There are those little sayings and phrases when traveling to the islands that you never forget. One time when speaking to a friend in Turks and Caicos who was talking about his buddy, he said “He think someone be ‘teefin’ his money.”
Now on Sunday mornings I find myself saying the very phrase “Onyx (my cat) be teefin’ my bacon” or in other apt situations describing petty theft.
Recently I was headed from Anguilla to San Juan on the 7 AM flight. I was one of the first to arrive at the airport (AXU) around 5:30 AM when I heard this booming voice coming from a very gregarious Anguillian. We’ll call him Mr. B for short (for big & boisterous.)
It didn’t matter where I went, Mr. B. could be heard (and there was something annoying yet oddly charming about how animated he was that early in the morning.)
As the airport filled, we headed to the tarmac to board the tiny American Eagle flight. (I’m smart to always pick a back seat because you board from the back and you get off first.)
Boom! Boom! I know that voice. Mr. B. is on my plane! I guess it’s not going to be a quiet flight!
With the plane ready to take off, suddenly there was a ruckus at the front. “I ain’t puttin’ that bag overhead! The flight attendant irritably said back, “Well, you need to or we can’t take off!” The man retorted, “Well, I ain’t doin’ it!” Tussle tussle…
Next thing we know, the flight attendant is escorting the gentleman down the aisle towards the exit. It’s Mr. B. I see… smiling, nodding hellos to some of his friends. It was apparent he was still oblivious to the seriousness of the situation.
“See you lade-uh in San Juan!” he said in his booming voice to his friend as he headed to the exit all smiles.
His buddy smiled back, shook his hand, and said with wry honesty: “I don’ tink you be flyin’ today Mon!”
We left for San Juan without Mr. B. that morning…
(Now when I miss a connecting flight or have a delay, I can’t help but quote to myself that man on the airplane something so short, sweet and carefree I’ll never forget… “I don’t tink you be flyin’ today Mon!”) And somehow it makes it all okay.
I wonder if Mr. B. ever did get to San Juan?!