Blog, yes! I've been using my Facebook bio as my blog for the longest time now. This probably won't help anyone, except those of you looking for an excuse not to fly, or if you just need a chuckle. So here goes: Liz R. Newman Presents...Random Moments.
"It must be so great to be travel for business," I mused to Brad the other day. "Flying seems to glamorous. So jet set!" Was I wrong!
Yesterday, I left home at 5 am on a marathon trip to pick up a new Siberian kitten in L.A. I was so excited I woke up at 4:30 am before my alarm clock rang and was out the door. I was flying on an employee standby ticket since my dad is a retiree of a major airline carrier. When I checked in at the kiosk, the screen read "Are you in compliance with the employee dress code policy?" Dress code policy? I ride first class in sweatsuits, man! I was wearing jeans and open toed shoes, and memories of being a child, flying when there was an open seat for employees' rugrats, and shifting around wearing crunchy polyester came flooding back. I told myself the airline employees would let it slide, but one look at anyone who works in an airport and you pretty much have to accept that "Nothing slides around here. If we ain't happy, you ain't happy!" And believe you me, in the airport,nobody's happy. Except Mr. Smiley walking back and forth in front of your gate and cackling away on his cell phone. Damn. Off I went to SF airport's clothing store, where a huge sign read "up to 70% off select styles." I picked out a pair of linen pants and tried them on. They were linen harem pants, the kind that MC Hammer made famous. Resisting the urge to do the famous "Can't Touch This" footwork, I ripped the tags off and stuffed my feet into closed toed shoes a size too small. With the enormous discount the horrific pants and shoes still came to over one hundred dollars. What a rub! Five dollar pants are priced at $90 and "on sale" for fifty so you feel like you're getting a bargain. Hahaha.
Got on the plane without a hitch,and who gets assigned a seat next to me but an off duty airline stewardess. So I get to hear all about the rules before anyone else does. "Time to turn that laptop off." "Put your bag all the way under the seat right there. All the way under." Insult to injury, she takes her shoes off and places her sweaty, stockinged feet so they're touching my handbag. I realize that if I give into my reptilian brain and throw an elbow into her pancreas, I could get booted off the plane and spend the rest of my day in a holding cell. I have a feeling she's waiting for me to do just that. I knew of someone who was an airline steward who loved to torment the customers in oh so subtle ways. While you're enjoying your icy beverage, the attendants are huddled in the back, deciding who will do the next round of "crop dusting." That's when they walk down the aisle and leave silent, deadly methane in their wake.
The off duty flight attendant sitting next to me was sucked into a conversation with a down on his luck businessman on who OD'ed on Starbucks. He kept spouting phrases such as "Revenge is a dish best served cold," and "This time I know it's gonna happen." Karma kicks in at just the right time once in a while (he said that too). She nodded, "Uh-huh. It will. Uh-huh," and then feigned sleep for the rest of the flight. He turned to a ditzy broad who was the belle of the ball about thirty years ago and started talking her ear off while I put my headphones on and silently laughed at the movie "Crazy Heart."
Off the plane now, have new kitten. Headed back home when a man sits next to me. Sometimes you know someone's gonna smell really, really bad. You meet enough people and you begin to lump them into certain archetypes. Funky, filmy businessman gets the seat next to me. I'm right in the middle of him and a nice teenage girl who gets one whiff of him and passes out. At first, I'm thinking the kitten took a doody, then I realize there is a horrifying correlation when he breathes and the terrible smell. The beverage cart goes by, and of course he orders milk, which brings his scent and my face to Level 10 on that pain chart they use in hospitals.
Flashed back to the TSA guy at LAX who asked a woman to step to the side and be screened and she shouted, "This is insane!" He looked so bummed out I tried to make him feel better by saying, "And I thought my job was tough. I'm a stay-at-home mom. No appreciation." He smiled sadly, and for once out of his day hopefully he felt a millisecond of human connection. You're not human anymore when you step into an airport. You're not even a number. You're either a nuisance or a suspected terrorist.
Love the kitten; she's a joy to the entire family. And I got a good laugh and better understanding of what my husband has to go through, so I suppose the trip was a win win. So long as I don't have to get on a plane unless I'm headed for a tropical island.