Perhaps it was the shrill voice or the volume of the speaker system, but somehow the gate announcement penetrated VIII’s drug-stupefied skull. He stretched, rubbed his eyes, shouldered his backpack, and staggered towards the podium with short, tentative steps, as if he were walking a balance beam. Some of the other travelers took notice, staring, pointing, and whispering amongst themselves about the disheveled man they started to realize was the junior Brigham Young. Brig took no notice of them, having, over the last few weeks, grown accustomed to the notoriety. The gate agent looked up just as Brigham neared the podium and asked, “Are you Brigham Young?”
“The one and only,” Brig slurred. “Well, not the only. But I am the one you’re looking for.”
“Well, good morning Mr. Young, you’ve been upgraded to business class all the way through to Hong Kong as you requested. If I could see some identification and your old boarding passes, I’ll exchange them for your new ones.”
She isn’t unattractive, thought Brig. A little older than he liked, but cute, in a “Molly Mormon” sort of way. On a scale of one-to-ten, Brig ranked her a six. Ranking women based on how attractive they were had become a reflexive, albeit boorish, habit for Brig. A score of five was average. The vast majority of the earth’s women scored below five because they were “too old,””too young,” “too fat,” “too thin,” “too butch,” “too girly,” “bad skin,” “bad hair,” “no hair,” “mole,” “mole with a hair in it,” “mustache,” etc., and fell below Brig’s level of interest. Despite his superficiality, and substance abuse issues, most women, loved Brigham. He was charming when he wanted to be, handsome in a boyish way. And of course the clincher; he had loads of money that he wasn’t afraid to spend. He’d been with, among others, a Victoria’s Secret model, a beauty pageant winner (Miss Utah 2002), a Playboy playmate (Miss March 2010), and a Dallas Cowboy’s cheerleader, but had never been in a monogamous relationship that lasted more than six months. Until a few weeks ago, he had never proposed marriage to anyone.
“I knew you were going to tell me that. I’m a prophet you know.”
“A what?” The gate agent asked as she tapped at her computer.
“A prophet. A Seer. A Revelator.” It suddenly dawned on Brig that he wasn’t dealing with a local. “A fortune teller, if you will.”
“Hmm.” Unimpressed, the agent handed the freshly printed boarding passes to Brig and gestured for him to move along. “If you don’t mind…”
“It’s true. My great, great, great, great, et cetera, et cetera, great grandfather, Brigham Young the first, was the first prophet, um, fortune teller, in our family, but not the last. The gift of seeing the future runs in my blood,” Brig explained. “For example, I know that my bags have been checked all the way through to my final destination and that we are going to miss our original departure time.”
“Wow! You’re good!” the agent said with feigned enthusiasm, “Yes, your bags have been checked through to Hong Kong, and since we have only,” she paused to look at her watch, “ five more minutes until our scheduled departure time, and we haven’t boarded yet, it is probably safe to assume that we will be a little late taking off. But we will be boarding very soon, and I’m confident you will have plenty of time to make your connecting flight in San Francisco.”
“I knew you were going to say that,” Brig smiled and moved aside.