Planes, Trains and Automobiles

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Wow, what a week. The internal pressure in my head has reduced back down to about 35 psi, so I’ll at least be able to to focus on the big screen today when my beloved Dawgs take on the interlopers from South Georgia, Georgia Southern. No game is a lock anymore, and I’m hoping the Eagles are not able to conjure up the soul of the great coach Erk Russell to their benefit. Go Dawgs. 

Things have been so dismal around here, what with my situation, my cold, and the events in Paris and Mali. No, I didn’t list them in order of importance, just how they came to mind. Anyway, I thought it might be good to do a comedy for date night. With Thanksgiving coming up this week, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” popped into my mind. Fortunately, I have a Betamax copy in my library, so I was able to forego the expense of buying the DVD. Getting the old Betamax hooked up to the big screen was another issue, but I got it worked out without sending Mulva to Radio Shack but twice. Now, we’ve got access to my full library of vintage Betamax movies to peruse for our date night selections. Top that $2.99 bin at Walmart!

In case you’ve never seen “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”, you’ve missed a classic. The movie stars that “wild and crazy guy”, Steve Martin, and the absolutely hilarious John Candy. The story line is about two travelers caught away from home at Thanksgiving time by a major snow event. They chance meet / bump into each other, while both are trying to get to the airport in New York city to fly back home to Chicago. The two travelers are at opposite ends of the socioeconomic scale, Martin a rich ad exec, and Candy a lowly shower ring salesman. Their flight is diverted to Kansas due to the weather, and the hilarity begins. Both travelers attempt to use their unique skill set and background to get themselves back home in time for Thanksgiving dinner. As they say, “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”, and these two guys have a heck of a journey. 

We don’t get a lot of snow in the South, at least we didn’t when this movie came out in 1987. It was easy to dismiss a lot of the issues and scenarios presented in the movie as applying only to people who aren’t smart enough to live in the South. But then came the great snowapocalypse of 1993. 

We were in Pensacola, Florida, at a soccer tournament, when, what was basically a winter hurricane came ashore and mixed the moisture filled air with the already cold air. The result left 35 inches of snow back home in Union county.

Since we were from out of town, we had the earliest game scheduled in the tournament. We were scheduled to kickoff at 9AM. We dressed the kids as appropriately as we could, layering all of the short sleeve shirts we had brought with us. We headed out to the fields determined to overcome the elements and whatever home cooking was in store for us. Silly us. The tournament was called when our keeper kicked a ball to midfield that didn’t drop, but returned back over his head. Seriously, I’ve got the video.

What followed next was the confusion of people who are not used to seeing snow in January, much less March. Different groups plotted different paths back to our homes. Like the characters in the movie, we used whatever guile was at our disposal to try to overcome the weather. Happy to say, like the characters in the movie, we all made it back safe and sound. Like the characters in the movie, we all have an unreal story to tell about our experiences in a “hundred years storm”. That is, the first “hundred years storm” of my generation.

“Planes, Trains and Automobiles” check it out, it’s a hoot. Funnier even than my video of the punt returning back over our keeper’s head.

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