Wednesday, March 6, 2013

And then I almost died in the fire lane at Newark Airport.

So it’s possible that I watch too many crime dramas. Or that I’m within the margins of clinically insane. But if you ask me, I’m pretty sure last night I was this close to being murdered in the middle of the night at Newark International Airport.

Let me explain.

First of all, something you should know about me is that I have a growing number of people who have sworn never to travel with me ever again. But not for reasons you might think, like that I’m completely high maintenance or a total drag and no fun. It’s because nearly every time I travel, it’s like someone’s filming a low budget “Punk’d” episode, except Ashton Kutcher never comes out at the end with his Tom Hardy hat on sideways and lovingly hugs me while I tell him how much I’m gonna’ get him back for this.

Instead, you just end up feeling a little weird about life in general for a  few days after your return from said Trip With Becky and wonder why I ever leave the tri-state area at all.

And while last night’s experience wasn’t the worst I’ve ever had, there was definitely a moment where I thought “it’s possible I might get hacked up into little pieces and/or have my face eaten off by a copycat Cannibal Cop. Better email work and tell them I might be late.”

So after boarding the plane and then sitting on the tarmac for an hour while a baby cried next to me in a really soothing tone, I completely settled into that super relaxed feeling I’d had earlier on the beaches of Miami.

Also, when I say “super relaxed feeling,” it’s possible I mean that I sat on the beach after all of my meetings and returned work emails while the tops of my feet and hands burned because nobody EVER remembers to put sun block on those parts of their bodies, right?

Anyway, once the plane finally took off, I closed my eyes, moved my seat back a quarter of an inch, and then got into a passive-aggressive kick-war with the guy behind me who clearly did not appreciate the fact that I moved my seat back just enough so that my face wasn’t squarely planted in the seatback of the person in front of me.

Ahhh, air travel.

So just as it was safe to use my portable electronic device again, an announcement came over the loud speaker asking if there were any physicians on the flight, and if so, could they please ring their call button?

Uh oh.

Obviously, everyone immediately turned to see what all the excitement was about, which isn’t as easy as one might think when you’re buckled down in an airplane. So basically what I saw was a lot of nervous flight attendants running up and down the aisle, some even more nervous passengers, and a bunch of people motioning to the guy laying unconscious on the floor.

So, naturally, I turned back around, put my headphones on, and turned the music up.

What? I’m not a medic!

Anyway, fast forward three hours to when we landed (and yes, he was fine and walked himself off the plane with an actual medic, so I was right not to worry, guys) and it was nearly one in the morning. I’d been up for 19 hours and really ready to get home, so when the car service I always use for business trips arrived within five minutes of my call, I was feeling pret-ty good that sleep wasn’t far away.

Until I got into the car.

Me: Hi there.
Driver: Hi. Can I ask you a question, if you don’t mind?
Me: Uh….sure?
Driver: Do you have any cash on you?


Me: What?
Driver: Do you have any cash? I need fifteen dollars for the tolls.
Me: Uh… wait, what tolls? There aren’t any tolls between here and Hoboken.
Driver: Yes, but I don’t have any cash on me, I left it all in my other coat at home. I know exactly where I left all of the money, too.
Me: Oh, I’ve totally done that, that’s so annoying!
Driver: So if you could please give me fifteen dollars, I won’t charge you for the tolls.
Me: Um….I’m not sure I understand. There aren’t any tolls. And also, I don’t get charged for this, my company does. I never see the bill…….and, again, there aren’t any tolls.
Driver: Yes, but I don’t have any money.
Me, shuffling through my bag now, shaking, worrying that I’m about to die in some weird $15 hit: I only have four dollars. Is that good?
Driver: You don’t have any more money? I twenty, perhaps?

Jeez, dude, I don’t have $20! Take no for an answer! Also, please don’t murder me.

Me: I swear, this is all I have.
Driver: Ohhhhh, no, no, no……
Me, panic-sweating: What?
Driver: I cannot take you home.
Me, barely keeping it together, just in case there were cameras around and I was on national television: Wait, why? There aren’t any tolls!
Driver: I don’t have any money.
Me: Ok, but there is an ATM inside. You could get money there.
Driver: No, I can’t do that.
Me: Um….ok, you know what? I’m going to call the car service again and have someone else come get me. I’m really sorry I don’t have fifteen dollars.
Driver: No, no, I’ll call them, you just sit there.

"Please don't chop me up. I really
don't have $15."
And so he did. And so I did. And also, I started going through all of the things I still had yet to do in my life that now I’ll never get the opportunity to do because I’m about to become the latest cold case on “Dateline.”

Fast forward to ten minutes later, when I’m panic-emailing my boss about what is happening JUST IN CASE I DIE. 

Me, nervously: So is the other driver coming soon?
Driver: Yes, he’s 6 minutes away.

Um, there’s no way you know that, dude. Please don’t murder me.

Me: I’m really sorry, again, that I don’t have fifteen dollars.
Driver: Me too.

I’m going to die.

But just then, the other driver arrived, I hopped out of the murderer’s car and into the other one, closing the door without even saying a word.

New, non-murderous driver: What just happened?
Me: I have no idea. He needed money and asked me for fifteen dollars-
NNMD: He asked you for money???
Me: Yes
NNMD: For what??
Me: I’m not sure? He said it was for tolls, but there aren’t any tolls between here and Hoboken. So maybe for gas?
NNMD: No, they give us gas cards.
Me: Um…..I don’t know. But he really wanted fifteen dollars.
NNMD: I’m so sorry he asked you that, that should never have happened.
Me: It’s ok. I’m just glad I didn’t die.
NNMD: What?
Me: Oh, haha, no, I’m just kidding.
NNMD: Well, you never know who you’re getting into the car with.
Me, nervously: Haha, yeah, I guess that’s true……

And then I think I passed out from the anxiety and woke up in Hoboken, safe and sound with four dollars in my wallet and all of my limbs and face still attached.

Welcome to my life.

Happy Wednesday!  

PS As some of you know, Stories About My Underpants got voted one of the Top 25 Humor Blogs on SkinnyScoop – thank you! But now I have to choose a post that best exemplifies this blog.

Some of you have given me your feedback on the blog’s Facebookpage  - and keep ‘em coming! – but I need more! Right now it seems to be between the one where I sang that Two Princes song to the boy I liked in high school, the Valentine’s Day post, or that one where I got all of my underpants stolen.

What do you think? 


  1. Holy crap!! So glad you didn't die! Once I got into a taxi with no door handles in the back and was convinced I was going to die, but luckily that didn't happen. Obviously.

    1. Oh jeez, that seems worse! Glad we both didn't die. :-)

  2. I'm sorry I laughed out loud at the cute picture of you that said "please don't chop me up, I really don't have $15". How do you make that funny? :)

  3. OMG hilarious. We flew into JFK from Charleston on Sunday and waited 45 minutes for a taxi...I thought there was going to be a riot. But, that was just an annoyance - not a scary moment like you had!!! Eeek. I'm glad you're okay :)

    1. Yeah, welcome to New York! Annoyance often gets mistaken for rioting here, it's just because everyone's angry and cold. :-)

  4. You have a real gift for writing, I really look forward to your blog every day!!!

    Carol D.

    1. Oh thank you so much, I'm flattered!! Thank you for reading. :-) I look forward to WRITING for you every (other) day!

  5. Too funny! So glad you didn't get chopped up!!

  6. Glad you made it home alive!! Once I forgot my purse in a cab in Mexico. I basically had to give this guy all my stuff just to track down my passport!

    And, my bookmark for your page always brings me to a day in Dec., when you explained glitter to a colleague. I haven't changed it because it always makes me laugh! Every. Time.

    1. Oh, I forgot about that one!!!! Thanks for the reminder! (and it's awesome that you have me bookmarked!) :-)

      Thanks for reading!

  7. Oh, Becky! I'm so glad you're not dead! What a weird, effed up situation! I once had a friend tell me to always carry $40 in my purse. That way, if I get mugged, it's a reasonable amount - not a low enough amount to piss them off, but not a high enough amount that I need to die because I can't pay my rent. I do this, and have yet to be mugged. I feel like it's insurance. I also do my best to blend in. At least, that's what I tell my friends who ask why I'm not more fashionable.

    A side note: Becky - totally sunscreen the back of your hands! A wise and vain woman (my great grandmother) once told me that your hands are the first things to show your age, and wearing sunscreen on them every day is the best way to keep you looking young. So I totally do that. And you should, too!

    Also - funniest blog... hmm. I don't know. I'm really going to have to think about that one!

    1. Haha I love that you have a mugging plan - I might just have to start doing that!

      also, I know, right? Totally forgot! And I agree with your great grandmother. This is why I've always focused a lot of attention to taking care of my neck. I know that sounds weird, but you see all of these women who have spent so much on plastic surgery on their face, meanwhile, their necks give their age away in a heartbeat. So when I lotion my face, I lotion my neck.

      Thanks for the tip! I'll remember for next time! :-)

  8. The first time I went to the North Texas Irish Festival, which is held at a large fairgrounds in a slightly seedy part of Dallas, I asked the hotel clerk for the number for a cab company, because I was going to need to go directly to the airport after the festival. She gave me a number to what turned out to be some random guy who I guess ran a car service--the first clue should have been that he answered his (supposedly business) phone, "Hello", and not "so-and-so's car service" or whatever. He asked me where I needed to be picked up, and since it's a really big fairgrounds I named the only intersection I knew, which is at the very outskirts of the venue, and fairly far from where the actual festival was, like maybe the equivalent of a couple of blocks. So, I walked, by myself, in the dark, to this somewhat isolated area where no one would have been able to hear me if I screamed, and stood and waited for random car guy to pick me up. Which he did, in a totally unmarked car that I think was just his personal vehicle. Now, to my credit, as I was getting into the car, I did have the presence of mind to realize how stupid and dangerous it was, but I really needed to get to the airport, so I basically just crossed my fingers and hoped he wasn't a murderer and/or rapist. Which he wasn't (or at least not that night!) To this day I'm amazed at what an idiot I was.