"Lady In Orbit"

Puerto Rico is a great and beautiful island of ancient fortresses, charming architecture and other wonderful sights to enjoy. Even the name " Puerto Rico" has an exciting ring to it.


Pete Gagne, a very close friend and myself were headed to Puerto Rico, on assignment to do shots for a brochure. By the time the sleek Boeing 727 touched down I was really exhausted. After the cold snow and ice left so far behind faded from mind and was replaced with this new and beautiful tropic vision an overall sense of complete relaxation crept through every part of me. Sleep however would come later, first we had to get to the hotel.

We deplaned and I said to Pete " you grab the bags buddy and I am just going to sit and relax on the bench over there" I motioned to a long, tan colored bench just a short distance away beside the luggage conveyor.

You have probably seen airport benches before. They are usually quite long with a single leg support, in several feet from each end of the bench. I wandered over to it and didn't even notice a lady who was engrossed in a book, far on the other end. That oversight was about to result in a momentous memory for that lady.

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Pete & the Lady
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Little Tower
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Being as tired as I was I just let my entire body weight drop without check on to my end of the bench. As I did, I felt myself going straight through to the floor as the bench became a teeter totter of sorts and simply gave out under the great load of me being pressed so suddenly on it.

Since I was not facing the ladies direction at the time I did not see her being launched into space but I certainly heard her. She screamed like a banshee in heat as she suddenly found herself and her book somewhere up around the ceiling fans. Her book went one way and she came crashing down onto her end of the bench which was now a very steep slide with me still on the other end holding it firmly to the floor. As she zipped speedily down the long bench she outstretched her arms and grabbed me tightly around the neck to break her fall. As she did, we tumbled to the floor in a mass of mingled arms and legs.

Lady on Bench Other people in the area who had been attracted by her screams were almost doubled up with laughter at the ridiculous sight of the two of us on the floor with crazy looks on our faces. For a moment, I thought that she may want to kill me for causing her unscheduled flight. What can one say at a time like that? For both of us, shock was quickly replaced with humor and we looked right at each other then cracked up at the hilarity of the situation. Thank God for humor.

I was completely embarrassed and of course apologized profusely. Had someone been on hand with a video camera I am sure it would have been a sure winner on America's Funniest Videos. Needless to say, I now approach any bench anywhere with a considerable amount of caution and respect and I sit very carefully in the middle. It seems to work a lot better.

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