Tuesday, August 4, 2009

High Jinks

The dude in 28A was picking his nose. Not in that subtle gotta-get-out-a-tiny-dried-booger way. I'm talkin' finger up his nose past the second knuckle. And this was not a quickie. The guy was on a trek, rather his finger was. Mind you that the dude was approaching 40, not 4. During the hour delay to change a flat tire (that somehow went undetected during the maintenance check before we boarded the freaking plane!), he went on to stick said finger into a bag of malted milk balls and nosh away. Sweet and salty treat, eh? I have a hunch this guy knows what ball sweat tastes like.

Three people within striking distance of me used seat belt extenders. Thankfully none of those people was seated next to me. I hate when someone else's person oozes over the arm rest onto me. I am very picky about the people I touch. I am a freak that way.

The man next to me looked like Jesus, right down to the Lord Boards on his feet. He was reading Rumi and chatting about mantras and tantras and such to a woman on his cell phone whom I suspect does not shave her arm pits. He was guzzling Diet Coke. Perhaps Jesus turned water into Diet Coke instead of wine? He snacked on something that reeked of three day old tapenade.

There was the baby who cried for 45 minutes. The gagging, can't-catch-you-breath kind of crying. It reached screech levels at times. Most passengers, and the two flight attendants who were irritable and childless (I know this because they said so.) were enraged. I just felt bad for the mom who was traveling alone. I've walked down the jetway in her shoes. I wanted to nudge her and tell her to put some socks on the infant's bare feet. That plane was a flying Tupperware popsicle mold, man. The poor kid probably just had cold tootsies. The flight attendants did not offer a blanket, which was for the better since someone like the guy in 28A probably had wiped boogers all over it anyway.

I got to sit next to the flight attendant's jump seat. Wow does she need to find a secure home on a therapist's couch somewhere and get out of the friendly skies. She looked me up and down as a school marm might and remarked, "Well, you're as cute as a button, aren't you?!" I simply smiled sheepishly. I must write to Miss Manners to find out the appropriate response to such a comment. Is it a compliment to be "cute as a button" at age 40? My inner jury is still out on that one. She went on to ask me if I was married. Dear God, was she hitting on me? I'm a little daft when it comes to matters of the heart. Then, because we were delayed an hour waiting for the Michelin Man to arrive with his tool belt, we all got to hear her life story.

Age 60.
Divorced for 32 years.
Was married to a gynecologist.
He cheated on her.
No kids.
Never wanted them.
Now doesn't like them.
Looking for a man.
A man with no kids, no parents, no siblings.
A rich man.
No pets.
Must live or want to live in Virginia (being a Virginia girl myself, I can hardly blame her for this criterion.).

I think I just wrote her match.com profile.

Waitress in the Sky played a loop in my head. I was trying desperately to not break into song.

Then the flight attendant started peering at all the men's feet within her range of vision. She was oohing and aahing over one gentleman's piggies. We learned that she once dated a handball player (Is that a job? Really?) who had particularly large hands (duh) and nasty feet. She apparently cannot tolerate bad feet. Must add that detail to her match.com profile. I would argue that there's no such thing as good feet. I nonchalantly tucked my bunioned foot behind the one on which I had endured bunion surgery eight years ago (worse than childbirth I'm telling you!). Crazy flight attendant goes on to ask the man if he's married. Man blushes. Deeply. And he's freaked out, not flattered. Those of us who are buckled into our seats by order of the pilot who controls the illuminated seat belt light are feeling a tish rashy under the collar as if we are watching a female version of George Costanza and Larry David rolled into one terribly frightful character.

The woman next to the man with nice feet fiercely grabs his hand and proclaims him her husband. Four kids. Six grand kids. A house in the country (or boonies, depending on your perspective). A house at the beach. A boat. 36 years of bliss. Cue Diana and Lionel. 'Scuse me while I gag into the courtesy puke bag. It's only a matter of time before airlines start charging us for those too.

Mercifully the pilot informs us we are ready to take off. Engines roar. Muffler moans. We have lift off.

Crazy flight attendant lady loudly remarks, as if she's heckling us all, "Gee, I hope that new tire holds!" Cackling ensued.

Upon closer inspection of her name tag, I realized her name was Jinks.

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Carolyn G said...

OMG I was on that flight last month!! You made me laugh today and I needed that. Thanks.

DCUrbanDad said...

This is why I prefer Amtrak Acela.

Ree said...

Screaming babies don't bother me as much as stupid adults. ;-)

Anonymous said...

You are hilarious! No, really, you have a gift. BTW, I shouldn't admit this, but I'm a Flight Attendant. Now I've been flying for 20 years and have read every article/blog trying to be cute about "the flying experience". I have heard it all. So for me to have a good laugh at this post says a lot about your writing talents!

Tucson, AZ