Yet another Southwest thriller


On Saturday, I flew back to Colorado.  I’ll be with my family through Christmas, and then fly back to Nashville for another week – because apparently, I enjoy being a geographical ping-pong ball.

I flew Southwest (like I always do), fell asleep the minute I boarded (like I always do), and slept for the first 60 minutes of the flight (like I always do).  When I woke up in my aisle seat, I noticed the middle aged couple sitting to my right.

They were well-dressed, albeit in a gaudy sort of way – he in fancy cowboy boots, she in a leopard-print shirt and a lot of gold jewelry.  Her hair was meticulously highlighted, which I noticed because she tossed it a lot.  They were loud and spirited and obnoxiously physically affectionate, drinking airline cocktails from plastic cups as they canoodled.  It didn’t take long before I couldn’t take it any more, so I pulled out my laptop, put on my headphones, and started watching a movie with scenes that I secretly hoped would make them uncomfortable: “Alive.”

When all else fails, subject your neighbors to true stories of flesh-eating survival.

Suddenly, the woman made a grand sweeping motion with her hand, and her open bottle of Finlandia cartwheeled off the seat tray and into her lap.

What happened next was immediate.

Her feet remained firmly planted on the floor, and her shoulders pressed to the back of her seat, but her hips?  It was as if some invisible cosmic god reached down, grabbed her by the belt loops, and yanked: the woman’s pelvis thrust straight into the air.

“I am soaking!  It’s everywhere!  It’s all over my seat!” she shrieked.  And then some choice expletives.

And because compassion for the crazy can be a challenge, I stared straight ahead, willing the corners of my mouth to stay still, stifling laughter.

From the corner of my eye, I watched the man use the little Southwest napkins to clean up the vodka from her seat.  This was easy because her pelvis remained skyward – one of the more gauche things I’ve ever witnessed.

But just when I thought things could not get more awkward, the man began to use the napkins to dab up the front of her jeans.

And as soon as I thought up the phrase “crotch blotter,” I knew I had to write this one down.



  1. Carolina Linthead on December 20, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    *wipes spewed coffee from computer monitor* Thanks, Annie! Love your pic under “Find Me on Facebook,” by the way…lucky reindeer.

  2. Sherry on December 20, 2010 at 11:21 AM

    And… you’ve done it again! MADE MY DAY.

  3. Greta on December 20, 2010 at 11:47 AM


    I love your stories.

    And, duh, love you. You are so the opposite of a crotch blotter. You’re like… a sock soaker. THAT’s how opposite.

  4. Riley McCormick on December 20, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    lovely use of the word “gauche”.

  5. Alissa on December 21, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    Um, I just came back to read this for the second day in a row. The title alone is enough to start me giggling. Cheers!

  6. […] scenes.  That’s what I have in my head after reading Yet Another Southwest Thriller, a short story by Annie Parsons,  I would say my reading comprehension skills are […]

  7. Jon Griffith on December 21, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    I uh…just re-read your story and realized how different what I read was from what you wrote…


  8. Lyla Durham on December 21, 2010 at 11:21 PM

    3 weeks of blog posts to catch up on and boy did I choose a good day to do it. No way would I have kept a straight face. I would have burst out laughing even at risk of getting punched in the nose.

  9. JJ on December 22, 2010 at 6:30 PM

    “Compassion for the crazy can be a challenge…” Genius. And so SO true. Ask Lisa.

  10. wrecklessgirl on December 23, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    oh my heavenly days! ROFL :)

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