My wife, younger daughter and I are flying to the Cayman Islands for a week in the sun. Our flight connects through Miami, so we decided to fly down with Uncle Slappy and Aunt Sylvie.
I got up early, 3:53 to be exact. Like my father before me (and, of course, like Uncle Slappy) I am a lousy traveler--neurotic about missing flights. Uncle Slappy was up in the kitchen drinking his coffee when I walked in just before 4.
"You slept in," the old man taunted.
"Morning Uncle Slappy. Can I make you an egg, some oatmeal?"
"Has the Times come yet?" Slappy asked.
Uncle Slappy has been staying with me since mid-December. He knows the paper doesn't arrive till around 8 on weekends.
"I thought maybe you told the girl we were leaving early and early she could come one day it wouldn't kill her."
"The Journal is here," I told him.
"Fascists." He muttered.
The ride to the airport wasn't any better. There were five of us so I had to hail a mini-van taxi so we could all fit. After waving a few cabs off, I got a creaky old Toyota Sienna.
My wife and daughter piled into the far back seat and I helped Sylvie and then Slappy into the car.
"It's like climbing Kilimanjaro," the old man said as he moaned into his seat.
It was a lot to take at 5:15 in the morning, fortunately he was quiet the rest of the way.
We checked in at Business Class, my wife being Executive Sapphire Diamond Platinum Elite, and Uncle Slappy as is his wont, kibbitzed with the woman behind the counter.
"Sir," she asked "would you prefer a window or an aisle?"
"I hope I'm flying a wide body," he answered. "And I'd like a seat near the stewardess."
The woman behind the counter ignored him, which was fine by me and Sylvie.
The flight took off and went off without incident.
After two weeks in New York we said goodbye to Slappy and Sylvie when we arrived in Miami. Cousin Dot was there to greet them at the gate.
"How was he," Dot took me aside to ask me.
"Same old Uncle Slappy," I answered.
We said in unison, "Thank god."