In which Sarah gets shunted onto an Alaska Airlines flight to Anchorage with a layover in Seattle

Those few of you who have been reading my little stories from the beginning would recall the time I spoke about a young Sarah Heath-but-soon-to-be-Palin and her generosity with the chamomile tea at the Miss Alaska beauty pageant back in 1984.

I didn’t see her for a long time after that, which was fine by me. I keep track of her though. I do like to maintain a close eye on the high functioning psychopaths who cross my path. I didn’t make it to the age of 92 by being stupid. I have a friend at the CIA office in Anchorage who owes me a good number of favors, and he sends me an email with updates on young Ms Palin every few months.

(Personal to Sexypants in Anchorage – Keep being a good boy or Mr Spanky will come out, and you know you don’t like that.)

Anyhow, in April 2008 I went on a trip to Grapevine in Texas. That’s where my son Jeremy lives with his wife Dogface and their loutish and ever expanding brood, whose names are Trail, Mammary, Tree, Bagpiper and Math (or something unfortunate like that).

I had a lovely time. I handed out presents and sweets and kisses. I gave the little ones too much red jello and then watched them vibrate around the house until their mother screamed at them. I snuck into Trail’s bedroom while he was asleep and cut off the horrible little rat tail he’d been growing and then planted the scissors on one of his sisters. There were indeed shenanigans.

When it came time for me to go home, Jeremy drove me to Dallas/Fort Worth to catch my plane. I let Tree and Bagpiper come to the airport because they’re the only ones I don’t actively dislike.

When we arrived I handed over some cash to the children, kissed them all goodbye and sent them on their way. I quite like airports – the sense of anticipation, the frenetic energy, the shops full of booze, the obligatory nuns, the hosties in their short skirts and tight pants. Being at an airport is an experience Grammy Sarah likes to experience on her own, thank you very much.

Eventually I went to the Delta desk where I was told that there was a problem with my plane, but they were going to fit me right in on an Alaska Airlines flight to Anchorage, which had a layover in Seattle, but which left half an hour before the flight I had booked. There are advantages to having been a frequent flyer since 1942. The nice young lady summoned up a nice young security guard called Trevor who shepherded me through to the front of the check-in queue and then very kindly walked me to my boarding gate. He was very pretty – blond, sweet and dumb – just like Grammy likes ‘em.

I knew from my briefing emails that Sarah was going to be in town for a Republican Governors Association meeting on energy policy, so I wasn’t surprised when I saw her waiting at the front of the line to board. What did surprise me was that she appeared to be fairly pregnant. My source hadn’t mentioned this to me at all.

I joined a group of old dears from the United Daughters of the Confederacy who were off on an excursion. I didn’t think Sarah would recognize me as I was wearing a pair of Jackie’s old sunglasses (which I snaffled one Christmas at the White House) and my new Candice Bergen wig, but it never hurts to be careful.

I peered out at her through the haze of White Diamonds, mothballs and urine smell that seemed to have enveloped me.

Sarah was wearing a cheap rip-off of a Dries Van Noten thigh-length coat – you could tell from the poor stitching on the collar and around the cuffs – and she was stuffed in to it fit to bursting, like Chris Christie in a thong. It looked for all the world like she’d swallowed a big square pillow. She was nattering away to a man with a face like a dyspeptic badger, who was wearing ski boots, a shell suit and a leather jacket with a Slayer logo on the back. I assumed this was Todd. He nodded agreement every now and then but didn’t appear to add much else to anything. While she spoke at him, she kept patting at her stomach like the baby was kicking.

I was a bit concerned about getting on to the plane without her seeing me, but fortunately a nice flight attendant spotted my Balenciaga jacket and my bespoke Dior shoes and took all us old biddies on to the plane first. Always wear your best to the airport. The gays like it and it can be worth an upgrade.

When Sarah saw that someone was getting on the plane before her, she made a face just like the one that Joan Rivers makes when you tell her there’s no more booze.

I hid in the middle of the group until we were on the plane, and then hunkered down in my seat right at the front with a strategically positioned newspaper.

When I woke up from my little nap, we were in the air and three-quarters of the way to Seattle. Most of the plane was dozing. I took a look around with my makeup mirror while I fixed my face. Sarah and the Todd were two seats behind me and across the aisle at the back of the first class section.

He was playing some kind of electronic game, and he sniggered occasionally like Muttley from Whacky Races.

She in the aisle seat reading Cosmo. Every now and then, at quite regular intervals of five minutes or so, she would let out a little noise and clutch at her stomach, then look around furtively, almost as if she was checking to see if anyone had noticed. This went on for the best part of half an hour.

Of course, all the hosties had on their best “not my problem” faces, so they barely noticed that she was there, let alone her rhythmic grunting.

Next, she jabbed Todd in the gut and made a gesture with her head. Todd reached into his bag and fished out a bottle of water. She had a drink and then, lowering the bottle down to seat level, she splashed water around her feet. A little bit went into the aisle and glistened there. She handed the bottle back to Todd, and then made a little “o” sound of surprise.

Whatever reaction she was expecting from the flight attendants, it did not eventuate.

She pouted for a while and then got up to go to the toilet up at the front of the plane. I pretended to be asleep, but I was still wearing my sunglasses so my eyes were wide open. Just as she passed me, her entire baby-bulge moved directly downwards about eight inches and I saw the bottom of a bright green polyester cushion (with yellow flowers, no less) poke out from under the edge of her coat.

She grabbed at it and barely stopped it falling all the way out, then tried to shove it back in but only made it worse, looked around in panic and bolted for the toilet.

Todd didn’t notice and he only looked up from his game of Donkey Kong about twenty minutes later when she hadn’t emerged and the steward had to knock on the door and make her come out because the plane was preparing to land.

I retreated behind my newspaper again, but I did see that when she sat down she called Todd a name that’s so nasty it isn’t even in my vocabulary.

When I woke up, the plane was deserted and the nice gay flight attendant was shaking me by the shoulder. His name was José. He helped me off the plane and into a taxi and handed me his number as the car drove off. We write to each other every week, and he’s become firm friends with my nephew Charles and his flatmate Kevin, although I can’t imagine what the three of them have in common.

All in all, it was a very nice trip.


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