Thankfully, the guy wasn’t talking to me but rather to the woman sitting beside me on the flight to Dallas. She was actually an airline employee, so I assumed the voice came from a fellow flight attendant wanting to shoot the breeze.
Instead, it was a guy who apparently thought he had enough swagger to pull off a pick up line directly outside the plane’s lavatory. (He did not.)
Do not engage
For some reason, she didn’t just shut him down with a “Yep, it was a token of his love. He also buys me flowers every day and says I’m his soul mate.”
Instead, she sidestepped the question with a snarky “No, I buy my own.” Which led to a faltering, stilted conversation about Etsy.
It was so bad that I tried to ignore it — that is, right up until I heard her ask him, “And you lost it all?”
I tuned back in right as he replied, “Yeah, all my clothes and everything.”
“Wait,” she said, “so did the car, like, explode or catch fire or something?”
“No, no, nothing like that. It just went off the road and got totaled.”
She cocked her head, slightly puzzled. “So then how come you don’t have your clothes and other stuff anymore?”
[Pause] “Well, like, they’re keeping it for insurance purposes.”
Yep, I thought, that’s definitely how it works. If I were an insurance adjuster and suspected something hinky, I’d definitely look for clues in toiletries and packed clothes.
We’re losing her
He must have sensed she was withdrawing because he upped the ante. He pulled up a picture on his phone and showed it to her. I couldn’t see it, but I was able to glean that it was a jade and crystal figure. And what followed was, probably unlike the figure, priceless.
“This is what we were transporting. My buddy thinks it’s cursed.”
Uh, what now?
“He says the car just started acting weird and went off the road. He thinks that we were driving it across the country it so that someone could throw it in the ocean, get it away from the ley lines.”
This. Is. Amazing.
This was hands down the worst pick up I’ve ever seen. Heck, it’s the worst one I’ve ever heard about. But oh no, it didn’t stop there. (Though any semblance of coherent story did.)
Oh, the possibilities
The guy went on to say that the figure’s owner had inherited it and had been trying to get it to his girlfriend for, like, a year.
Which… I mean… FedEx/UPS. Amiright?
Or he could just give it to her the next time he sees her. Presumably, they’ve been in the same spot within the past year. If not, this is not the kind of relationship that merits passing on a family heirloom, cursed or otherwise.
And there’d be no reason for him not to travel with it (or if she visits him, have her travel with it) unless he knew it was cursed. (Also, once she has the figure, is she the one who has to chuck it in the ocean?)
So if he hasn’t gotten it to her yet, then it means he’s afraid to travel with it/have her travel with it. Maybe he’s worried about her fellow passengers on the plane. Because deep down, he’s a good guy. (Although if he gives a cursed object to two transporters, I suppose he’s not too concerned about innocent bystanders.)
But if he knows it’s cursed and he wants his girlfriend to have it… Well, either she’s fascinated by so-called curses — making him the best boyfriend ever for trying to give it to her — or he’s the worst boyfriend ever, having found the most passive-aggressive way to end a relationship.
If it’s the latter, then he’s so afraid of confrontation that he’d rather stay in a doomed (in a very literal sense of the word) relationship for a full year rather than just be the bad guy and break her heart. He’ll just patiently wait until he can find two suckers willing to get the figure to her and have it work its (potentially actual) voodoo.
I mean… We’ve all been there, bud, but eventually we (wo)manned up and did the adult thing. Which does not include letting magic kill off your unwanted partner.
Another way to look at it
Okay, so obviously the guy on the plane was a compulsive liar. But I prefer to think of this situation in a different way.
Maybe the guy wasn’t lying. Maybe I was oh-so tangentially involved in a supernatural movie. Maybe I was briefly sucked into a plot where the guy on the plane is the protagonist, saddled with a real, honest-to-badness cursed object.
Where a series of misfortunes befalls this guy and he’s trying to figure out whether he’s going crazy or whether the figure truly does spread misfortune to those around it.
And just as he realizes it’s not all in his head — that the object truly brings woe — he finds out that the owner is going to use it in some nefarious plan. (Or being charitable, a well-meaning plan that would nevertheless cause death and/or destruction.)
The guy from the plane will realize the danger and appeal to his friends for help. But of course everyone will think he’s nuts or has a concussion from the accident or something.
In the end, only his ley line-believing friend will know that he’s telling the truth. And they’ll team up to get the figurine away from the bad guys (or, to again be charitable, the not-so-bad guys with ill-fated good intentions).
Somehow, against all odds, our heroes will succeed. The world will be saved, yet it will never know of their bravery. But that’s okay, because these two didn’t do it for the glory. No, they did it because it was the right thing to do.
After a brief rest they’ll take their bedraggled, world-saving selves home and find somewhere to hide the object so that it never harms anyone again. But a place that’s not too secure since it’ll need to be accidentally discovered for the sequel.
Or maybe the dude was just really bad at flirting.