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1. Walking across America

2. Planes, trains & automobiles

3. Flying around the earth

NOTE: Thom swears it wasn’t planned for these transportation-type prompts to show up on the same day.It’s pretty much a matter of drawing them out of a virtual hat. Would he lie?


We were supposed to land in Chicago at 8:47, but we landed instead in Indianapolis, and nobody told us why. It didn’t matter to me. I had nowhere to be anyway.

As soon as the plane stopped moving, someone came on the intercom and said, “Some of our regular travelers may have noticed that that is not O’Hare outside the windows. We’ll have you all inside the terminal in a few minutes, and you can let folks know you’ve arrived safely in Indiana.” Somehow it wasn’t the kind of message any of us had expected to hear, and I could see that there was a good bit of exasperation among my fellow passengers. Personally, I’d realized from the get-go that choosing Airlines-R-Us might involve a bit of creative flight processes.

One guy a couple of rows behind me started to raise a big stink about these developments, but most of the others shrugged and figured they’d have to make the best of it. I grinned and thought They’ve flown with this airline before.

As for me, it was always an adventure. In my day, I’d done my share of walking, across America and deep into the desert of Mexico. I’d put in time as a hand on a tourist-y paddleboat and herded burros in Arizona. But I was older now, and more inclined to take things easy. If I wanted to fly around the world, I could afford to do it in style, but I usually opted for Airlines-R-Us just for the fun of it.

As we moved in a wriggling mass toward the terminal, a small old lady with yellowish-gray hair and yellowish-gray teeth flashed a smile at me.

“Isn’t this fun?” she said. “My son-in-law will be shivering his butt off in Chicago, waiting to pick me up. Ha! This will teach him to cheap out on my airfare!” She shifted the paisley-printed bag she carried and moved on ahead with a little wave.

I watched her back disappear through the gate.