I’ve been joking on stage about how I’m “International.” Much truth is said in jest, so I do travel abroad every now and again but I’m no better than all you local folks. I just have more frequent flyer miles. A fact not lost on my family.

When I get the call, family members get the miles. You can’t have your miles and use them too. So, I had no qualms booking a last minute trip for my aunt who had to represent us at the funeral of a close family friend. The whole thing went fairly smoothly but it highlighted the different styles used by me and my aunt when booking a trip.

People who don’t travel a lot approach the whole booking process with respect and deliberateness more fitting of a bomb diffusion. My aunt had to write everything down and I had to give every detail thrice. I on the other hand, often don’t know what time my flight on the next day leaves. An excerpt of me on the phone with my aunt booking the trip:

ME: Okay you fly out of LaGuardia at 1pm with a connection in Philly
MY AUNT: Okay wait a minute…bear with me…That’s LaGuardia…L-A-G-U-A-R-D-I-A. at 1pm with a connection in Philly…P-H-I-L-A-D-E-L-P-H-I-A. I spelled it right, right….

I held firm and kept breathing. Eventually we got through it. She had all the info and I had a few minutes to spare before my show. Of course Murphy reared his ugly head and rubbed my nose all in his “Law.” I had to channel more calm when I got a call from my aunt at 5am telling me she needed to change the destination airport. This time we got a customer service rep on the phone. With me in Sacramento, my aunt in Queens and Satish in India, all on a conference call, we painstakingly changed her ticket.

Having Satish witness the madness somehow made it better for me. We would both have to listen while my aunt confirmed everything 3 times.

SATISH: Okay, you will now leave LaGuardia at 5pm and connect in Charlotte.
MY AUNT: Okay wait a minute…bear with me…That’s LaGuardia…L-A-G-U-A-R-D-I-A . connecting in Charlotte…C-H-A-R-L-O-T-T-E. And what’s the flight numbers? Wait a minute. F-L-I-G-H-T…

I think I heard Satish put in for his vacation while my aunt was spelling out Columbia, South Carolina. Or maybe what I heard was his will to live leave his body. You want to bring back all the help desk jobs from India? Have my aunt call over there more often.