I leave the phone on again, but wake up at eight anyway, and there's no text message. Why isn't there a message? They should have taken off at least an hour ago. The weather report shows that there was fog for a few hours, but it looks clear now. I have a shower and then when I get out I hear an airplane take off. It sounds like ours. The first time someone told me they could recognize their airplane by the sound I thought they were nuts, and even still I don't really trust myself when I think I hear our airplane. Besides, there was no text message announcing the impending take off. And then in comes the text message. They'll be back in six and a half hours, bringing my turn around about three p.m. again.
Unless they're back early, which they are. The weather turned bad. So it's the three of us at lunch again. Being silly people again. This time it's just the pilots making wild free association on wide-ranging topics. The AME warns us that we're at risk of having our heads explode. The other pilot confesses to a retirement plan involving winning at Jeopardy. The AME isn't stupid either. He just has a dumb guy act, because he's so smart he knows that most places there is a stigma associated with being the smart one. I think it's gradually dawning on him that he can be himself here and he won't stick out as being either too smart or too weird.
He mentions that while he was working at the hangar after the flight today he witnessed a crane migration. Apparently there's some kind of crane that comes through here by the hundreds. One of the other mechanics on the field had told him about it, and he happened to be in the right place at the right time. They're all going south to eat yummy American crops for the winter and then they'll come back in the spring to mate and have their chicks. chicks? Do cranes have chicks? Don't all birds have chicks? No, swans have cygnets, and geese have goslings. But geese are just weird. They don't even have flocks, they have gaggles. Similarly, we insist, you have one moose, multiple meese, and their little offspring are called moslings. Also if they fly in a group, that's called a maggle. Oh wait, aren't geese just a gaggle on the ground and a skein in the air?
The AME looks now like he's ready to cause some head explosions if we don't stop it. At least he has that well-lubricated waitress from the other day to distract him. "Humans," I mention, "are the only animal I can think of that use mammary glands in mating displays." The other pilot nods while the AME asks us what the hell we are talking about. "BOOBS" we chorus in stereo.
When we get back to the rooms the other pilot discovers that her door card key no longer works. I let her in through my room, and it's just as well, because it turns out that the hotel's card coding machine is broken and they can't fix cards after they stop working. There's a new one on order from Texas, but for now, everyone who doesn't have a working card has to get an escort to their room.
I go up to the grocery store for more lunch and snack foods, and to replenish my chocolate supply. They have premium chili chocolate (thank you to the reader who introduced me to that stuff) but I notice that the bars on the shelf are up to six months bast their best before date. That's not even a northern thing. You see that all the time if you check carefully. Stores think they can get away with it because a lot of people don't check the expiration date on their chocolate. But if you're going to pay $3.50 for 100 grams of premium chocolate, there's no reason for it not to be fresh. I throw all the expired bars in a basket and take them up to the front. Maybe if they're lucky the staff will get to eat them.
It appears from my notes that I settled for Oreos. I note from the package information that twelve and a half Oreos will provide the daily recommended allowance of iron for an adult. Also, they claim two cookies constitute a "serving." Anyone knows that a single serving of Oreos is a whole row. I think I'll have a second serving.