“I didn’t realise you could actually go on Air Force One, wouldn’t that be classed as a security risk?” George asked, wondering if he’d misheard part of Sandy’s chatter.
“Now that would be a coo,” chuckled Carl. “Imagine telling the Jensons we sat in Obama’s seat on Air Force One. Wouldn't they just die.”
“Carl, don’t be so silly and don’t tease poor old George,” Sandy tutted.
And there it was again, thought George, ‘old’. Funny how you can forget your age when there’s no need to remember; when you have all your marbles and use of all your bodily functions and limbs. But then, when someone or something provides a reminder, you feel a little twinge in your knees or have a sudden urge to sit down and rest a little. I am a walking contradiction George concluded, I am an old man on the outside, but an ageless one inside. He wondered which would win.
“‘It’s not the actual Air Force One,” Sandy was starting to explain, “well it was, before the actual one they use now was built, so would that not make the one they use now Air Force Two? Why is it not called Air Force Two Carl? Surely that would stop confusion. I mean, the real Air Force One is the one we are going on isn’t it, not the one Obama uses? His is number two, right.”
Whilst Sandy stopped to breath and ponder her inner revelation about the naming of the presidential plane, George asked for his bill and a taxi. Carl, who was shaking his head, eyes wide and bemused about his wife's ramblings, simply nodded at George, “wise move cowboy.”
Later that evening George picked up another tourist leaflet from reception and read up on the Reagan Foundation and the original Air Force One, now housed as part of a display covering the Regan era. A glossy picture of Air Force One stretched across the leaflet, Ronald and Nancy waving from the open doors. George pictured Sandy and Carl, dressed up and beaming their best all American smiles as they posed in the doorway for the photo that he felt sure would be the front of their Christmas cards this year.