The stories you are about to read are true. . .well, mostly. Not that I’d lie to you. A lot of the stuff did happen and some of the others might not have happened, but are in there due to artistic license to give you a better story. But I don’t want you to confuse the things that did happen with the things that did not happen. So if you find yourself scratching your head and wondering which is which, just take a deep breath, relax, and remember it’s just a story. . .except for the parts that aren’t.
Arizona. For some it conjures up pictures of sand and cacti. For others, an escape from winter weather. For me, Arizona always fills me with a certain sense of trepidation. For those of you new to this blog, I refer you to the previous three volumes of these tales which I call The Arizona Chronicles to help you better understand the anxiety I feel whenever I visit this state.
Several years ago, through an unfortunate series of events, I had the dubious distinction of meeting Arizona Mat, an “explorer” whose fame may not be great, but his ego certainly is. I also met Tall Square, his refrigerator shaped sidekick. And by sidekick, I mean arch-nemesis as the two of them were constantly at each other’s throats. Since I’ve met these two I’ve traveled to the top of Mount San Jacinto, helped track down a killer bent on Arizona Mat’s demise, and discovered the legendary Voodoo Blue (Woo woo!). Oh, great! Now I’m doing it.
Needless to say, whenever business brings me to Arizona, I always get a bit leery because, one way or another, Arizona Mat ALWAYS seems to find me and drag me into another series of misadventures. A year or so ago, I wrote a hit movie for the SyFy Network called Giraffealanche. The movie did so well that SyFy wanted me to write a sequel. I decided to join forces with a writer named David Sindelar who had written another SyFy Original, Armadillogeddon. We had written a crossover sequel for both of our franchises, Giraffealanche vs Armadillogeddon, and I was heading to Phoenix to iron out the last details of the contract.
I was certain that there was no way on Earth than Arizona Mat would find me this time around as I was traveling on Delta Airlines. SyFy was kind enough to pick up the tab for the flight and they were flying me down first class.
First class is the only way to travel. The perks began when I got to the airport as I had a dedicated line to check my luggage and I was able to check up to 3 bags for free. I also got to board the plane before anyone else and a found a pillow, blanket, and bottle of water waiting on a slightly larger than normal seat and I got two armrests.
As I made myself comfortable, the flight attendant asked if I’d like a beverage and I ordered a Bailey’s Irish Cream. I sipped my drink as I mused on how wonderful it would be to travel like this all the time. Even better, my flight was able to leave early and we must have had a powerful tailwind as the pilot announced that nearly 30 minutes would be cut from our flight. Not bad at all.
At 10,000 feet, I pulled out my trusty laptop and began watching my favorite comedy, City Slickers, though I wasn’t able to finish the film due to my battery going low. I swapped out my film for my Kindle and started reading another adventure of the obsessive-compulsive detective, Adrian Monk. During snack service, I was offered a better variety of snacks and had a small bag of Lay’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips and a sea salt caramel. I also enjoyed a Coke which was served to me in a real glass. The friendly attendant offered to continue topping off my glass and I thought, “A guy could really get used to this.”
I had a 90 minute layover in Salt Lake City and had hoped for a glimpse of the Mormon Temple, but no dice on that one. It was well past my normal dinner hour, but I was strangely not hungry. I decided I should have something and grabbed a sandwich from McDonald’s as I waited for the next leg of my flight.
This leg was even better than the first as I enjoyed a double wide seat. I requested a Blue Moon and was stunned when the attendant let me have the whole can. Viva la me! The only downside was that I knew I wouldn’t be able to linger over the drink as they would be collected before takeoff. Once airborne, I ordered a Sprite, had another small bag of chips, and continued reading. Again, we were able to leave early, and cut another 20 minutes off the flight.
The last perk I received for first class is that my luggage was given Sky Priority which meant my bags would be in the first group off the plane. In less than 10 minutes, I had my luggage and was ready to get a cab to my hotel.
I stepped outside into the hot desert night and thought that life was good. As I scanned the road in search of a taxi, I suddenly felt a sharp sting at the base of my neck. I clapped my hand to my neck as my vision began to swim before my eyes. Then everything went black.
To Be Continued. . .