Dear Tom, she wanted to punch him in the face.

First, on the home front, I harvested the last of my potatoes today:


Colorful and yummy!

I cut back the asparagus. It’s time to prep the garden for winter- will do that this week. And maybe plant a couple rows of garlic.

So I just got back from Montana. Was a busy trip with loooooong weather delays in Seattle. Dang! That airport was like a bad movie. No joke.

On the way out my plane from Sacramento arrived twenty minutes early and then sat on the tarmac for two hours while we waited for a gate. As we sat there I watched my connection to Bozeman, (a little Bombardier), back up and take off. I begged the flight attendants to toss me out the door, but they refused. I spent nine grueling hours in the airport, but I did manage to get the last seat on the last flight to Bozeman. My wonderful daughter and son-in-law waited for me, waited for me so long we were forced to drive back to the ranch in The Crazies in a blizzard. In the dark. Pretty rough. Good thing my son-in-law is a kick ass driver and we were in a tank of a pickup truck. (I haven’t been on roads that bad since I lived in Iowa.)

I didn’t bother to take any photos this time around. The cold was bitter. But despite the cold, every visit to Montana is amazing. I am so grateful for my daughter and her husband. I love sharing their life, to the extent they are willing to share. 🙂 It’s my dream to live there. Cold doesn’t bother me, especially in Big Sky Country. Montana has really big skies.

That wasn’t the punching in the face part.

It was on the trip home that the punching nearly occurred. It wasn’t me, although I wanted to punch him too. I wanted to, in fact, pull him out of his seat and stomp on his head. It was my seat mate who said, “I want to punch him in the face.”

We boarded on time in Bozeman for the trip back to Seattle. I was seated in the back of the plane, just two rows from the rear exit. I had the aisle seat. A young woman with gorgeous eyelashes got the window seat. Across from me was an older white hippie dude with an iPhone and an iPad. Wearing lots of beads. I guessed that he’d come from the Dakota Access Pipeline protest. The beads and his rank aroma and his congested cough and sniffles were a dead giveaway. Not that I cared– about the protest, I mean. He has a perfect right to protest.

What he does not have a right to do, if he values his health and well-being, and the health and well-being of the other passengers, is endanger and piss off every single person seated in the rear of the plane.

He refused to follow any instructions from the flight attendants because he’d “been at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest.”

He refused to put his tray table in its upright and locked position because he’d “been at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest.”

He refused to stop texting via both his iPhone and his iPad (texting multiple people- I could see every text and every recipient) because he’d “been at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest.”

When our plane’s engines cut out on the runway because the deicer people accidentally sprayed the generator and we lost all power and began to freeze in the subzero temperatures he announced to the plane that “we should be grateful we weren’t stranded at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest because he’d just been at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest and it was way colder at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest.”

And don’t forget about “the tribal elders…”

The tribal elders this…” and “The tribal elders that…”

My seatmate said, “If I have to hear about the tribal elders one more time I’m gonna punch him in the face.”

I wanted to shove him out the back of the plane.

As he lectured, we were towed back to the gate. The plane was plugged in to a generator and we had heat. Then we had to wait for maintenance to decide whether or not the plane could start up and was safe to fly. We really wanted to get out of there because the weather was getting so bad we knew there was a good chance that if it took maintenance too long to decide we’d be stranded at least overnight, maybe for another day or two.

All the while, he kept texting via both his devices, despite the fact that he’d been asked repeatedly by the flight crew to stop. He ignored them, because, you know… The Dakota Access Pipeline protest

And then, once the engines were restarted and we were on the runway for takeoff, he made a phone call. OMFG. He called ‘Judy’ as we were taking off. Left her a message.

“Hey, Judy, this is R. I know it’s been years, but I just left the Dakota Access Pipeline protest where I was protesting and I’m headed to Seattle. I’ve checked online and it seems my connecting flight has been cancelled. I’m wondering if I can camp on your couch. I’m sure it will be warmer than the Dakota Access Pipeline protest. I’ll have to get up at 5 a.m. to catch a 7 a.m. flight but I figure you won’t mind. That’s sure not as early as I had to get up at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest. Listen, if you get this message, call me back. Again, this is R. Just so you know I’ve been at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest.”

If looks could kill. Everyone within earshot wanted to strangle the guy.

Since the rules didn’t apply to him, he texted and phoned his way through the flight. The flight attendants gave up trying to rein him in, they plied him with wine instead – six glasses of white wine. I think they hoped he would fall asleep, but he didn’t. Dammit.

This was the bad part. This was the really dangerous part. When we landed in Seattle, we hit a patch of ice. The plane skidded to the right, then to the left, then back to the right. It got real quiet because I think we were all praying the plane wouldn’t roll. On that first skid, since the idiot hadn’t put away his electronic devices nor placed his tray table into its upright and locked position, his iPhone and his iPad went flying across the aisle, right into another passenger.

Mr. Dakota Access Pipeline protest didn’t even apologize. Because he’s a special snowflake.

My seatmate, such a sweet pretty young lady, said, “I want to punch him in the face.”

I said, “Yup.”

So, Tom, to make a long story short, Judy never called him back because I saw him wandering around the Seattle airport five hours later. Still texting…

XOXO! Peace out. Julia





19 thoughts on “Dear Tom, she wanted to punch him in the face.

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      I too was surprised they didn’t confiscate his devices, Greta. They should have. Or kicked him off the plane.


  1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    I’m sure the people at the DAP were glad to get rid of the jerk. I can’t STAND name dropping.

    But that’s easy for me to say – I can’t do things like that any more. Maybe they needed cannon fodder. The TEs, of course.

    Glad you’re back safe and sound – even though you’d rather be up there, you’d definitely not want to be wandering around airports.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      I spent hours wandering, Alicia! It gives me no comfort to know SeaTac inside and out! I suspect you’re right about the jerk. The TEs probably cheered when he left.


      1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

        The best people are the quietest and most modest about their achievements – and it isn’t an act.

        Which is why I will never be known as one of the best people – not quiet enough, not selfless enough.

        Think how much more you would have been impressed had you found out entirely by accident where that man had been.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. juliabarrett Post author

        Yes, Alicia. This. The guy behind me smelled even worse and looked terrible. I knew he must have also been at the pipeline but he slept the entire flight and never said a word, other than to give us all a little smile as we deplaned. I do think I’m too hard on the guy though. This was probably the most fun he’d had since Woodstock!


      3. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

        You said the girl NEXT to you wanted to punch him in the face. So I assumed you were reacting conservatively to a blowhard.

        I don’t know why I do, but I wonder when people are like that, whether ANY of it is real. He could have been the most useful protester there, and trying to educate everyone about the situation – but he sure went about it wrong.

        The other guy? You were probably right.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Diana Stevan

    Glad you landed safely. Traveling at this time of year is for the courageous for sure and also for the patient ones. Too bad you had the added frustration of dealing with someone so obnoxious.

    And yes, Big Sky country is fabulous. I remember when our family drove down from Winnipeg to Big Sky for skiiing. Great memories!

    By the way, what are those little black potatoes? How different are they in taste from the others?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Thanks, Diana! Oh! Those are Peruvian purple potatoes. They are firm and a little sweeter but less rich than Yukon Gold. Not great for baking, terrific for sauteing. Loaded with nutrients. We love them. Plus they grow like crazy- each plant (during the summer) produces at least a dozen potatoes. This was a late crop so I didn’t get as many potatoes. I grow one potato that’s red inside and out. Didn’t have any to plant this fall. They have an outstanding flavor no matter how you cook them. Speaking of Winnipeg, while I was freezing in Montana I believe my relatives were freezing more in Winnipeg!


      1. Diana Stevan

        I will mark down “I must plant” for the Peruvian purple potatoes. Glad they grow like crazy. Much as I love gardening, I find our soil isn’t the best for growing vegetables. Could it be because I only have a thin layer of it over an old sandbox? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. juliabarrett Post author

        Potatoes are wonderful tillers of the soil, Diana. And they love sandy soils. My garden beds are in great shape after I dig up the potatoes.


    1. juliabarrett Post author

      I actually love those prop planes, Roberta. Normally the vibration puts me right to sleep. There was no sleeping on this flight! 😉


  3. Marylin Warner

    And it’s always when they have a “captive” audience. A longer flight–or an emergency landing somewhere–and this could have been a gut-punching, nose-breaking brawl. 🙂 Glad you came through it unscathed, Julia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      I was actually growing concerned about that, Marylin. The gentleman who was hit in the shoulder by a flying iPad managed to control his temper. Small plane, bad weather, and we didn’t want to get stuck in Bozeman. We all gritted our teeth. 🙂



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