the group to wait for my bags. Fidgeting with my watch, my eyes scanned the people. You really do see some odd characters at the airport. Speaking of “strange cats,” that weird feeling in my pants had moved again. It migrated over my shin. Was there a “trouser mouse” sniffing around in my pants?
It was at that moment I became pleasantly distracted. About 20 feet to my left side and up front of the carousel, was the most gorgeous black-haired Latina the world could ever produce. She stood about 5’ 7” tall in high heels and had delicious, golden brown, country mile legs. This beauty wore a one piece skin-tight dress to die for. It was a sleeveless pink mini and she was alone. We made eye contact as I slithered towards her. Game is on!
Wow! Those stunning dark eyes and supple pastel lips really got my blood going as I arrived next to her to say hello. This dazzling Latina blasted upon me an electrifying smile. For a moment, I could feel that “strange animal” in my pants slowly working its way down my lower leg towards my ankle. I couldn’t be concerned about that at the time. A spectacular lady had engrossed this single man and I was standing right next to her.
We introduced ourselves. Her name was Maria, an eye-catching extrovert and smokin’ hot. Her outgoing nature combined with her pleasant personality made it easy for me to open up. Although I was nervous in the presence of such beauty, we happily clicked. Maria was attracted to my dork appeal. My flirtatious gestures and light-hearted humor kept her smiling and giggling. She joked around and flirted back as she repeatedly brushed up against my arm.
Fleeting moments came and went as I felt something soft gathering at the end of my pant leg. There seemed to be more of it because that animal felt more pronounced now as if the creature was growing. It didn’t matter anymore and there was no logical reason to become distracted away from the radiance of Maria. The baggage claim game with Miss Mexico was hot and exciting, and my chips were all in for the big jackpot. The luggage started rolling out as we briefly played on.
Unfortunately, Maria’s case was one of the first to emerge. Feeling the sense of urgency and the confidence of Rico Suave, I stepped my right foot on to the edge of the carousel and leaned my elbow on my knee. It was a smooth, charming move and polished to the max. She reached for her luggage and snatched it, turning to me with an inviting grin. Just as I was going to ask her out for dinner, Maria noticed something protruding from my pant leg. “What’s that,” she inquired. I glanced down to see. There was something white peeking out from my cuff and it rest on top of my boot. I instantly recognized that elastic band. The loom of my fruit doom was upon me.
Before I could speak or react, Maria had already acted. She reached down and plucked out my infamous “trouser mouse”. With her thumb and index finger, she held up my dirty briefs from yesterday high in the air. All time and matter stood still. What does a guy do now? I froze, speechless and in awe. The worst was yet to come.
Yesterday’s burrito lunch had become last evening’s fart fest on my recliner. Maria jumped back when she observed the staining on the back side. She cursed out a violent rhythm of distressed Spanish words, then “ew,” as dozens of baggage claimants focused on us. As if the late great Frank Sinatra had entered upon a dark stage voiceless, a spotlight beamed upon my “Fruit of the Looms” in disturbing glory. Before I could pluck it, she dropped my soiled briefs on to the carousel in utter disgust. Now all my fellow passengers could marvel at my artistry, up close and personal, as it merrily went round and round the baggage claim carousel for all to see. The beautiful and disenchanted Latina bolted out of there in a heart beat.
Dazed and still unable to move, one by one the passengers grabbed their luggage, some snarling at me, until I was left there standing alone. Staring at the near empty carousel, a disillusioned “playah” from the Windy City gazed upon his white briefs parading lap after disgusting lap until he had a thrashing baggage claim epiphany. I never checked any bags.
Today when I hear the word phrase “baggage claim,” I no longer consider it the location at airports where passengers go to pick up their stored bags. For me, it’s the place where voyager geeks go to air out their dirty laundry!