This is strictly tongue-in-cheek for all my fellow grandmas and grandpas out there . . .
Once upon a time there was a nice girl named Kira. She was almost eight years old and very beautiful, with gorgeous hair and pretty eye lashes. She had a cute little sister and a nice mom and dad who loved her very much.
The best thing of all was that she had a VERY HANDSOME GRANDPA!! In fact, he was so handsome that she carried around a picture of him in her pocket and would take it out and look at it many times a day. Each time she did, her heart skipped a little beat – she was so happy to have such a kind and handsome grandpa. Once she took the picture out and was looking at it right while she was taking a math test, and her teacher thought she might be cheating. “No,” Kira said quickly, trying to explain, “I was just looking at a picture of my grandpa. He’s very handsome, you see, and I must look at his picture many times a day.”
“I see,” said the teacher, deciding not to punish her.
All the other students gathered around. “Let me see! Let me see!” they all cried, pushing and shoving to see the picture. Kira showed it to them, and all the girls agreed. “Are you serious? That’s your grandpa? Why, he looks like a movie star or maybe a contestant on The Voice or American Idol.”
“Thank you,” she said, feeling even more lucky than ever. But she quickly put the picture of her very handsome grandpa back in her pocket, so that the kids could finish their math test.
The only bad thing is that she missed him so much! Whenever they were together, she always wanted to kiss her grandpa at least fifty times a day . . . but how could she do that when he lived clear out in California? “I miss him terribly,” she sighed out loud one day so that her mom heard her.
“You’ll see him in about a month,” Mom reminded her. “That’s really not that long of a time.”
“I know,” Kira replied. “But I really wish I could see him RIGHT NOW! He’s so handsome! Plus I feel like I just have to kiss him fifty times right this second or I might DIE!”
“You won’t die,” her mom said, shaking her head the same way a bartender sometimes does when he hears someone say a really silly thing. But her mom didn’t realize how very much Kira was aching to give her handsome grandpa those fifty kisses.
One day when Kira was home all by herself and was looking at the picture again, it was suddenly too much. “This is terrible,” she groaned. “Why, I must kiss my grandpa fifty times right now, today, or I might really die.” All at once, it almost felt as if her heartbeat was slowing down in loneliness and grief. Moosh . . . moooooosh . . . moooooooooooooosh . . . It was getting slower and slower, and she feared that if she didn’t go to see her grandpa immediately – and kiss him fifty times – why, her heart might even just STOP! How would everyone feel then? It would be a very sad situation; that’s for sure.
“How much money would it take to fly to California and see my very handsome grandpa this very second?” she wondered to herself. She was pretty sure that it usually cost around $400; she also knew that she only had eight dollars in her little purse. “That’s not nearly enough,” she sighed wearily, checking her pulse as she did so. Now her heart rate was slower than ever! Moooooosh . . . moooooooooosh. It almost felt like the room was slowly spinning into a cycle of tremendous grief. Must kiss Grandpa . . . muuuuuuuust kisssssssss Graaaaaaaandpa . . . miiiiiight even diiiiiiiiiiiie.
She quickly made up her mind. Packing a suitcase and looking for her purse, she made sure she at least had the eight dollars. She wrote a note to her mom and dad and left it on the kitchen table where her parents would be sure to find it. “Dear Mommy and Daddy, I have gone to California to kiss Grandpa fifty times. I should have asked for permission, but I thought you might say no. Please don’t be mad at me, and please don’t punish me too much. It’s just that my heart is breaking with a desire to kiss Grandpa. Love, Your daughter, Kira.”
She added several XOXOXO’s to the bottom of the letter, hoping it might soften her mom’s heart. Then she went out to the garage and got into the pickup truck. She knew she was too short to reach the pedals, but she had already thought of a solution to this problem. Fastening some Heinz beans cans to her feet, she was just barely able to manage the gas pedal and the clutch. She did run into several mail boxes on the way to the freeway, and several people passing her seemed surprised to see an eight-year-old girl with beautiful hair driving a pickup truck on the freeway, but she simply waved at them and kept on going to the airport. “If they knew how handsome my grandpa was, they would understand,” she said to herself as she almost crashed into a police car.
She parked at the airport and started to walk to the terminal with her suitcase – but almost tripped because she had forgotten to take the tin cans off her shoes. She put them into her little suitcase and hurried up to a ticket counter.
“May I please have a ticket to Ontario, California?” she said politely to the ticket lady.
“You are very young to be flying alone.”
“I know, but I’m going to see my grandpa. He’s very handsome, you see, and I can hardly wait to get there.”
The nice lady looked in her computer. “It says that the fare will be $395,” she said. Then she added carefully: “Do you have that much money, sweetie?”
“No,” said Kira, her heart beginning to sink. “I only have eight dollars.”
“Eight dollars!” the lady said, beginning to laugh. “You can’t fly to California for eight dollars; didn’t you know that?”
“I know,” Kira said, trying not to cry. “But I just have to go there and kiss my grandpa.”
The lady’s face softened. “Do you love your grandpa a lot?”
“I love him with all my heart. I just wanted to go and kiss him fifty times.”
“Yes. Plus he’s so handsome.” She showed the lady the picture of her very handsome grandpa, and the other ticket people all gathered around to look at it too.
“He is handsome,” the ticket lady agreed. “But that doesn’t mean you can go and see him for just eight dollars.”
“I know . . . but . . . but . . .” Kira was trying hard to think of another idea. Suddenly it came to her. “Is this airplane flying to California totally full?”
The lady looked at her screen. “Er . . . no. Not exactly. There are quite a few empty seats.”
“So,” Kira pointed out, “if I fly on it and give you eight dollars, isn’t that more than zero dollars?”
The lady thought hard about that. “But what if I let you fly for just eight dollars, and pretty soon lots of other people come here and think they can fly there for just eight dollars too? If that happens, the airline will go out of business.”
That was a hard question to answer, but Kira soon thought of a good reply. “I know, but not all of the other people have such a kind and handsome grandpa.”
In the end, that was the argument that brought her success. Looking around to see if her boss was watching, the lady went click click click on her keyboard and handed Kira a plane ticket. “Here you are, Miss Morris,” she said in a very low voice. “But don’t tell anybody.”
Kira thanked her and was just about to leave when the ticket lady said: “Can I see that picture just one more time?”
She looked at it for a couple of minutes and then gave a little shake of her head. “Yes, he looks very kind and handsome,” she admitted. “Well, have a nice flight, young lady, and be sure to kiss your grandpa fifty times.”
“I will,” she promised.
The plane took off and Kira wondered what her mom would think when she found the note. After the flight leveled off, she picked out a book to read and was enjoying it when a flight attendant interrupted her. “Are you the girl who is going to visit her handsome grandpa in California?”
“Yes,” she said proudly.
“Can I see the picture too?”
Soon all the flight attendants were gathered around, looking at the picture and passing it from one to the next. “Is he, like, a movie star or maybe running to be the next president after Obama?”
She shook her head. “No, he’s just my grandpa. But he’s very nice and kind.”
The attendant was about to pass the picture back to Kira when her phone rang. She talked on it for a moment and then looked up, surprised. “The captain wants to see the picture too,” she told Kira. “Can you come up to the cockpit and show him?”
“Sure,” she said, feeling very pleased. This picture of her handsome grandpa was creating all sorts of happy opportunities.
She squeezed into the front of the plane where two men were flying over Texas. The two pilots looked at the picture and she could tell that they were jealous of her grandpa’s tremendous handsomeness. “That’s a good-looking fellow,” one of them said as he made the airplane turn a tiny little bit. Then he had a bright idea. “Say, young lady, would you like to fly the plane for a little while?”
He laughed. “It’s actually easy. And for someone who has such a smart-looking grandpa, I’ll bet you could learn how to do it fairly quickly.
She could tell right away that the pedals on the floor were too far away for her to reach, but fortunately, she still had those cans of beans with her. The pilot let her strap herself into his seat and showed her which were the really important knobs and levers. “And if you pull up on this little steering wheel, it makes the airplane go up and down.”
She tried it, and sure enough – the plane went zooming up and then down . . . and she found herself giggling with pure joy. This was fun! A huge airplane was doing just what she wanted, and besides, every minute was taking her ten miles closer to her very handsome grandpa.
A moment later, to both pilots’ surprise, she pulled way up on the stick and the plane actually did a loop-the-loop. She could hear screams and thumps from the back of the plane, as people’s sodas ran up their noses and babies landed on the roof of the plane. One couple who were playing Scrabble had all the letters go flying in every direction, and two flight attendants came crawling on their hands and knees up to the cockpit, their hair all messed up and their shoes missing. “Captain! Captain! Why did we just do a loop-the-loop?”
“It’s all right,” he said, trying to calm them down. “This young lady here took us for quite a roller coaster ride, eh? She won’t do it again, but she was so excited about seeing her handsome grandpa, I guess she couldn’t help herself.”
Kira promised them she wouldn’t do it again, and she flew the plane by herself for the next half hour so the two pilots could go to the back of the airplane and help people pick up all their books and Game Boy consoles and iPods that had bounced around during her famous loop-the-loop. The radio tower called in from Dallas, Texas, and a man with an accent said over the radio speaker: “What’s going on up there? On our radar screen, it looked like your airplane did a loop-the-loop. That’s against the rules, you know.”
“Yes, sir,” Kira said quickly, hoping she wouldn’t get in trouble.
“What’s your name?”
She thought quickly. “This is Captain Morris.”
There was a long pause. “The one with the handsome grandpa?”
“Roger that,” she said, just like she had heard the pilots say. She knew that “Roger” actually meant “yes.”
“Okay, then,” the man from Texas said. “Have a good rest of your flight.”
Before she knew it, the plane was landing in Ontario! As soon as they parked, Kira began to run toward the exit before she realized the cans of beans were still attached to her shoes. She took them off, then sprinted to the door where she could see her grandpa waving to her. She jumped into his arms and began giving him those fifty kisses. Kiss . . . kiss . . . kiss . . .
All at once she stopped. “Grandpa, how did you know to come to Ontario and get me?” She hadn’t thought to call him to describe her successful travel idea.
He laughed and gave her a huge hug. “It was on TV all afternoon! A girl doing loop-the-loops in an airplane. Then they said she was eight years old and coming to see her very handsome grandpa. I knew right away: ‘Why, who else could that be but me?’ So here I am!”
She rode home with him – deciding it might be a good idea to let him drive the Toyota and give those cans of beans a rest. Kira spent a whole week with her handsome grandpa, kissing him fifty times each and every day.
And they lived happily ever after.