Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dick Van Patten Plays Possum On A Plane

Waiting to take off on a flight from California to Dallas this morning, I couldn't help but notice a passenger in the row behind me because she was talking non-stop. And I mean literally "non-stop." She wasn't talking with the person seated next to her (they seemed to be strangers), but rather at him. There was no back-and-forth. No conversation. It was all one way. And she spoke in this almost mind bogglingly continuous way. Like Frank Sinatra holding a note without breathing. But she was going one better, speaking without pause for 15 minute stretches. If you transcribed it, it would have been like 10 pages in a novel without a single period to end a sentence.

Among a hundred other things, I heard about which wineries she prefers in wine country. And about her boss being late to his own wedding. But what made the biggest impact on me was when she said mid-stream, a propos of nothing, "you know who the world's best airplane sleeper is? The guy who falls asleep on planes the quickest of anyone in the world? Dick Van Patten. Really. It's true. I sat next to him once on a flight, and as soon as the plane took off, boom, he was out like a light."

I smiled a big smile when I heard that. Good for you, Dick Van Patten. Under fire, he had improvised a gentlemanly way out. And he's such a good actor apparently that this lady clearly didn't realize that he was playing possum.

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