The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

March 24, 2014

Mike Pound: Some souvenirs are just too much

This time the airport stayed put.

I have a hard time finding strange airports. Not strange in the sense that there is something odd about an airport, but strange in the sense that I have never been to it.

The first time, for example, that I tried to find the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., somebody moved it while I was trying to find it.

I was driving north on some insane Florida interstate where the average speed is Mach 3, and I saw the airport on my right. But when I took the exit, somebody had moved the airport, and I spent the next four days driving around aimlessly looking for it.

On Saturday, after we left Sanibel Island, Fla., finding the airport in Fort Myers was pretty much a breeze. To be safe, I allowed myself two extra hours of airport finding time just in case someone tried to move it, but I found it in less than an hour. Because we got to the airport sooner than I planned, we had roughly three hours to kill until our flight left. Now to some, three hours might seem like a long time, but to others (my wife), three hours is but a blink of an eye.

See, airports have stores, and as far as my wife is concerned, those stores should be shopped.

“They wouldn’t put stores in an airport if they didn’t want you to shop in them,” my wife said.

“Well, then I’m going to the bar,” I said.

“You shouldn’t drink in airport bars. They’re too expensive,” my wife said. “Besides, it’s only 10 in the morning.”

I pointed out to my wife that airport stores are also pretty expensive.

“That’s different,” my wife said.

“I see,” I said, although, as always, I didn’t see.

After we found our gate and grabbed our seats in the waiting area, my wife and our 16-year-old daughter, Emma, went off to explore the airport stores.

An hour later, Emma came back alone. I asked her how the shopping went.

Emma looked at me and rolled her eyes.

“Mom bought a palm tree,” she said.

“I see,” I said. “Why did she do that?”

“I don’t know. Because she’s crazy?” Emma said.

“That might have something to do with it,” I said.

I remember seeing a display featuring little palm trees in small boxes as we walked through the airport. I also remember thinking, “Who would be dumb enough to buy a palm tree in a box in an airport store?”

Now I had the answer to my question.

Later, when my wife came back, she held up the little palm tree in the box and said, “Look what I bought. Isn’t it cute?”

I told my wife that it was impossible for me to think of a tree in a box as cute. Then I asked her what she planned on doing with the tiny palm tree.

“When we get home, I’m going to plant it,” she said.

When I informed my wife that it was not exactly palm tree weather at home, my wife said she wasn’t going to plant the palm tree outside.

“It’s going inside,” she said.

“I see,” I said.

I’m no botanist, but I’m thinking that the life span of a palm tree in a box is roughly equal to the life span of a pet store goldfish. It may just be me, but I’m thinking that spending its formative weeks inside a box in an airport store does not bode well for a palm tree’s future. At the very best, a boxed palm tree is going to have a lower reading level than other palm trees.

So, now we have a palm tree in a pot sitting on our kitchen counter, and I have the folks in charge of the Fort Myers airport to thank for that fact.

If they had moved their airport like the folks in Fort Lauderdale did, we wouldn’t have a palm tree in our kitchen.

Instead, we would still be driving around aimlessly looking for the airport.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

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