I am in Chicago. Sometimes I have to go to stupid places like Chicago on business so I can do due diligence. Whatever.
Here’s what I decided to do on the plane. I challenged myself to talk to the person next to me, no matter who it was, for more than a couple minutes. But, I had to do so in a non-annoying way so the person didn’t that I was that guy who won’t shut up. In other words, I had to get the person next to me to do most of the talking.
So as I got into my aisle seat, I eagerly awaited the person whom fate would deal me. Would it be a friendly old lady? Too easy. A hot blonde? Too tough. Nope. It was Middle-Aged Marine Guy.
MAMG didn’t actually serve in the Marines, he just looked like he did. You know the type. Crew cut of grey hair, muscular, tight polo shirt. At first I thought he was an air marshal but he when he opened his laptop and started working on the sales presentation for industrial pumps, I thought that was going a little too undercover for a marshal.
How to launch in? I couldn’t comment on what he was working on because he might have punched me in the throat for looking at his secret presentation. Weather? Too obvious.
Then it hit me. Chicago!
“Are you going away or coming home?” He was coming home.
“Oh, so maybe you can help me. I’ve only been to Chicago once before. Do you know any good places to eat? I really want to get some good pizza but I’m afraid of winding up at some tourist trap.”
And that’s really all it took. He had strong opinions about pizza. He told me where to get every kind of food I wanted and even said he could get me tickets to a baseball game.
MAMG has five kids and two grandkids, which is surprising because he doesn’t look that old. He’s the regional sales manager for an industrial pump manufacturer. He was never in the Marines, though he did play football at Notre Dame (not sure how that was related but that’s what he said).
Anyway, mission accomplished. We talked for about half the flight before he went back to work. I chalked it up as a victory.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Tad is staying with Chloe while I’m gone.