Welcome to Maine, Garrison Keillor!

Fiction

OH YEAH, FORGOT. I drove someone to the PDX airport recently. Goodbye, whoever you are.  While returning to Short Term Parking (memory) there was this very tall man and a short woman ahead of me. The man had a languid, rhythmic walk, using minimal energy. He ignored the woman, though she tried to interest him in the weather, which I have to admit was pretty dull, even for March, but he just hauled off and stared straight ahead, mouth shut.

I got myself level with them and saw that the man was Garrison Keillor.  Here he was landed in Portland, Oregon. I assume the anxious woman was there to bird dog him to some local event. I'd been waiting for this chance a long time. Without being too conspicuous, I sprinted ahead of them, stopped by the parking ticket machine, and waited. All I had to say was:  "Welcome to Maine, Garrison!"
 
But in the event his face shocked me. As if Sweet Pea had grown up, gone to Harvard, and fallen into a profound trance. I turned away and stuck my ticket into the machine, which, as usual, rejected my credit card.
 
I was disappointed, but also proud of my restraint.  It interested me that he was so rude to his companion. Maybe I could learn something from that.  She seemed nice, like an amalgam of Margaret Rutherford and Milton Berle.  Garrison comes across so gracious and with it on radio. But maybe that needs a lot of advance planning. The famous. They are so gnarly.
 
I couldn't sleep that night. I returned the next day and stood around in the same area,  eyeing everyone up as they schlepped out of the Terminal.

I'd been there more than 10 hours, when here came Garrison and the same woman across the sky bridge. He was balancing a green canoe above his head. The woman walked behind him, her arms lifted as if she was under arrest. The man doing all the work, and causing all the trouble. I wondered if he had picked up the canoe while sneaking around some our Maine lakes.
 
"Welcome to Maine!," I stepped out and shouted. "Did you try the huckleberries?"
 
Although there were many people around us, none of them glanced in our direction. They were probably worried about security. Just like Garrison, I didn't give a damn about security.
 
But Garrison had noticed me, all right. He altered course, stopped, and put the canoe  down at my feet. The woman stepped aside just in time.
 
"Well, here is your canoe," he said in his emotionless drawl. "And, yes, I had huckleberries and yogurt with one of Woody Allen's ex-wives this morning."
 
Knowing his love of the laconic, all I said was, "Great," and "Thanks for the canoe."
 
That was it. Garrison picked up the woman the same way he had carried the canoe, went over the sky bridge, and down into the terminal, out of sight.
 
As I stood there with the green canoe, I mused on my good fortune. All I had to do now was figure out a way to get it into the back of my Prius.

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