Tomato juice, whipped cream, and toilet geysers… oh my!

whipped cream
Tomato juice, whipped cream, and toilet geysers oh my.

May 1996

The flight crew was informed that they had a VIP on their next flight. Elder Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints arrived and received a warm greeting from the First Officer Lewis and the Captain.  The flight attendant, who is not a member of that faith, only felt miffed at having to look after another “big wig.”  Lewis assured her that this was one of the nicest men in the world and told her to treat him especially well.  Previously, Lewis usually felt quite annoyed himself at having to work on Sunday, but this time he felt on the Lord’s errand.  Elder Monson was headed to Grand Junction, CO, to help reorganize a stake there.  Unfortunately, as the plane descended to land, the air waxed turbulent although the landing itself was smooth (the Captain was flying).

As the passengers exited the plane, Lewis heard the flight attendant apologizing to the passengers.  “Oh, I’m so sorry about that sir, talk to the gate agent and we’ll get that dry cleaned for you.” “Sorry ma’am, I hope that wipes off.” He also heard the flight attendant muttering under her breath, “You said treat him nice… you said he’s the nicest guy in the world… this is all your fault!”

Confused and intrigued, Lewis and the Captain turned to see what was going on.  The scene was somewhat startling.  Many of the passengers appeared to be covered with blood as they exited the plane.

“What happened?” they asked the flustered flight attendant.

“You said treat him nice, so I asked several times if he wanted anything and he said no.  Then I made one last pass right before we landed and asked again and he ordered the D___ tomato juice right before we hit turbulence! His juice went flying and soaked several passengers three rows ahead while not getting a speck on himself.  This is YOUR fault!” she cried.

While they were still trying to decide whether to commiserate or laugh, Elder Monson himself came forward and poked his head into the cockpit.  “Which one of you two made me spill my tomato juice?”  he inquired.

It wasn’t Lewis, really.  We’re still waiting to see if this one comes out in a conference talk someday.

While Lewis was having memorable, yet unpleasant interactions with Pres. Monson, I was finding plenty of ways to embarrass myself right here at home.  The Relief Society presidency hosted an appreciation luncheon and I had to take my 8 month old daughter Sarah along.  All went fine until Sarah saw the strawberry dessert and she grabbed a fistful at the same time the lady sitting next to me reached down to get something from her purse.  Sarah’s strawberry-and-whipped-cream-filled hand smeared across my unsuspecting neighbor’s hair in the blink of an eye.  It was bad.  I spent the rest of the luncheon apologizing.

At church the next day (Lewis is still out of town) I am trying to keep three little children ages 5, 3 and 8 months happy and quiet by myself during sacrament meeting.  As the sacrament is passed, little ‘lightning fingers’ Sarah managed to grab several successive cups of water and dump them neatly on my lap.

Day three of Lewis’s trip, I tried to fix the ever-running toilet and accidentally undid something I shouldn’t have and instantly had a geyser the size of Old Faithful soaking everything in the bathroom from floor to ceiling (including me).  As I struggled to turn off the water, Joey and Melanie came in, saw the water dripping from the ceiling and asked, “Why is it raining in here?”  It was a long and frustrating day.

Boy was I ever glad when Lewis finally came home!!!