Sunday, October 23, 2005

BBQ Storytelling Moment Lost

In walking through the airport in Memphis Tennessee, I've learned several things. One is that there are about 125 gates in the entire airport. About right for a place like this. But, there are 150 BBQ restaurants in the airport. All open for business at 9am or earlier. Yee haw. WWED? What Would Elvis Do?

I ended up in Memphis after having been bumped from a flight out of Birmingham Saturday night. Oh, the joys of travel. Well, I ended up with a paid meal, hotel room and $300 worth of travel vouchers for "a future flight anywhere that Continental airlines flies." Ohh, the joy. Nothing but sirens and waiters in downtown Birmingham on Saturday night. But there is a story in here somewhere.

Oh, yes. While having my free dinner in the hotel restaurant I experienced a moment. A couple, in their mid 40's or in their mid-30's after too much cigarette smoking, came in for their honeymoon dinner. No kidding. Now, there is NO ONE in this restaurant at 930PM at night 'cept for three bored wait-staff and one zoned-out Arizona storyteller eating French Dip. The man was dressed in jeans, alligator boots, a tuxedo shirt, black suspenders, untied bow tie and a pack of unfiltered Camel cigarettes. She is in jeans, white blouse, black pumps, with a huge bouquet of handheld flowers and a full-length, head-to-toe lace bridal veil. Starting with a white tiara (sp?) and down to its lacey train dragging on the ground, she was the bride of the night. They took a seat around the corner from me.

You know, I almost walked over and gave them a wedding present of the story of the "Gold Ring." Simply put, a couple gets a ring upon their marriage with one wish in it. Only they are aware of its magic. Throughout their married life they encounter many difficulties but they never use the wish "just in case something worse happens." Working together, they survive every tragedy the encounter, never using the wish. They die and are buried together with the ring, their now grown children never knowing just how special the ring was but knowing completely how much their parents loved each other and them.

But, I didn't walk over to the new couple. He got up once to go outside to inhale a brush fire of unfiltered cigarette magic. When he came back in, I thought I would go offer but just couldn't get myself up to go to them. Wouldn't that had made a great story for their lives (or at least at their post-divorce party) about this nut who told them a story in a downtown restaurant when they got married?

I think this is one of the non-story storytelling moments I will always regret. I thought about it all the way back from Memphis to Phoenix.

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