I recently took a spontaneous trip to Las Vegas. It was just for three days and was a complete whirlwind, but it was such a treat to get away for that brief little escape. The red-eye home, however, was a different story.
Now, I don’t want to name any names, but I flew home on a budget carrier (I’m all for frugal things, but I’ve learned that cross-country airfare may need a few extra dollars!). I’ve never flown this airline before, but have heard a lot of grumblings. Imagine, if you will, seats that might be one-step up from a metal lawn chair, only half the width. All drinks and snacks (water included) were for purchase. They announced at the beginning of the flight that there was “no ice” on board. No Wi-Fi. I was almost expecting them to tell us to peddle for takeoff (to be fair, they didn’t).
As you can imagine, when we touched down in Philadelphia around sunrise, my state could best be described as “zombie.” I hadn’t slept at all on the flight – my very bones hurt and cement blocks weighed down my eyelids. I barely had a working brain cell in my head (shout out to all of you out there who work night shift – I most certainly could NOT and you are superhuman!).
As I waited (for almost an hour) at the baggage carousel, a little something happened that woke my zombie brain up for just a moment and got my wheels spinning. What is the little something, you ask? A mouse – a teeny, tiny, cute-as-can-be mouse (I’m aware that we may not all share the “cute” opinion, but I think they’re adorable). It was poking its little head out of a space at the bottom of the carousel next to me. Then, it rather brazenly meandered right out, across the floor and into a space in the next carousel over.
Well, as you might imagine, the little critter’s presence really stirred up some excitement in the crowd. I watched and listened as a real-life whisper-down-the-lane broadcasted the news of a “big rat” running around the baggage area. Several people stepped up to stand on the edge of the baggage carousel out of reach.
As I heard the word “rat” repeated several more times, it got me thinking. It’s kind of a weird parallel, but a good one nonetheless. In the age that we live in, one screenshot, one photograph without context, one quote pulled strategically from it’s rightful place IS the teeny tiny mouse that within moments transforms into a “big rat” that has people jumping to higher ground.
It reminds me of a saying that we’ve all heard before, to “take things with a grain of salt.”
To the little mouse that lives under the baggage carousel, thank you for the moment of reprieve from my over-exhaustion, and the little lesson.
Warm (and furry) regards,