Multi-Generational Travel…

My mom is not one to complain, but when she couldn’t make her earphones work for the seatback entertainment system on the American Airlines ride home from Miami – LA, I tried to plug them in for her.

“You know, deah,” she said mildly, “I DO know how to plug in a set of headphones.”

I know, Mummy, but let me try anyway.

Bugger these things, it’s not going in.  What th’,,,  oh, heck, someone had plugged theirs in and broken the plug off while still inserted.  There was no listening to the audio on that bad boy.

“Nevah mind, deah.  I didn’t listen to the sound on the way out, eithah.”

After offering and being refused my iPad, she alternated reading and watching the updated Aladdin as a silent movie.

It gave me flashbacks to when I was a teenager flying from London to LA solo and unable to afford the headset (an unreachable $3 charge in those days) so I’d lipread.  At times difficult, but Lois Lane realizing Clark’s true identity was an easy one:

“You’re Superman!”

“I know.”


“I know.”

Fluttering eyelids.  “I…I…love you…”

“I know.”

Blondie (daughter) and The Boy (son) were also on the flight, but in different parts of the plane – we met up after we got off.  Turns out Blondie had similar problems with her audio, but she said something to the (male) flight attendant.

But that’s okay, she said, in her typical happy fashion.  “I plugged it into my phone so it all worked and he brought me a rum and coke to make up for it.”

Granny/Mummy stopped in her tracks.  “I beg yer pahdon?”

“Oh,” said Blondie, smiling brightly and flipping her long hair to one side, “I told the guy my audio wasn’t working and he offered to bring me food.  I said no, I wasn’t hungry, and he offered me something from the bar.”

Mummy, who’s rather partial to her gin and tonic in the evenings, saw her preprandial float past her eyes.  “He…gave you a drink?”

Blondie tilted her head.  “Well, sorta.  Yes.  Then later he came back and asked how I was doing and I said the audio was still broken so he brought me another.”

Mummy’s already rather slim lips disappeared altogether.


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