The Chatty Pilot

The pilot welcomed us as we boarded the plane, which isn’t something that has always happened on the flights I’ve traveled.  But he stood there, right next to the cockpit, saying hello and good morning and good day and happy travels.

In retrospect, I think he needed off the plane for a moment, and he was waiting for all of us to get on and clear the exit.  There was naturally a long line of us, and he said, “They’ll be comin’ around the corner,” which prompted him to think of the song She’ll Be Comin’ Around the Mountain.  Which led him to remember another verse: they’ll be riding six white horses.

He was a very chatty pilot.

He said, “I don’t know why that song is in my head.”  And then he retraced the thought process (see above).

And I said, “And we’ll all have chicken and dumplings.”  Because that’s another verse of the song.  The song he was already singing to himself and speaking aloud.  I was adding.  Contributing.  But he didn’t get it.

He looked at me and said, “Oh, cool!” before he then directed his attention to someone loading a bag in the bulk overhead.

I wanted to say, “No, I’m not.  I’m not having chicken and dumplings. Wouldn’t that be a weird thing for me to say in passing as I get on the plane, outside of the context of the song you’re quoting?  So, we’re not having the chicken… chicken and dumplings… thing.  It’s just another… another verse of… whatever.  Never mind.”


Tricia Lott Williford

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