Jeff & The Duchess’ Eating Tour of Alaska
by Jeff Somers
ONCE again I looked around groggily and found myself on an airplane, packed into a tiny little seat, sweating and needing to urinate desperately. I turned my head and sure enough, there was my wife, The Duchess, reading a tabloid magazine. She glanced up and smiled at me.
“Only eight hours to go!”
I stared in horror at her. “You drugged me again!”
She shrugged, looking back down at her magazine. “It’s the only way to get you on the plane. Otherwise you cause such a scene, what with the crying and the begging and the sudden, mysterious loss of your pants.”
She sighed. “And you just missed the beverage cart.”
It had all started months before, when The Duchess had reminded me that her birthday was coming up. This is always dangerous territory, because a certain amount of pomp is required for The Duchess’ birthdays, and any perceived lack of pomp or enthusiasm for pomp is punished, immediately and severely. Generally speaking, The Duchess likes to celebrate each birthday in a different exotic locale, the farther away the better. Now, since I rank traveling to exotic locales on the same level as having oral surgery, I’m always falling short on the enthusiasm part. This is dangerous, because The Duchess has a keen eye for lack of enthusiasm. Under her steely gaze I often get nervous and made terrible, terrible mistakes. Like suggesting that we travel to Alaska to celebrate her birthday because I’m too stupid to realize that Alaska is further away from New York than just about everywhere else in the universe.