How to Stretch Shoes

The shoes felt fine in the store, but when I got them home, they suddenly didn’t fit. I can’t understand it. They are the same size I always wear.  A larger size would be too big. They will stretch out after I wear them a few times, I thought, but I couldn’t wear them long enough to stretch them. I found myself hobbling around or kicking them off under my desk.

So, I did what any woman facing such a dilemma would do. I hid them in the back of the closet and tried to forget about them.

Then the other day, I found the shoes. I might as well throw these away, I thought. I never wear them. But I loved the style and they were still nearly new. Maybe I will give it another try. It was not long before I remembered why I discarded them in the first place. The right shoe was biting my foot while the left shoe was pinching my big toe.

There must be a way to stretch this leather! I refuse to throw away a perfectly good pair of shoes.

I looked it up. “Use a hair dryer,” said the article. “Put on several pairs of socks and force your foot into the shoes. Then warm the leather with a hair dryer to soften it and make it stretch. If it doesn’t work the first time, do it again.”

Oh, the torture! I couldn’t tell much difference and I was getting tired of taking my socks and shoes off and on. What I need is a blow torch, not a hair dryer.

I decided to try a different method. “Fill a zip-lock bag half full of water and stuff it into the shoe. Then put the entire shoe in the freezer. When the water freezes, it will expand and stretch the shoe.” How clever! So, I filled up a couple baggies with water. What could go wrong?

The person who suggested this idea must have big feet as my water-filled baggies did not fit inside my shoes. I poured water out until it was finally small enough to fit inside. You cannot believe how hard it is to hold a water-filled baggie in one hand while zipping it with the other.

When I finished cleaning up the mess, I stuffed the baggies inside the shoes and put them in the freezer. Wonder how long it will take the chunk of ice to melt when they are done? I only hope no one finds them and cooks them for dinner.

Once again, there was not much difference. Back to the drawing board. The rest of the suggestions didn’t sound very practical. Who wants to stuff shoes with wet newspapers or pour grain inside a shoe and wet it to make it expand? I wanted to stretch shoes, not make breakfast.

Then I found, “Spray them with stretching spray.” Why didn’t someone tell me about this before? Where can I get stretching spray? Available at most shoe supply retailers, it says. What is that? Where I live, you get it at Walmart or you don’t get it.

If I can find the stuff, though, I will try it. Stretching the shoes has become an obsession. I can’t let a pair of ill-fitting shoes defeat me, can I? I only hope they do not go out of style before I can fix them.

I found the stupid spray after driving all over the stupid town. I sprayed the stupid shoes and wore them with a pair of thick socks. It worked! In fact it worked too well. Now the stupid shoes are so big I can’t keep them on my stupid feet.

Wonder if there is such a thing as shrinking spray?

I think I will do what any woman would do when facing such a dilemma, hide them in the back of the closet.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss


Posted in Fashion, Humor | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

The Orange Juice Caper

Some things are so small, so trivial that they are not worth getting upset about. But some people do not realize that. Some people get upset at the smallest hint of provocation.

“We are out of orange juice again.” says Honey.

“So? If we don’t have any orange juice, drink something else. Drink some of my juice in the 6-pack bottles.”

“If I drink that then you won’t have any juice,” he growls. “I have to go to Publix.”

It wouldn’t be so bad if we only had this conversation once in a while, but we have it two or three times a week. How much orange juice can one man drink?

“Somebody drank my orange juice,” he says, eying me suspiciously.

“Well it wasn’t me. I have my own.”

He rants for a while. “What happens to all the orange juice around here? Somebody drinks it.”

Good grief! It is only orange juice. Get over it.

I don’t want to accuse anyone, but I’m beginning to wonder if he pours it out to have an excuse to go to the grocery store. Every night, right at dinner time, he has to go to Publix.

It makes me crazy. What is it with him and Publix? It is a nice store and all, but not that nice. I swear, if I didn’t know him better, I would think he is having an affair with the cashier or something. He is at the grocery store more than he is at home.

Of course, the grocery store cashier never runs out of orange juice. Maybe that adds to her attraction.

Then one day we decide to stop at Publix on the way home from work. I really don’t like the store that much myself. I think the prices are too high. But it is the grocery closest to where we live.

“We are out of orange juice,” he says.

Where have I heard this before?

I often wait in the car when he makes his little pit stops, but this time I needed a few items too. “I think I will go inside with you.” I watch out of the corner of my eye to see if he looks like a man who is up to something.

We get inside and he heads for the orange juice. I head for whatever it is that I needed and add a few impulse items, of course. I can’t seem to go in a grocery store without spending $50. If I went as much as he does, I couldn’t pay the bills.

I finish shopping and head for the checkout counter, but I can’t find Honey. Where is that man? I’m tired. I want to go home. Then I see him at the Customer Service counter. Since when did they start selling orange juice at Customer Service?

I stomp over to the Customer Service counter with death-by-grocery-cart on my mind. “What are you doing? Hurry up!” He turns around with a handful of lottery tickets.

“Oh, you are buying lottery tickets?” Personally, I never play the lottery. I donate enough money to the state coffers when I pay taxes on groceries at check out.

“I have to have them run through the machine to see if I won,” says Honey. So, that’s what this addiction to orange juice is all about? It’s just an excuse to play the state lottery?


I thought he had another love, but who would suspect it was the lottery.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss

Posted in Food, Humor, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Suitcase Blues


Why am I always buying new luggage? I don’t know, but here I go again. It seems that I cannot keep decent luggage for some reason, and every time I go somewhere, I have to buy a suitcase.

My red luggage looked so nice when I bought it years ago, three pieces all matching. A trip or two with airport luggage handlers playing soccer with it and it began to crumble. The inside had pieces of shattered plastic to clean out before packing. The outside trim left a trail of plastic crumbs behind me like being followed by ants. I could not bear the humiliation any longer.

I have a nearly new suitcase that I bought when we went to Egypt, a carry-on size. It is purple. When I bought it, purple was the only thing I could find on short notice that would meet the airlines specifications for size. Do the math. This is not a very large suitcase. However, I have now learned to travel light and to always buy a good suitcase.

As it turned out, purple was not such a bad color choice.

When hundreds of black suitcases all looking identical come tumbling out on the carousel at the airport, my purple one is easy to spot. So, I figured I would use the purple one again this time. I forgot that my daughter borrowed the purple suitcase and it now belongs to her. I agreed that she could have it, forgetting that there might be a next time. Besides, newer luggage now has four wheels and two-wheels are obsolete. Don’t tell my daughter.

I can never seem to keep decent luggage. About the time that I purchased a nice set of leather Samsonite years ago, luggage with wheels came along. My no-wheels luggage was instantly obsolete. Who do you see walking around carrying a suitcase these days — no one.

After my leather luggage went the way of the dinosaur, I bought a new black suitcase with wheels, the largest one I could find. “This will hold everything,” I thought. And it did. And it weighed a ton. Most airlines charge $25 these days to check luggage, and it is much too large to carry on. My brother-in-law finished off the big black suitcase when he dropped it and one of the wheels broke.

This time my new suitcase is blue. The purple, red, and green ones were all the wrong size. I hope blue will be different enough that I can find it. The suitcase salesman said that business travelers want black. Seasoned travelers have a carry-on and take it with them. No checking luggage, no delays, no lost luggage.

Unlike the two-wheel versions, which still require a certain amount of balance and strain your back when you pull it through the airport, my new suitcase is a spinner, four wheels. You can push it, pull it, or walk beside it. And unlike the other suitcases, it has round wheels like a ball instead of flat wheels. It’s the latest thing, the luggage salesman assured me.

Now that I’ve spent big bucks, I’m certain they will come out with something even better, something indestructible that can do cartwheels instead of merely spin. My little spinner will be obsolete before I can use it twice. Suitcase designers are busy every day dreaming up new ideas.

They now have smart luggage with a battery that will put out an electronic signal so it can’t be lost. Traveling gets more complicated every day.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss

Posted in Humor, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

In Pursuit of a Purse

As all ladies know, we must have a purse to haul about our “stuff.” The amount of stuff needed depends on the individual lady, but all of us need something to carry it in, whether large or small.

I once decided I didn’t need a purse. I could get by just fine with keys and a cell phone, I declared. It didn’t work out. I needed things at home and things at work, and what if I was not at either place or needed something both at home and work? You can see the problem.

My pockets and lunch bag became fuller and fuller until I finally relented and decided I needed a pocketbook, as long as it was lightweight with bare necessities inside. If I have to carry a handbag around, it might as well be a nice one, I thought. That meant buying a new purse.

Ladies will pay in the hundreds for this most important of fashion accessories. Designers turn $20 worth of leather into big bucks with only a signature or brand name. Personally, I can do without a designer purse, I decided.

I only need something functional, something functional and leather. I do like leather as it lasts longer. So, as long as it is functional, leather, and pretty, I’m okay with it — and lightweight, of course. I want something functional, leather, pretty, and lightweight. That is all I need.

I do not want to pay hundreds for a designer’s name.

I wanted a purse that would go with everything for daily use. So, I did a quick search online to see what was available as I have not shopped for purses for a while — a longer while than I want to admit.

The purse I useed was rather pitiful, made of quilted fabric. It wasn’t too bad until I decided to wash it in the washing machine. Even my daughter says it is pathetic now. I have leather purses in the closet, old ones, but I want something new, something that will make a statement.

Searching online for multi-color purses, I found some. My, gosh, they are beautiful, and leather, and functional, and light weight. The bags I found were hand-painted leather. They had flowers growing out of them, birds flying over them, peacocks spreading their tail feathers, and butterflies flitting around them. They were almost too gorgeous!

I narrowed the vast designer collection down to four hobo-style handbags and finally to two choices, Henna Rose and Flying Jewel. The prices wilted my credit card. Yes, I know I said no designer purse, but that was before I saw these. Besides, I’m not buying for the name, I rationalized, I am buying because I need a purse.

Maybe it is too gaudy? Maybe other people will think it is tacky. Another woman’s opinion might help. I’ll ask my daughter. I showed her the picture on the computer. “Oh, that’s pretty,” she said. We agreed on the Henna Rose design. “That looks like you, Mom,” she told me. I had to order it now. How could I not order it when it looks like me?

I had a $60 credit with Amazon, compliments of some promotion codes I had been saving up, so the hit would not be quite as severe if I ordered it from there. Darn the precautions, full speed ahead. I clicked the “purchase now” button and the purse will be mine in 3-5 days with free shipping.

My credit card had a nervous breakdown, but women will understand.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss

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Are you Smarter than Your Smart Phone?

I lost my phone today. . . again. I think maybe I am not smart enough to have a smart phone. I am a loser. I first missed it when I was out this morning. I always put it in my pocket so it will be handy if it rings. I dug and dug in my purse, but it wasn’t there. I was not too worried. I must have left it at home. Drat it! No checking email today or surfing the internet. It was an aggravation, but I would survive.

As soon as I got home, I looked in the pockets of the coat I wore the day before. No phone. Well, maybe I left it in my pants pockets. I searched them and all the other pants in my closet, just in case. No luck.

Call the phone! It will ring and I can find it. I called and it went straight to voicemail. Either the battery was dead or someone had turned it off. My heart sank. However, Apple devices have this neat app on them called Find My iPhone. It picks up the phone’s signal and tells you the location of your phone. I clicked Find My Phone, but it only found my iPad, the one in my hands.

Last time I lost it the app located it in the car. The car? That’s an idea. I went outside and searched the car. It wasn’t there. This time I had really lost it. Maybe someone would find it and return it? Yeah, right, someone will turn in an iPhone? Why did I have to buy a smart phone?

I’m not smart enough to have a smart phone. If it is lost, I am going to do without a phone. (I know I am telling a lie, but it makes me feel better.) Sometimes phones turn up later. We found my granddaughter’s phone behind the bed a month after it was lost. The bed? Did I look behind the bed? I looked again, also under the bed, and under the blankets, sheets and pillows.

I was starting to panic. “I lost my phone,” I told Honey.

“Is it in your purse?”


“Did you look in your coat pockets?”


“How about the car?”


He continued naming off all the places I had already looked. Sometimes something turns up where you have already looked, so I looked again. How often have I found my lost debit card in my purse right where it was the entire time it was lost?

In desperation I looked everywhere, under the sofa cushions, under my desk and even in the refrigerator. No use. I’m a loser. It’s gone!

So, I did what I always tell my kids to do. “Sit down and think back to every place you’ve been since you had it.” I looked in the bathroom where I made a pit stop, in my daughter’s room where I sat for a few minutes and talked to her. Then I had changed clothes into something more comfortable. Wait a minute. Where are those clothes?

I searched the dirty laundry, no phone. But no dirty sweat pants either. That’s odd. I’ve lost my pants too? How could I lose my pants? If I can find my pants, I can find my phone, I’ll bet. Then I remembered the hook on the back of the bathroom door where I hung them when I took a shower. I ran to check.

Yes, the phone was in the pocket. I found it!

The phone was dead as the proverbial door nail. When I put it on the charger, the alarm sounded to tell me it was found, as if I didn’t know.

And that’s the story of how I outsmarted my smart phone. . . at least this time.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss

Posted in Humor, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Blue-Haired Lady

The other day I saw a woman with long hair streaked with dark blue color. I guess I was a little shocked and that was probably the intended result, or else she simply wanted to be noticed. Maybe both. I could not resist taking a picture when the woman’s back was turned.  She seemed perfectly normal in other ways, was even pushing a baby stroller.

I  wonder how my hair would look blue?

Hair can be almost any intense color these days thanks to hair dye, including colors that do not occur naturally.  It isn’t easy. In order to make hair an unusual shade, all color must first be removed by bleaching. Then, after the hair rests a week, the new color is applied. It seems that unusual hair color is more often a do-it-yourself project than a beauty salon creation.

The artificial color I’ve noticed most often is pink, probably popularized by the pop star whose stage name matches her hair. I also saw a contestant on a prime-time reality show with a pink ponytail, probably the result of color growing out. Pink highlights are popular too.

There are temporary hair sprays, such as green for St. Patrick’s Day, and some people use Jell-O for a temporary change. However, I think one might as well go all the way and change the hair with permanent color.

I don’t think I want green hair, though. Somehow it reminds me of a head full of pond scum.

Orange hair occurs naturally and, therefore, is not quite as shocking as some of the other colors. Wynonna Judd has orange hair. However, orange can also be obviously fake. Remember the Batman Movie theater killer and his bizarre orange hair?

Artificial colors are often associated with punkers. Punk started out as a style of music, but later came to be a style of dress or fashion. Punk-rockers dress to be shocking, have weird hair styles and hair colors — anything to be anti-mainstream society.

If punkers can have colorful hair, why can’t I?

Pop music stars also dress and act in ways to be noticed. They have unusual hair colors to draw attention as publicity is essential in show biz. Some stars have hair dyed to match their dress, or use colored wigs for theatrical purposes. Young people emulate the stars and dress like they do.

A small percentage, about 2 percent, of the population has naturally occurring red hair. However, regardless of the shade of red, from strawberry blond to dark auburn, it is not a true red.  Blood red hair for Valentine’s or Christmas is artificially created.

I’m not sure I want a color that bright, though.

Blonde hair is often due to bleaching, but is not seen as shocking since it can also occur naturally, depending on the shade of yellow. Bright canary yellow is not something we normally see outside a club or comic book.

I do not think I would look good as a canary.

Like me, some people are unable to decide on a color and color hair more than one hue. Hair can be done in a rainbow of colors by using aluminum foil to carefully separate the colors of various sections of hair during the dying process.  Less brave people may put small streaks of color in their natural hair — easier to change back if you decide you are not as rebellious as you thought.

Funny, the more people there are who try outlandish hair colors, the more accustomed we become to it. One of these days, we may all be dying our hair blue, green or purple and think of it as the normal thing to do.

Tell you what — I’ll dye my hair pink or blue right after you do.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss

Posted in Fashion, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

It was a weekend morning, and I flipped on the TV hoping to watch “Tennessee Crossroads,” one of my favorite programs on local public television. Instead, the channel was having a fund raiser and showing a program about trains.

“Um, this is kind of interesting. I might as well watch it.”

Honey was snoring away blissfully still asleep and unaware that the program was convincing me that we should ride a train. The trains on the program were not ordinary trains, of course. These trains were steam locomotives, puffing, coal-eating, smoke-belching locomotives.

Although steam locomotives were retired and sent to rail yards to rust years ago, some survived. Train enthusiasts loved the old engines and a few have been restored to become popular tourist attractions. In Tennessee some train-lovers believed that trains were not only to look at, but also to ride.

“How can you learn about trains unless you can ride one, see the steam and feel the clackity-clack of the rails sliding beneath you?” they reasoned.

I woke Honey up early the following week to drive the 150 miles to Chattanooga. I chose a one hour train trip as I was not quite ready to commit to six hours on the rails. Once we left the interstate in Chattanooga to look for the attraction, the roads became small and narrow and led us to an industrial area. It seems that train yards are not necessarily in the best part of town.

The old train depot had been restored to its former glory, however, and was a sight to behold, as were the sidetracked black engines and bright red cabooses in the rail yard. Inside the depot we bought our tickets and waited on the long wooden refinished benches, while watching the old antique clock tick. The old ticket booth was fully restored and looking through the bars on the ticket window, I could see an old manual typewriter, just like the movies.

Finally, the train arrived with much whistle blowing and steam hissing. The passengers from the first trip departed and we boarded the train. I had forgotten that conductors punch your tickets after you get on the train instead of at the steps. Speaking of steps, I had also forgotten how steep and high they were.

“All aboard” yelled the conductor. We were off on our adventure to nowhere.

Our tickets were finally punched and the train ride was pretty much as I remember trains, though it didn’t shake quite as much since the train moved rather slowly instead of at the tooth-rattling speed of a diesel train that I once rode from St. Louis to Washington, D.C.

The main attraction of this particular tour was a long tunnel under a mountain ridge, dug by hand prior to the Civil War. Unlike in olden times, we were not robbed by outlaws or attacked by savage Indians.

In case you are wondering, this train is not the infamous Chattanooga Choo-Choo, which has been permanently de-railed and turned into a commercial hotel, inviting guests to spend the night in luxurious sleeping cars, which include modern amenities, even free Wi-Fi. It is rather sad that the Choo-Choo train no longer runs.

Our tour guide, who looked like Santa in a conductor’s uniform, lamented the fact that we had missed the six-hour train to Georgia, which has a dining car. I have dined on trains before, though, and remember that eating on a train involves dishes vibrating on a white tablecloth while you try to ignore the splashing liquids in the glasses and eat before your plate slides off the table.

The most interesting part was watching as a fireman shoveled coal into the firebox to heat the boiler and make steam. It is not the conductor or the engineer that makes the train run. It is the fireman who shovels the coal that makes it go.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss

Posted in Entertainment, Humor, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Me Day

Last week I was feeling sorry for myself. Like many women, I tend to take care of the needs of others and forget about myself. It was wearing me down. Time to take care of me, I decided.

I made the announcement to my family: “I will not be on duty this Saturday; I am taking a ‘me’ day.”

“That’s great,” said my daughter, “You should take some time for yourself.” The others just sort of stared at me like, “What’s a ‘me’ day?”

“A me day is a day when I take care of me,” I explained. “I am going to the clinic. My neck feels stiff and I want to see a doctor. Then I am going to get my hair done. When I’m finished, I am getting a manicure and pedicure. And after that, I’m going shopping — and not for groceries.”

I saw an outfit that I want. I’ve been thinking that I should go back and buy it before it is too late. I also like to bargain shop at the thrift store. It’s a fun thing, not a necessary thing, but I’ve not done it in ages.

I could hear them thinking, “What about us? Who will clean the house? Who will feed us?”

They will not starve to death. I am not the only person in the house that knows how to cook and there are plenty of restaurants if they are too lazy to fix a sandwich.

I felt a little guilty as I usually clean house on Saturday since I don’t have much time through the week. But dirt can wait. It will still be there next week. Or, someone else can do my share of the chores. It will not hurt anyone to do a little extra.

So, Saturday morning, I was off to the clinic early. I got a prescription for my aches and pains and told the doctor that I was taking a ‘me’ day. “That’s good,” she said, “Everyone needs to take a day for themselves once in a while.” Now it was official. The doctor approved. It was practically a prescription.

At the hair salon, I didn’t just get a haircut and hurry home, which is what I usually do. I had a shampoo, cut and blow dry. It was wonderful.

From there it was the nail shop. I didn’t go to the usual place where it is always crowded. Instead, I found a new shop that didn’t look busy. They pampered my feet with a spa treatment and pedicure and I got a French manicure for my nails, pink and white, very chic.

Before the shopping, I decided to go by the house for a sandwich and check things out. Everyone was still in bed asleep. “Why was I concerned?” I thought. “They did not even know I was gone.”

I spent the rest of the afternoon shopping for clothes. I didn’t make it to the thrift store to hunt bargains, but that’s okay. I didn’t want to mess up my nails digging through old clothes anyhow. Besides, it gives me something to do the next time I have a ‘me’ day.

When I got home, Honey was glued to the TV watching a ballgame.

“I noticed that baked spaghetti is on sale at Fazoli’s.” I hinted.

“Why didn’t you call and get orders?” grumbled Honey, out of sorts because he had been ignored all day. But then he remembered that he was hungry and decided he might go get carry-out.

They all made it without me for an entire day. No one starved to death and no one died from neglect.

I feel like a new woman. I really should do this more often.

And the baked spaghetti was fabulous.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss

Posted in Health, Humor, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Do you have trouble decided on a place to go when you eat out, or are we the only ones? And eating out is not the only time we can’t decide. The easier the decision, the harder it is to make, it seems.

“Are we going anywhere this weekend?” Honey asks me.

“I don’t know.”

If he has asked me this once, he has asked a dozen times. Why can’t he just say, “I would like to do something this weekend?” But if he did that, he would have to say where he wants to go, and that would involve making a decision.

Men are always very decisive about which sports teams are best and what program to watch on TV, but when it comes to something as simple as picking a restaurant to eat out, they can’t decide.

Almost every time we go out, it ends up going something like this:

ME: Let’s eat out.

HIM: Okay, where do you want to go?

ME: I don’t care as long as I don’t have to cook dinner.

HIM: Okay, pick a place.

ME: What do you want to eat?

HIM: It doesn’t matter to me.

And so it goes until I finally say the name of a restaurant. I tend to favor local restaurants, not because they are better but because they are closer. I only want to eat and go home, especially on a weeknight. Eating out during the week is not a gourmet dining experience as far as I’m concerned.

Of course, if I pick the wrong place, he complains about the food. He doesn’t like chicken, he does not eat pork and he does not eat seafood or catfish. That somewhat limits the choices.

I have my prejudices against certain restaurants and I never pick them. I don’t like Olive Garden. Why? I don’t know why, something about the spaghetti sauce. “You could order something else besides a marinara sauce,” says Honey. He doesn’t argue too much though, as he really wants a steak.

“Let’s go either to Cheddar’s or to Logan’s.”

“Tell me which one.”

Eeny, meeny miny, moe – I don’t care which one, just go. Finally, I say, “Cheddar’s, if they are not too crowded.”

Every local chain has a problem of some sort. Cheddar’s is always crowded. Chili’s will let you starve to death before they bring food. Logan’s gives you peanuts, bread, a salad and a drink while you wait. By the time the food arrives, you are no longer hungry. Jim & Nick’s is never crowed, has great food and service, but they feature pork barbecue. “You can order something else,” I say. He would prefer another place.

And it goes on and on. We usually end up at Cracker Barrel, not because we love Cracker Barrel, but because it is a compromise place and we are hungry.

“Did I ask if we are going anywhere this weekend?”

“I don’t know. Did you have a place in mind?” I know he doesn’t. He wants to do something, but he doesn’t want to bother with looking for a place to go. Even though he has more free time than I do, he has important things to do, like watching sports on TV.

I guess I will find something for us to do this weekend. He will be happy because he doesn’t have to decide on anything and I will be happy because I don’t have to hear football on TV all weekend.

“Let me know when you decide where we are going.”

“I will. By the way, did you make hotel reservations for next weekend?” We have been planning this trip for a year. I told him that he is responsible for the hotel reservations and I am responsible for the event registration.

“You didn’t tell me where to call,” he says.

I should have known.

Copyright Sheila Moss 2013

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Dear International Airport:

I would like to apologize for all the fuss I created this week when I drove my car onto the airport runway. I am not a terrorist and I was not trying to hijack a plane or blow up the airport. I have a new iPhone and was trying out the navigation app. All I wanted to do was return my rental car. How was I supposed to know that nice, wide, concrete road was not for cars?

I did notice that the other “cars” were much larger and had wings, but I figured they were some sort of government vehicles. I saw the flashing lights, warning signs, and concrete markers, but I thought those were for other people, not me. Afterall, I drove right through the gate and no one stopped me.

If I may make a suggestion, you really should put a security fence around your airport if you don’t want people driving on the runways. May I remind you that I was not the only one to make this mistake; another person did the very same thing only a few weeks ago. As open and accessible as your runways are, it is a wonder you don’t have vehicles running all over them.

In case you didn’t know, a GPS leading someone astray is nothing new. Other people have followed their device’s instructions onto boat ramps, into lakes, on railroad tracks, down stairs, into desserts and to the edge of cliffs. At least I didn’t cause a crash or hurt anyone. It is a pretty scary thing when your navigation system turns sinister and tries to throw you under the bus – or in this case, under a 747.

It’s not my fault. I was following directions. How was I to know that the instructions on my phone were not accurate? As much as I paid for the darn thing, you would think that it would know what it is doing. From now on, I will keep a 1956 Road Atlas in the glove compartment and see if it can get me to the car rentals section without nearly killing me.

Haven’t you ever made a wrong turn or somehow gotten on the wrong road? Everyone has. It can easily happen, especially when it is dark or the place is unfamiliar. Just take my word for it, though, when you start meeting up with luggage carts, something is wrong and you better get the heck out of there before an army of security guards descends on you like locusts.

Things could always be worse, I suppose. you’ve heard about the ladies who were stranded in Death Valley for several days because they took a side trip off the main road, thinking they were okay because they had a GPS. By the time they figured out that their stupid GPS was lost, the car was out of gas. They were lucky to make it out alive.

One more thing, I’m really glad that you notified the company of the problem with the route guidance. I also contacted their customer service department and registered a complaint. I hear they have disconnected that part of the system now so no one else will follow its lousy instructions. I also heard that the airport put up some barricades and closed off access from the taxiway.

It’s about time! Why didn’t you do that in the first place?

Anyhow, this is all I have to say about the matter. I had no idea I was going to create an international incident and be on every news site in the entire world just for taking a little short cut. The entire thing has been very embarrassing for me.

You may be certain that from now on I will trust my eyes instead of my iPhone.

Copyright 2013-2022 Sheila Moss

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