I Thought You Were a Chair

Stone Temple Pilots – rock band

I’ve told this story numerous times, to many people and it always gets a good laugh. So I decided to share it here with a larger audience.  After all, everyone loves a good story.

Several years ago my husband and I were taking an early flight out of CVG [for those not familiar with the area, greater Cincinnati is served by an international airport in Northern Kentucky,  Boone County to be exact.  And to add a side bar to this anomaly, it is widely held that Kenton County actually owns and controls the airport, via the Kenton County Airport Board . It is complicated.  To learn more click here.]  But I digress.

The story actually has nothing to do with the airport per say, but the long term parking lot where we were being picked up by the shuttle around  5 am on a dark winter morning.  The shuttle pulls up to where we are, the doors flip open and the driver comes out, grabs my large roll up suitcase and hefts it on board. I proceed to climb onto the bus behind him.  The first step is steep and it is dark so I instinctively grab the rail on my left, gripping it tightly as I hike my right leg high enough to clear the step. I pull myself up and there I am, standing on the bus, my hand still gripping, not a black upholstered arm rest, but the black leather clad arm of a very good looking young man.  Embarrassed I pull back like I’ve been burnt and blurt out. “Sorry, I thought you were a chair.”  That is exactly what I said.  The guy laughs and says, “I’m glad I could be of service.”

So I hurriedly move to the back of the short bus, taking the seat furthest from this genial smiling man who could have been my son. Joe boards, knowing nothing of my faux pas and joins me in the back. As the bus makes its way through the parking lot and then on towards the airport, I realize that the man who served as my “chair” is part of a larger group of young men, who are all wearing black jackets and pants. One has on chunky glasses; another has spiky hair and various piercings, and the presence of several guitar cases and some another musical instrument case, leads me to surmise that they are a band, heading for their next gig.

 Mr. Chair is still smiling and I feel a chuckle welling up from my belly, which I quickly stifle.  My mirth is brought on by the thought that twenty years earlier, when I still had hormone surges, I would have felt humiliated at what I had done. I would have blushed and been unable to look at the guy I had groped, feeling sure that he thought I was a shameless flirt.  And at the same time I would have felt slightly giddy, hoping Mr. Chair would flirt back. Just the tiniest bit would have sufficed.

But what really happened is a nice polite young man, who is about the age of my son, is smiling because he is probably  thinking, “That old lady back there is crazy. Harmless, but crazy. Like my Grandma.”   And so he would have been correct.

At the terminal, we each depart the bus and no pleasantries are exchanged.  Looking back I wish I would have talked to at least one of these guys, asked him where they were headed and what kind of music they played.  But alas I’ll never know. I can fantasize about the whole event, though. I could tell people that I rode the shuttle with  a very famous alternative rock group, like Stone Temple Pilots, or Counting Crows.  That I actually was helped onto the bus by the lead singer. That they talked to me and said they were heading to Seattle to do a live show.  But the truth is, I would not have even recognized them if they were  celebrities. So  I’ll never know.

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