Three more phone calls or “It tolls for thee”

He did it. My dad bought plane tickets to visit us. He was trying to use Travelocity, and having trouble with the whole concept of shopping online. His computer illiteracy didn’t help either. I thought he’d give up,but he didn’t. He found the last working travel agent in the modern world and she got the tickets for him.

But first he called me. “I went to the travel agent who helped me last time,” he said. “Here are the flights. The first one gets in at 8:50 at night. This way your husband won’t have to leave work early to pick me up.”

“Yeah, but he’s going to have to stay very late. On a Friday.”

“Oh, that’s not good? I’ll have to go back to the travel agent.”

“Didn’t she give you choices of flights? That’s what they’re supposed to do.”

“Well, yeah, she gave me choices but I ignored her.” Nice.  “I’ll have to go back and see if they have an earlier flight.”

“I’m sure there’s something,” I said.

“There are only a couple of nonstops,” he said.

The next day, he called again. We couldn’t find the phone to answer it, so he left a message, “I just wanted to tell you that I bought the tickets. Call me back if you get this.”

Once we found the phone, I called. “Ok, so what are your flights?”

“Ok, I’m flying in at 11 a.m. Friday. So can your husband leave work early to pick me up?”

Sh&*%.“Umm, no, that’s a little too early. I’ll have to come get you.”

“Oh. I didn’t know that.”

“My husband works until five,” I said. “We said that last time. It’s ok. I can pick you up.”

“You sure?”

Well, you’d never crack that wallet open to pay for a cab, so what do you think, I’d let you hang out at the airport all day?  Wallet? Come to think of it, he’d probably be wearing a money belt, afraid he’d get robbed. “Yes, I’m sure.”

“I didn’t get an aisle seat. The travel agent told me I should try to change my seat at the counter. I hope they’ll have an aisle seat.”

“Don’t worry. They’ll take one look at you all bent over and they’ll give you any seat you want.”

“Yeah, maybe they’ll give me the bulkhead. That was nice last time.”

“I’m sure it was.” He’s a crotchety old man and he gets treated better than we do on planes.

“I have to get to the airport early that day,” he said. “My flight’s at 8:15. I have to get up early to get there.”

He’ll have to make a two-hour (for a normal driver) drive from the suburbs through New York City on a weekday, so he can get to the airport at 6 a.m. The way he pokes along, it will take him at least three hours, and rush hour will be just starting as he gets close to the airport. Plus, he’s going to have to get up at 3 a.m. He already complains every time he has to wake up before nine. We’ll see if he even gets on the plane. If he does, I’m betting it hits turbulence, his two shattered vertebrae start to hurt, and he sues the airline. That’ll mean another settlement.

He says the settlement’s what’s enabling him to buy plane tickets. So another settlement means another visit. Great. I’m already dreading this one.