Off to a great start at lunch in Phoenix airport: Terrorist Threat Level Orange for 'high' as usual, women's restrooms jammed, and then the waiter in Aunt Chilada's Cantina - garish faux-Mexican with a jalapeņo pepper theme - calls me 'sir' when he takes our order. Fume for a second, then descend into bath of elemental shame. Why does this always happen to me? Do I really look like a guy? No doubt, after great persecution, I will suffer the miserable and lonely death of the sexual pervert. Can't squeak about it, though: my mother is sitting right across from me in her US Airways wheelchair - peering around inquisitively at the lissom Hispanic busboys, off-duty pilots eating lunch, and our monstrously fat fellow diners. She can't drive any more and hasn't been out of her house in San Diego for quite a while: this Santa Fe trip is a huge and somewhat nerve-wracking adventure for her. I seem to have been spared: restaurant clatter and the boomy voices of Fox News emanating from the big-screen TV at the bar, thank god, have clearly flooded out her hearing aids. Justice served too: Paris Hilton dragged shrieking back to jail after three days on the lam.
LRB 16 August 2007 | PDF Download