Opinion: Laughing matters about vacation


The Wolfsies recently returned from a wonderful vacation in Mexico, where we visited with my wife Mary Ellen’s brother, Tom, and his new bride, Cori. I have been trying to learn Spanish with an app called Duo Lingo. When airline safety instructions were given in Spanish, Mary Ellen asked me to translate. The only thing I am sure the flight attendant said was “Thanks for flying American,” because that part was in English. Here are a few other funny things that happened on our journey:

At the Indianapolis airport, most passengers must take off their shoes before going through security. I am exempt from this requirement because I am over 75 years old. The restriction is lifted for super seniors because if I did have something dangerous stashed in my shoe, it would take me about 20 minutes just to bend over in my seat and extricate the contraband from my sneakers.

After passing airport security, we gathered our belongings from the rubber trays provided for items like cellphones, belts and wallets so they can move through the X-ray machine. At the beginning of the line, someone had taken off their shoes but neglected to place them on the conveyor belt. They had been left on the airport floor. Somewhere, someone was walking around barefoot. By the way, my wife has lovely feet, and now everyone about to head for Gate 32A knew it.

During the flight, a mother and baby were seated in the seat across the aisle. The baby never stopped screaming. When the flight landed, the mom apologized and said air travel made the baby’s ears hurt. “Yes,” I said, “that is exactly how I felt during the last two hours.”

In Mexico one evening, Mary Ellen commented to her brother how beautiful the songbird sounded warbling in the nearby park. But it was the burglar alarm of Tom’s car that had accidentally been set off when he exited his vehicle (note: Mary Ellen never does spacey stuff like this, but this did make the vacation so much more fun for me).

The streets in Puebla were rocky, and Mary Elen told me that if I wasn’t careful, I’d eventually trip. She was right. After stumbling for the seventh time, I took a nasty fall on the uneven street. I glared at my wife.

“Why are you upset with me?” she asked. “I told you that if you didn’t walk carefully, you were going to eventually trip and fall.”

“Yes, but you didn’t tell me which time.”

On the final night, we all went out to dinner with Cori’s immediate family.Cori’s mother leaned over and offered a few thoughts in Spanish. I did the same in English. I have no idea what she said, and she had no idea what I said, but I’m pretty sure we were both sharing how happy we were to all be together.