Trip type: Business

Airline: Delta

Route: ATL-MSP

As we’ve routinely established on this blog, I have a very serious problem when it comes to getting trapped in conversations. For whatever reason, I cannot resist engaging with people, no matter how little I want to speak to them. And then things like this happen. I’m not sure if it’s the Minnesota Nice that’s buried in my DNA, my parents’ etiquette tutelage or just some ingrained curiosity, but it is a seemingly insurmountable characteristic.

That said, every now and then something great comes from these random conversations. Like meeting a celebrity you didn’t even know existed.

My afternoon at the airport had been largely uneventful (well, what qualifies as uneventful for me: being on the receiving end of an annoyed TSA agent, listening to the whining of some self-important businessman who was perturbed nobody would let him cut the line for his flight that was in 12 minutes, watching a guy carefully extricate a wrapped up bottle of Robitussen and pour himself three spoonfuls of it…seriously, where do these people come from??) and I was pleased to board on-time and with only a mild tweak of my back as I attempted to get my bag up.

On board, I settled in and counted the minutes to the drink cart making the rounds. As I observed my fellow passengers, I realized there was an entire band on board and sitting all around me. I didn’t immediately recognize them so I figured it was just some no-big-deal group on its way to a gig.

Although he didn’t have a guitar with him, I quickly deduced that the guy next to me was somehow with the band. When he struck up conversation, I asked about where they were going and if I had heard of them. He said that they were on their way to Winnipeg and that the band was called Third Day, a Christian Rock group.

If you’ve read this blog more than once (or know me personally), you can probably ascertain quite quickly that this is not my genre of music and therefore meant nothing to me. We chatted on about all sorts of things and slowly I began to realize that I was in the presence of a legitimate celebrity when he mentioned they had performed in Minneapolis a few times (at the Target Center no less). I finally asked if they’d won any major awards and he humbly admitted that yes, they’d won four Grammys. Wow; what have I done lately?

Although I felt really bad serving him a huge piece of humble pie by having absolutely no clue who his band was (and wanted to slap myself in the head for starting our conversation by somewhat condescendingly asking if they’d actually been successful enough to do music full-time), he was nothing but classy about it and even promised to check out this blog (Hi, David!), so here’s hoping I’ve found an on-ramp to my 15 minutes of fame.

So here I am, full-circle on my self-admonishment for talking to everyone I encounter at the airport. After all, you never know who you’re going to meet.