Charlywalker's Blog











{November 2, 2013}   One Flew Over The Blog’s Nest.

I am amazed every day how fast time passes. Why it seems like only yesterday I was jumping into my size 4 designer jeans and meeting up with friends for an evening of fun and frolic that lingered into the wee hours where you would stumble home just in time to change your shoes to start another days work .  Maybe spritz a little body spray over the missed areas from your ten second shower, then shake your locks into a full upright position and grab anything from the fridge that didn’t contain mold and dangle it between your teeth as you start up the cold car to head out to your 10 hour day of public service.

Amazing how one could disguise the afore nights  festivities with a little make up and a breath mint, but then, who would notice if you forgo the morning shower when your career peeks at 35,000 feet staged with Bloody Mary requests, screaming babies, and smoking beyond rows 24.  Not one passenger would suspect that you had been out the night before enjoying  Carribean Mai Tai’s and escargot stuffed in mushrooms caps until 2 a.m.  Not a one.  Nor would they notice the pounding a head takes from dehydration, jet engines, and lack of oxygen.  OXYGEN.   Small green tanks  located behind designated rows of seats that are inspected and rendered full before each flight takes off for their destination.  Rendered Full….unless the crew that occupied the plane before you happened to be out the night before their flight. Or, on a rare occasion, some passenger required a portion of that bottled gas for a minor complaint, like anxiety, or maybe a few heart palpitations, or in one case, a woman experiencing early contractions right after take off, with nothing but two hours of ocean waters ahead.

I will tell you this, there is nothing more frustrating as you try to convince a non- English speaking pregnant passenger: “That everything will be just fine”, while racing through the cabin pulling pins on secured O2 canisters and finding  them all empty. Nothing.    Particularly since I had reserved one for myself. Nothing cures a hangover like a little fresh air….

It was at that moment I had decided to attempt some Spanish that I picked up on while based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I sat with the pregnant passenger and  held her attention with the art of my inept broken language. She seem to calm down as her Braxton Hicks attempted to quiet themselves.  The quizzical look that spread across her face as I proceeded with my quasi Espanol repertoire, may have been a  hefty contributor to her new found demeanor. As It was later explained to me by a bilingual passenger, that I was telling her to; ” stow her belly under the seat” and ” the aircraft is safe with her Bambino in the overhead compartment”.

It wasn’t my fault I lacked proficiency in that language. I was 19 and a half and had four years of an accredited language to my credentials. German.  It was very difficult trying to utilize my German speaking talent on a plane full of Puerto Rican’s flying into Miami, however,  I did happen across a situation where my Bravarian skills came in handy.  There was an unattended child on the aircraft flying from the Islands to New York and he only spoke German.  The head Flight Attendant asked if any crew member was fluent in the little Liebchen’s language, so naturally I  jumped at the chance to show off the “A+”  I received  from my high school German teacher; Freuline Heidleberg. I gave her that title based on all her anecdotal stories about the local Hofrbrauhaus’ she encountered while traveling abroad.  Not to mention her breath wreaked of Brew-ha-ha during class time.

The Deutschland child was all of eight years of age and traveling alone to meet his parents at his destination. The Senior Stew mentioned to me that he seemed distressed while seated in his First class seat awaiting take off.  As I sat next to him I started the conversation with my learned textbook from grade 10; ” Auf Deutsch!”.  I began with what I could recall from lesson one:  “Hello, my name is Ludwiga, what is your name, and , have you seen  my black dog”.  Forgetting that Ludwiga was the German name assigned to me throughout the  entire four years of High School. Every other female student received cute frilly names like, Anja, Brigitte, or Gretchen.  I hated that Ludwiga name and Freuline Heidleberg knew it. I stuffed numerous requisitions for a name change in Freuline Heidleberg’s suggestion box, but my requests were  continually denied. She didn’t like me much, It might have had to do with the time I interrupted one of her  European  Beer adventure stories with a giant belch.

I shortened the name Ludwiga and scrolled ” LuLu”  in black felt pen onto my name tag  taped to my table top situated in the front row facing  Heidleberg’s desk.  I think I won this one as the following class day, Ms. Brew-ha-ha herself gleefully slipped me a note with a newly assigned Name:  BRUNHILDE.

It was later I learned that Brunhilde in German meant, Ready For Battle.  It was then decided I would notoriously autographed all my homework with my new moniker: ” xoxo HILDY”.

After ten minutes of trying to correct the German child seated in 2A that my name was not Ludwiga, I managed to get a handle on his agitated state. From what I could manage to decipher in my broken translation, the boy was “looking for a  Lost Man”.  I inquired about this Lost Man. The German child proceeded to rattle off descriptions faster than the speed of this plane. I filtered out the tough jargon that flew past me due to the the one day I decide to skip Freuline Heidlberg’s class  that covered the gigantic terms, and  stayed focused on the familiar basics that was covered in Lesson two.  The words I gathered out of this eight year old Bravarian’s dialect were: “Man, Hat, , Airplane, Lost, Seat , flew, and Captain”.  These were the words I elected to translate after we took off.

I still did not fully comprehend what this little German Strudel was trying to convey to me. The child was frantic and  was trying to pull up his seat cushion and arm rests, and pull on his tray table, as he spewed words from the Third Reich. He kept shouting the word Captain over and over.  I told him I would “find the Captain”, and to remain seated with his seat belt fastened, all in broken German.  After the plane leveled I tapped the secret Crew knock on the cockpit door. I entered a bit frazzled and told the captain about the German boy in seat 2A who described a lost man in a uniform that is a captain and how it could be serious as this could be a relative of the child’s who missed the flight. That we may have to turn the plane around as this child is presumed an unattended flyer.  The captain question my language ability with the boy and “did I get the story right?”.  I reassured him I had, and touted my four years of accomplished skills and getting an A+.   The flight Captain and first officer looked at me, then at each other as if they were deciding to flip a coin  to see  who would leave their seat which encompassed a freshly brewed cup of  hot coffee.  The First Officer lost the toss.

We walked out to our unattended Munchkin sitting calmly in his seat playing with two action figures on his tray table. I spoke to the German Lad and mentioned I have the First Officer and we need to know how serious this Lost Man situation is, because the Captain will have to turn the plane around and that is very costly.  The German Urchin looked up from the two toys clenched in his fists shaped like the Hindenburg and announced proudly in his native tongue ;     “that he found the Lost Man”.

The First Officer looked at me as I turned as green as the little army action figure that he was waving in front of my face.  A Captain America Action figure  wearing a hat that Flew out of his makeshift Hand airplane and fell into the crevice only to get Lost into the Seat cushions of Row 2A & B.      I’m sure this went down well in the Captain’s Log.

They say being up in the skies constantly can have an effect on your oxygen levels.  Might cause a slight impairment resulting in some conversations getting lost in translation. Might make one think that after taking some high school language classes they are adept in handling peace talks within the United Nations. Might make one think twice before volunteering their hyperbolic  language skills so freely.  Might want to cap that talent. Might want to keep their mouth shut and just serve coffee……

Spread the humor.




The training process lasted a total of six weeks and most of the time was spent in a classroom of some sort, whether it contained a mock-up of the new L1011 jumbo jet or or a mirrored room full of Elizabeth Arden’s new Fall colors.  Rule #6 was designed to align our faces to model Cybill Shepherd, the pin-up girl of the 70’s.   I guess every era has it’s poster child.

.

Our airline’s beloved American Idol was posted adjacent to the life size mirrors covering the walls of our classroom .  The new stews arrived in a timely manner and rushed to their assigned station where a glossy Mauve box the size of a mini cocktail tray lay before them.  We were all into our third week of instruction and everyone was well acquainted with each other and their State of being.  I was seated next to Miss Georgia who dove into her box thinking it contained a creamy nougat or two, and  after lifting the lid, immediately slumped into disappointment as she faced her assortment of Georgia Peach hues….

Each of the make-up boxes that were presented to us were pre-picked based on our skin tone, eye, and hair color,  by a company that originated in 1911.  I guess I was thankful that by  the time 1970 rolled around Elizabeth Arden was sold to a pharmaceutical company and women no  longer applied freshly picked berries onto their lips and cheeks.  I’m sure Ms. Arden was rolling over behind her Red Door when her palette’s  now featured  the added Lab-Rat Lavender and Carcinogenic Cocoa as the headliner colors.

My pretty in pink box held colors suited for the Brown-eyed Brunette, who couldn’t fall farther from the Cybill Shepard tree.  I watched as a prescribed make-up artist ran around the room blaring cosmetic counsel to make sure  we all stuck to the Airline code  and represent the Stepford “Stews ” Standard, and not think outside our laminated pink box.

The colors illuminating from my Box screamed an assortment of Moody Blues highlighting a crystal blue persuasion of eyeliners,  while undertones of deep purple gave me a whiter shade of pale.  All this Beauty in a  Box repertoire  was accompanied by Marvin Gaye crooning over the scruffy sound system:

What’s Going On…tell me what’s going onnn…

The next step was to tackle our hair.  I watched as each member of the class of  ’72 received bangs.  It was a time somewhere between late chic  Hippie shag and early Farrah Fawcett feathering. The last thing I remember is the stylist grabbing my ponytail wielding a giant pair of scissors and me sobbing into a pre -moistened towelette causing my freshly applied make-up to run. My new doo was now light and feathery carrying less weight.  I guess minimal hair presented a larger allowance for  extra carry -on luggage for the passengers.

When noontime finally rolled around I skipped lunch and ran back to my room.  I raced through the lobby looking like Baby Jane Hudson after she finished her audition to Edward Flagg.  Too late… too late……too late to call for help… I thought to myself ,as I was writing a letter to daddy to send money for a wig….

I never broke Rule 6……..unless washing  my face after class constituted a crime of fashion.

It was lucky rule number seven that nearly did us in:

  There were seven deadly weigh-ins; one per week topped off with a final one just before graduation.  The first six were random  checks in order to keep track of  who would fit through the emergency exit and who would get their fat ass stuck in the window, causing passengers to reroute……

  By the sixth week our class was as thick as thieves which began a tribe of neighborhood watch at The Villa’s. The one girl, Miss Georgia, presented a problem with weight gain and squirreled packets of Hostess Twinkies in her suitcase.  On her sixth weigh-in she was three pounds over weight and could face banishment if she did  not lose that cream filling by graduation.

There was a lot of buzz roaming around the Stew Zoo with regards to Miss Georgia’s weighty situation and none of us wanted a member of our class to fail, especially because of her love for yellow spongy cake hosting a shelf life of 25 years.  We were a band of ingenue’s sticking together like the lavender varnish on our polished hands.  There was a secret meeting to be held around the pool after dinner hour to discuss Miss Georgia’s  cuisine habits.  They thought posting a  24/7 shift of weight- watchers by her side to monitor her Twinkie intake might  secure the issue, but that could heighten the Airline Gestapo’s suspicion and a few of us still felt the sting from breaking rule number One. So……after little consideration of the outcome, and by unanimous vote, the decision to break into the  class weigh-in room and rig the scale won by a landslide.

Come morning weigh-in, the entire class registered three pounds lighter………

After completing the six week training for this eastern airline, a few of us went into Miami to celebrate and tip the scale of success for the graduating class of ’72.  As we approached the restaurant I noticed a large picture of Cybill Shepherd smiling from a drug store window  as she  touted her Cover Girl make-up.  I walked over  to study the poster and  laughed hysterically as I noticed her eyes were fixated on the props piled up next to her:

Tastefully sinful……

spread the humor….

(There will be no more “parts” to this as I have decided to continue my saga into a “diary of a mad flight attendant..featuring many not for prime time adventures”…..CW).




Rule number two was written in bold type with massive underlining and Italics. 

CURFEW. 

I thought I left this behind after graduating high school. It made me wonder if all the “New Stews” parents held a meeting with the airline presenting their list of wrongs.  I left my family back west purposely to break the confines of parental controls.

CURFEW… try telling that to my empty stomach at 10:00 p.m.  My tummy had jet lag and was still adjusting to the three hour time difference as East met West in my digestive organ.

Miss Midwest and I missed our dinner bell and the Airline Gestapo  sent us  straight to our room without dinner. Just like in Junior High ,when your mother got mad just because you were sent home from St. Luke’s Catholic school for setting the goldfish free in the holy water during set-up time for the Church Bazaar.  Anyway, as Midwest and I sat in our double occupancy suite rifling through drawers for signs of pre-packaged sustenance, I noticed a pair of eyes peeking through the gape of our drapes covering our partially opened window.

I whispered to Midwest that someone was outside our room.  She walked over and flapped the curtain open and standing like a deer in headlights was the Bell hop from the Villa’s.  We stood there glaring at him as he squeezed his face partially through the window and spoke in broken English:

“Are chjew gurlz  mucho hungree?”.

It was Jorge ( pronounced: HORE-HAY).  The Cuban bellboy that befriended a few Stews at the villa’s.  He was our only connection to the outside when forced into solitary confinement.  Jorge knew everyone and everything about the Villa’s.  Jorge was able to get you Anyone and Anything at Anytime from the Villa’s.

We pleaded our gastronomic case and asked if he could fetch us some food. He stated he could but we would have to accompany him.  Miss Midwest gave me the same look she gave as when I pulled her into the Bentley earlier that day.  We had made the time constraint of the late night bed check, but we still needed to cover ourselves should the airline gestapo happen to sleep walk.  We stuffed our beds with pillows and blankets to form an “S” shape resembling two laid out Stews. After shutting the light, we proceeded to crawl out the window with the assistance of Jorge who had a golf cart waiting behind a palm tree.

Jorge ushered us into the cart and drove us to the Villa’s Restaurant, which is excluded to New Stews and open to visiting vacationers.  The one thing about an Airline School in the 70’s,  is most of the students are pegged the moment they arrive, and are easily identified by staff and visitor’s.  I was still in my Miami white attire and Jorge was dressed in his Villa’s employee uniform.  I asked Jorge to loan me his tie and red jacket and walked through the Staff entrance to the restaurant kitchen.  It was there I picked up a serving tray and started to slam salami and crudites onto a pile, followed by a stash of French  baguette.  The kitchen staff rambled something in Cuban pointing and laughing as I paraded my silver tray through the aisles of leftovers.  I turned and popped them a smile and a Gracia’s and raced back to the golf cart where my cohorts in crime anxiously awaited.

Miss Midwest et all laughed up a storm as they saw me exit with a tray of delights wearing the Bellboy’s jacket and a black bow-tie.  Jorge let me drive back to our room  and as I parlayed the Cart in reverse  and darted with full  throttle in the dark, I neglected to look behind me and rammed another cart that approached from the rear.

Two well dressed “Suits” stepped out of their golf cart and stood hovering above us ready to land their disgust with this minor accident incident.  Both gentlemen cross examined Miss Midwest and I regarding our status at “this hour of the night”, and “are we employed by the Airline?”.  I  conceded  and offered up our feeble excuse while slowly removing my rented costume and returning it to Jorge.

The one Suit who was missing his tie stepped closer into the light and leaned into our golf cart and spat out:

“Do you know who I am?  I am the V.P. of the Airline that just hired you”.

I was hoping at that time I was not going to crap my Miami white polyester pants.

Mr. Veep scolded us and threatened to have us returned to our homes.  It was then I realized I should have listened to my dad and applied to law school. He always said I could argue my way out of  going the wrong way on a one way street.

 I pleaded with the “Pinstripes” and begged forgiveness from the courting of the idea of; maybe, just maybe, a sentencing of no breakfast in the morning?  I ended with my closing statement describing the heartbreak and disappointment our parents will endure as a result of us being thrown out of “Stew School”.  I sniffled a sentence or two referencing my “stature as a temporary college misfit and winning the Flight Attendant lottery with your Esteemed Airline, and how this is a child’s dream come true to one day turn in my Miami White polyester for the Noble Blue Uniform of the Wings of Man”.  Then I eeked out the airlines rusty slogan in the key of “E” flat with hopes of my cohort butting in as a back up singer:

“You gotta Belieeeve in Eastern……”

The V.P. nearly peed his pants to suppress his laughter. He took our names and numbers and ordered us back to our rooms. He instructed Jorge to drive us back safely.  Miss Midwest and I crawled back through our window and fell onto our beds hardly sleeping, and thinking about our demise facing us in the morning.

It was 8:00 a.m. and the morning Gestapo shift entered our room to announce that “Miss Midwest and I were Grounded for a week”,  thus being responsible for the breaking of  rule’s #3 and #4………

Never miss class and Never miss your Familiarization flight……

It was then I started to study the tactic’s of Gandhi and missing a meal once in a while to prevent any uprisings.    Plus, how was I to know that having Hotel Staff loitering outside your window after 11:00p.m. was breaking rule #5……..

(to be continued……)




Continuing on with the parody of entering the Airline world, back when the dinosaurs roamed, and First Class served meals on real china…….not made in China……..

My adventures with this airline flew me across the country miles away from my family and landed me on a small island in the Caribbean. It is pronounced Cah-RIB-Be-an…if you are to be  a local. Most folks take on the pirated Johnny Depp’s annunciation: CARE- a -BEE-an.  Well, if Johnny Depp was pilfering Puerto Rico when I was living there who in their right mind would focus on Grammar……

My first stop before heading off to the assigned base in San Juan, was a six week layover in Miami for training. I managed to meet up with another chosen trainee on my flight to Florida, as she was from Oregon, and after chatting for what seemed like eight hours, we decided to share a cab to our hotel; The Villa’s. aka….Stew Zoo.

  Ms. Oregon and I were not accustomed to cabs and neglected to add a tip to our fare as we wrestled with our chump change laughing at the bottom of our purses.  The driver stood in disbelief as he fingered the coins and darted after us yelling something in Cuban.  Ms. Oregon turned  around and flipped him an added gesture with her free hand. I stopped to dig deeper in my pockets while Ms. Oregon was long gone halfway down the walkway to The Villa’s.  I was left with Scar face wielding and empty open palm in my direction.  I felt my Airline funding from my parents was dwindling before I even started the job…..

When we entered the Hotel, the lobby contained two genre’s of patrons:  “New Stews” and ” Lot’s of off the cuff men lingering after a busy day at Hialeah Race track.   The “Stew Group” sat in a designated mosh pit and awaited their Commander and Chief to assign their rooms and deliver vagrant instructions.  I was hoping to room with Ms. Oregon, but ended up  with Miss Midwest.

While unpacking our allotted one suitcase only, my roomie and I went over the itinerary and rules for our six week stay:

1) There will be Three meal times: 8:00am Breakfast, 12:00pm Lunch, and 6:00pm dinner. Should you miss any of these time you will not be allowed in the cafeteria, and no compensation for missing meals.

2) There is a curfew: In rooms by 9:00pm and bed check at 10:00pm. Should you not be present during these times you will be sent home.

3) Never miss class, unless there is an emergency or illness.

4) Never miss your assigned Fam Flight. Familiarization flight, there is only one, and no make-ups.

5) No bringing anyone to your rooms. Cause to be sent home.

6) There is one day dedicated to make-up and hair, must be present and abide by the Airline standard.

7) There will be random “Weigh -ins” at the Airline’s discretion.

8) You must present yourself professionally at all times, remember you are representing the Airline.

9) No alcohol.

10) Welcome aboard “The Wings of MAN”. See you at 8:00am sharp!

My first week there I broke rule number one.

We had some free time and I went to the beach with my roomie.  We managed a ride out there and did not secure a return trip back to The Villa’s. We were about eight miles from our Villa and it was getting to the dinner hour.  Most of the trainees came with a minimal amount of money as the airline suggested, and thus money was to be used to secure your living quarters when you settled at your new Base. Not for shopping.   My roomie and I used some of it in a few designer stores that screamed our names out as we passed by.  We bought new outfits during our “free time” at the beach.  We also realized we were short funds for a cab and the clock was ticking for our nightly room visit by the Airline Gestapo.

As Miss Michigan and I started to walk , and she was complaining about “not getting back in time”,  and “getting thrown out in our first week”, and “these stupid shoes are killing her feet”.    I  wanted to stick my thumbs in my ears, but decided to flag my hand out and trail my thumb along the  roadside towards traffic.  My roommate was horrified and slapped my hand down and proceeded to lecture on “deaths of hitchhikers”.  I told her who in their right mind would mess with two sunburned girls wearing new designer clothing?

I stuck my thumb out again. She slapped it down..again.  I slapped her hand back and there we were having a hand slapping conversation along the roadside dressed in Miami white pants and matching peach tops scuffing our decorative jeweled sandals. As we stood there slapping Patty-cake, a vintage beige Bentley pulled up with a shaggy haired bespectacled -what looked like an aging rock star- behind the wheel and he asked us if we needed a ride.

I grabbed the door handle and  then said “yes” before Miss Michigan objected. I tugged her too tight top into the back seat and blurted a “Thank you” to the driver.  He asked our destination and I told him “The Villa’s”.  He asked if we were Flight Attendants.  I said yes we were and we needed to get back to our rooms before curfew.

Our ride was not that long, and started out in complete silence.  My roommate kept darting hate stares at me and whispering heated words about , “Duct tape and Pick axes in the trunk……”.

The shaggy driver asked us if we “liked music” and stated he had “started a new band” and would we “like to hear his tape”.  Simultaneously we said Yes. Miss Michigan leaned over to me and exclaimed in my ear: “Music soothes the savage beast”…apparently she still had shades of Ted Bundy running through her head.

The driver and I conversed about his new band and as we were getting closer to our destination I asked him about  his Old Band. His former band.  As he pulled into the back parking lot of The Villa’s and stopped to let us out, he turned around and said:  “Oh.. I was the key-board player for The Doors.“.

I popped out of the car and smiled at my roommate. Ray Manzarek was our driver.  THIS is why you buy designer clothes when attempting to hitch hike…..

As it turned out we made it in time for bed check, however, we neglected to eat anything and my stomach was aching. Mostly because I could have held intense conversations with Mr. Manzarek about Jim  Morrison, but, instead, chose to fan off  the continuum  buzzing in my ear from my mid-western roommate about Hitch hikers and  Serial killers.

It was my stomach growling that lead me to break rule number two………

( to be continued…)




I have made  passing references about my past as an airline flight attendant, but did I ever fill you in on how I became one?

First I should inject that this was a career I had over thirty years ago and the Airline is no longer in service.  No….it is not in the Smithsonian………but parts of it are in the Museum of flight exhibit.  I happened upon this when I took my kids on a trip to Washington DC to view some history.  Little did I know I would stumble across a notable prop plane with my daughter at my side pointing out to her friends that it has the same Logo that is on her mom’s  Stewardess wings now collecting dust in a Jewelry box…

When most high school graduates were sending in their SAT scores to prospective colleges, my mind was set on traveling the wonders of the world, and I did not see my self scoring a place and having to SAT my seat in front of a desk thumbing through textbooks.  I knew what I didn’t want to do but not quite sure what I wanted to do.  I was the last of four children and I’m sure my parents were tapping their happy feet for me to venture out.  OUT of the house.

I came home one day and told my mother I decided I want to be a flight attendant.  My mother’s reply to that staement went a little like this: ” Why?….Any idiot can do that.”.  Well, being that my grades were in the toilet at the time, and Harvard and Yale were not Knock-knock-knockin’ on my door…..in fact no college was knocking….not even a light tap-tap was audible;  I decided to succumbed to my  mothers statement and went to all available ticket counters at our local airport to  fill out an  application that might send this Idiot abroad.

My first interview and rejection was from a large airline that UNITED their fleet all over the globe.  I returned home feeling distraught and feeling the FOOL and now realizing that I’m one less idiot that can’t make the cut.  My mother sat in the living room reading her morning paper and sipping a cup of java as I entered the house with my head lowered fighting back the tears and laughing on the wrong side of the mouth.  I crept in down the hallway and headed straight to my room to wallow in my defeat.  Without looking up from her Dear Abby column she slung the words toward me:

“So..how did it go?”

I gave her my results through a broken voice :

“They said  Thank you for coming……………NEXT!

My mother folded the Times and placed it on her lap and looked at me. She could see the disappointment I endured and then uttered a few sentences that went like this:

“You know why they didn’t hire you?  You’re too pretty for that airline.  Your father and I fly that airline all the time and those girls are not easy on the eyes.”

Then she offered to call my father who knew the CEO of that airline to help me along with the process.  I rolled my teary eyes at her and her backhanded compliment and declined her offer.  This idiot doesn’t need a helping hand……

Out of the Ten or so applications I sent out to become a flight attendant three responded back with proposed interview dates.  The first was the afore mentioned above, the second was from an EASTERN company that I had never heard of because I was a local from the Pacific Northwest.  I had it set in my mind to handle this interview differently. I decided to let fate and nature take its course.

I borrowed a suit from a girlfriend that was one size too big, and clipped my long brown hair into a studious undocked tail of a pony.  My make up was subdued and my pantyhose the color of the Ivory coast with my feet locked into someone’s leftover Nun’s shoes.  I was the ugly Idiot determined to go abroad…..

I walked into the entrance of the building shuffling my shoes along the linoleum when something hit me in the pit of my stomach……….

It was yesterday’s enchilada.

I raced to the concierge for directions to the nearest restroom and made it to the porcelain thrown as chili peppers held an emergency evacuation of last nights dinner.  I sat there in all my glory emptying contents and thoughts of missing my interview based on some bad beans.   I fled from the scene of the chyme and raced upstairs to make my appointment.  I hurried to the designated office and flew through the doors only to be greeted by a room full of life like Barbie’s.  There they were aligned in a U- shaped formation around the room……….forty girls, beautiful, tall, perfectly postured, trimmed, sleek, impeccably dressed with Ultra- Brite smiles.

I crossed the room to take the final seat and sat there as my pony tail flogged the person next to me and my stomach growled Beethoven’s 9th……

An Airline rep entered the room and called out half the names to follow her and the second half remain in the room.  I was left in the room.  It was then I was ready to accept the fated realization that who in their right mind would hire this plain Idiot in an over sized hounds tooth printed attire shifting in their chair stressing to suppress  a symphony of Gas.  I should just relieve myself of this ill-fated agony ……Well that would be one way to clear the room of competition….

In those hours I managed a few trips to the ladies room, hoping I wouldn’t be marked “absent” for my upcoming interview.  I was the last person called, and as the interviewer approached me I detected a wince emanating from her face as she ushered in her last candidate into her office who looked more like a Cabbage Patch Kid left out in the back yard too long  than a prospective Airline Stewardess.

The Interview lasted over an hour and most the time it was filled with visual scrutiny and few ” ah yes….” and “Hmmm” as she scribbled addendum’s into her notebook.  She ended with the usual  “Thank you” and shook my hand.  I walked out of her office knowing there was no future in this company for me and said “Thank you” in return.  As I took three steps down the hall the interviewer called out to me and said:

” Say…would you mind changing your hair style?”

I spun around and looked her in the eyes and smiled my reply:

“If you can do something with this hair I would be grateful,  I have been trying for years and can’t do a thing with it”.

It was a week later I got a call for a second interview and this is how that went down:

I wore a nice suite that fit, I wore wedge heels, I  applied make up, and I didn’t eat any Mexican food the night before.  I made the interview on time and noticed only one other girl in the waiting room.

I was called into a small dimly lit room with a leggy blonde sitting at a desk that held a smoldering cigarette in a glass ashtray.  She stood up to greet me and we shook hands. She asked me to have a seat. I sat as she discussed the Airline’s back round and what is required of a  Flight Attendant who  works for this airline.  I listened intently and answered when asked.  She then told me there is certain protocol with this airline and there fore I needed to be put through some tasks:

One task was to see how you walked, carried yourself, stature, balance, and posture.  She asked me to rise and walk about five feet and turn around to face her.  I rose out of my chair and in doing so my nylon clad foot slipped out of my backless wedgies and I toppled to the floor.  I got up from the cold tile and I turned to look at her and said:

“Well, that went well”.

The Marlena Dietrich Interviewer didn’t even flinch, she lit another cigarette and  blew a puff of smoke in my direction and muttered:

“Continue”.

I walked  the allotted five feet steady as she goes, and spun around to return when she shot a command of :

“STOP. Stand right there.”

And I did. Frozen in step.   Then she ordered another request:

“Raise your skirt up so I can see your thighs”.

Okaaayyyyy……yeah…….uuuuhhh…..yikessheesh….now wait a minute sister……can I have a nurse in the room?

I stood across the room and questioned the thoughts going through my head.  I looked back at her  through another puff of smoke as her head glanced down at a sheet of paper filled with check marks.  I stood there with  my eyes closed as I grasped the bottom of my skirt and fanned the hem high above my waist resembling a card board cut out of a Can-Can girl………minus the kicks.  While poised center stage flashing my Moulin Rouge,I heard the interviewer cough a chuckle and state:

” You can put that skirt down.  This year our Flight Attendants are wearing Hot Pants and we need to see the size of the legs to see if it is a right fit for the uniform”.

Strike two….I’m batting a thousand..I’m sure I’ve nailed this job…..what…..starting with a fall , followed by flashing my panties with Thursday written all over them…..as if she needed reminding of what day is was…..

She walked me to the door and said: “Thank You”.

I reiterated the same and tried to leave with what dignity I had left, and as I took another step she called out to me:

“I forgot to mention where you will be based, you have a choice  of New York or San Juan”.

I told her San Juan is fine, being that I was from the Pacific Northwest and we use to boat around the San Juan Islands all the time and I would be close to my hometown of Seattle.

 She blew her final puff of smoke and went back into her office.

A week later I received a packet from this EASTERN company announcing my acceptance to the airline and  a welcome aboard the “Wings of Man”.  I was so excited I rallied around the family and told them my base is really close to home.

“It’s San Juan”, I scream with delight.

My sister read the fine print of my contract and stated it was a base in PUERTO RICO……

Idiot Abroad…..

spread the humor.




The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.




My husband has been in Italy for the last month traveling about to various cities and waking up with a mint on his pillow and a do not disturb sign dangling from his hotel room door. He asked me if there was anything that I would like for him to bring back to me. I told him to bring the do not disturb sign.

While he has been working in the fields  under the Tuscan Sun soaking up the Chianti that was meant for me, I have been knee deep  trekking through a winter blizzard catering to children and a dog and shoveling a 20 yard drive way. I have come to the conclusion that I absolutely hate snow. I think snow should stay atop the mountains where it feels most at home and at peace instead of my street where eventually it ends a mixture of slush and gravel on the side of the road.

My dog is starting to hate the snow. It is no longer a novice for him where he romps and chases snowflakes. Now it is a chore and he will fight to the end to Not go out in the cold. Charly and I are having wrestling matches and he waits until I pin him to get his leash on. He actually retreats to his doggie bed and curls up in fetal position in rebellion. I don’t blame him, I don’t want to go out  into the white chasm that chills every hair on our heads.

 I have found one saving grace though, something that helps with the winter nights and warms the cockles. Whatever cockles are. I think Charly is losing his cockles soon. I have turned to brandishing wine. Wasn’t this the survival mechanism of the early explorers. Didn’t that trusty St. Bernard carry that lovely Keg of    Laphroaig Scotch twenty miles into the Rockies around his thick neck? I wonder if I could train Charly-dog to carry a stash for me when I’m out doing his nightly poo-poo walk. The walk that takes hours because he is so busy sniffing atop three feet of snow in order to locate his last leakage. The last potty stand that got buried under a glacier a week ago and is untraceable even to the most sensitive snoz.

If he could carry a flask of Grey goose around his puny neck accompanied by a saddle of green olives  I could walk him all night in a snow storm.  Work a plate of  appetizers on his back and I have a traveling bar at my disposal. Maybe I could train him to retrieve an Andes Creme de Menthe and place it on my pillow with the dent in the middle.

My dog is no bigger than a bottle of scotch so maybe I’ll have to attach a few airline miniatures behind his ears.  I have a few left over from when I grabbed a flight or two. Those days when I was free floating and had absolutely no responsibility , well, those were the days.  I was a flight attendant at one time. A time when flying was fun and you actually got a meal.  A time when you were thirty thousand feet above everyone else and  miniatures came in a caseload and not in a Bichon Frise packed in some ones Louis Vitton.

I see nothing wrong with a nip or two especially during the chilly nights or when your hormones are bouncing higher than Michael Jordan’s slam dunks. It can get lonely when your husband is away for a long time, but the company of a dog toting a flask of Martini’s could sublimate any longing that may  have entered your heart. There are a few things that can replace the warmth missing from the other side of the bed: A dry martini and a warm puppy. I believe that sums it up in a Dog shell.

Now, If he could accomplish the art of Shiatsu my husband need not return…………………



{September 12, 2011}   Blog-faced Liar

There are a few things in life that I have a low tolerance for:

One: My  screaming dog running after cars and people passing by.

Two: Coin operated laundromats.

and Three: People that pretend to be something they are not, especially while doing their laundry at a coin-op.

I have visited a coin-op laundromat a total of three times in three different states all  under duress. The first time was in Atlanta, Georgia.  My roommates and I did not own a washer or dryer nor did we care to. We were foot loose and fancy free flight attendants with disposable clothing and inter -changeable uniforms.

I drew the short Mai-Tai straw that month and was elected to do the bulk items, like towels, sheets, and my high maintenance roommates  collection of designer jeans.  I spent over two hours sitting between machines having time to observe who walked through the one way sliding door carrying their lives in a Walmart basket.

   I stuffed the laundry into the Big Mother Load and slammed the lid shut and dropped my coins into the allotted slot. I noticed a man glaring at me from behind a counter as I did this and slowly approached me laughing.  I don’t like to be slowly approached.

  He asked me if this was my “first time here”, and I reassured him it was and probably my last. He laughed again. He had a light airy accent from some Island in the Caribean. He asked me if my “clothes come out clean”. I responded that they do. He laughed again. I told him I was happy he found my laundry amusing and he laughed again and handed me a small box of detergent stating: “You need to add soap”.

” I know“, I said with my mind occupied with last nights frivolity. “Maybe my clothing has built in microbes that self clean when you just add water”.

 We both laughed at my laundry foible. This man owned the Coin-op and was from Trinidad. That day he taught me how to professionally fold towels so they stack like layered cakes on the closet shelf.

  I think it is important to try and learn something new every day and this crossed my mind when I returned home and smushed the pristine towels into the lower cabinet under the bathroom sink.

My second visit to the wash-n-wait society was twenty years later in Brooklyn, New York.  I was married  with one child and we lived in a building owned by the Camaretti brothers. Two well connected Italian boys. There were only two machines in their building which happened to brake down one morning and forced me to tote my laundry ,(which has  now graduated to include baby diapers), to an eclectic laundromat down the block.

I tossed my laundry into the machines and sat and waited for my load to finish.  It was during the rinse cycle,  that I noticed a man enter the area wearing just his trousers and shoes and carried a crumpled New York Times that appeared to be dripping moisture. I looked around an noticed I was alone in this place and the attendant  had quietly vanished out back to have a smoke.

This man seemed indifferent as to whether anyone was  around him or not as he unrolled his package to be placed in the washer. I raised my head higher to get a glimpse of what his delicate load consisted of and I saw him flop a shirt stained in blood into the machine. He then added his soap (with bleach?), slammed the lid down, popped four coins in and then gently turned around and looked at me. I looked back giving him a smile to insinuate that I know I could be his next victim featured on the front page of the Times, and bolted through the Exit, leaving my laundry for a future garage sale.

 My Third, but inevitably not my last, visit to the coin-op happened in  Delaware.  My puppy peed on both my sons and daughters comforters on the same day. I found a laundry facility located in an upscale neighborhood that catered to people that  looked as though they suffered from job transition, divorce, or living the Bohemian life in the City.

I was next in line for the Mega-Machine and patiently sat and read a Doggie magazine to bide my time.  Shortly after I arrived, a  tall slender man entered wearing a tailored Brooks Brothers suit assisted by a designer oxford shirt and a Bulgari Tie scuffling in his Bruno Magli loafers. He daunted ahead of me as if it were his privilege and entitlement to nab my machine.

The attendant kindly informed him that I was next in line.

He waltzed in my direction and towered over me with his tortoiseshell rims laying half mast on his nose and uttered “Oh?”, as if he had stumbled upon a pile of smelly laundry.

 He decided to downsize and opt for another washer that was readily available.  We both threw our items into our designated washers and stood quietly next to each other until he started to mutter comments regarding his surroundings.   Utter-ings that carried an undertone as if his being there is an after thought and he dare not be spotted by anyone from his Polo Lounge. Sheer rubbish.

That opened the proverbial dryer door for me to crash through and devour this DuPont wannabe.

We engaged in some small talk that lead him to  continue his bragging rights of a non confirmed Blue Blood. I listened intently as he boasted about his designer attire and lavish eateries where he “parties” with friends at the ripe age of 56.  He carried on about his divorce (during the drying cycle) and waxed and waned about the up -coming yachting season.

I had to ask. “What line of work are you in?”.

His head lowered and he half formed the words; “Car Finance, for a locally advertised used car lot”; escaped his exhausted lips.

A giant cheshire grin came over my menopausal face……he actually was trying to impress me with his hyperboles of life, just like when I was a young and inexperienced Ingenue who never fell for that stuff….ever…..well once maybe.

My Dog has more character than this character will ever have.

I didn’t know that laundromats were the new meat market.  I have been married too long.  I can’t imagine how this guy thinks a person could possibly be interested in a dinner date after witnessing his intimate monogrammed whitey -tighty’s  being thrashed about by a Whirlpool.

Besides…….. I’m a woman who prefers Boxers….they’re well bred.

Looks like someone needs to Heir their dirty laundry…..

spread the humor.




Well…I’m heading out West soon for a family wedding.  This could either be a great time or a prelude to a Muppet’s reality show..

The trip started with my two kids , Sweetums and Scooter  being yanked outta the airport security line and experiencing their first Pat Down.  I ventured through the X-ray machine first followed by my son Scooter wearing his hipster cargo shorts that carry more compartments than a B757-200 freighter on it’s way back from China. Lagging behind donning her jewels of the Nile draped like Christmas lights, was my daughter Sweetums.  I gave a pre- flight demonstration the night before we were to depart to the West explaining the list of; What Not To Wear when flying.  My Coed daughter assumed this pertained to Mr. Blackwell’s list.

The first shiny badge to grab me was Fozzie Bear asking if I was the mother of young Scooter behind me.  Three seconds of thought had my mind grabbing my items and race down the corridor to see if  there was a solo seat left  on any flight to Italy and enjoy the Tuscan sun, instead of joining the cast of characters that awaited our landing out West……

I conceded that he was my son and Fozzie said I needed to watch as they Pat Down my teen….with emphasis on his Cargo room.  My son glared at me when I tried to suppress my grin as his six foot frame was experiencing the blue hand grope assisted by Grover.  My son is a character all his own.  He doesn’t need any help from anyone to produce a stand-up routine and gain attention from a crowd.  It comes naturally to him.  When Assistant Grover started the Pat Down procedure  on  Scooter with Fozzie Bear supervising, Scooter decided to give a low groan of “ohhh yeah….”  just as Grover’s Blue paw passed the no FLY zone on his Cargo pants.

I shot my son a lightening stare of a cross between; “Just wait til I get my hands on you, and ,my God I’m going to burst out laughing“.

My daughter, Sweetum’s was snatched by Rizzo the Rat and thrown into a glass maze.  I was made aware of this by the noise her colossal earrings made when they hit the side of her jaw as her head turned to find me. This sound proof booth was a check point for explosive residue.  I watched  as Rizzo  nabbed an instrument  and slowly swept Sweetum’s body with a Geiger counter spewing gusto as if it witnessed the aftermath of a day at Chernobyl.

I saw Sweetum’s leer at me with  worried wonderment and I  returned her gaze with a  reassuring  Cheshire grin through the looking glass.  A smile that carried a bulletin of: Now do you get that mommie doesn’t just blow hot air through your auricles to land on deaf ear-lobes  that dangle designer plastic hoops…..

We made it to the plane and my two darling puppets started to argue as to who will get the window seat. (As if it really mattered and they really wanted to view the geographic’s of our lovely globe.) They both spent the entire flight electronically connected to some type of computer generated apparatus.   Scooter won the window seat lottery and viewed the  whole flight via Ipad Navigator.   Sweetum’s clung to a stuffed bear given to her by her absent boyfriend and plugged herself into her Ipod and lost herself in mood music.

I tried to flag down a frazzled flight attendant to order a bloody Mary and I was met with Miss Piggy pushing a beverage cart down the aisle and yelling at  Steward Beaker to get more cups. Every time Miss Piggy turned to face a passenger someone sitting in the the aisle seat got a shot from the hip. At least it was a padded blow to the head.  I jokingly asked her if she could remain standing there for the complete flight so I could have a head rest and grab some shut eye.  My son laughed at that one.

We landed on the West and were being picked up by my older sister who I haven’t seen in years.  She text me to describe her gold luxury 300G and said  she would be getting us outside the baggage claim.  My children and I grabbed our bags and rolled on out to the crowded arrival deck. We located a Gold Sporty SUV  idling with a woman in the drivers seat staring straight ahead who resembled my sister. We all waived in unison to flag her down and approached her car smiling with glee and started to load our luggage into the back of her car. As I lifted the first suitcase we heard a honk from  the car behind us and it was my sister; Foo-Foo.

Foo-Foo drove us to her lovely home on the water where we  were to stay for a few days before we headed north to attend a family wedding of my brothers son.  Foo-Foo, Sweetum’s, Scooter, and I enjoyed our time together until Foo-Foo’s husband, Oscar-the Grouch, came down with walking pneumonia and made our stay short lived.  Foo-Foo ferried us to my mother’s  (Camilla) place packed in her Luxury Gold SUV for a two hour ride to a charted island.  There we would be met by the Skipper and Gilligan; a millionaire and his wife, the Professor AND Maryanne……….

We stayed between Camilla’s house and my Brother Elmo’s place at the beach house which harbored the likes of:  The Swedish Chef concocting the most delectable treats roasted on Elmo’s Fire, Pops in his walker which was stolen and used as a wheelie- toy by great grandson Kermit.  The cast of relatives included: Rowlf the Dog, Hogthrob, Dr. Teeth, gaffer, Various, Waldorf, Uncle deadly, Julius Strangepork, Floyd, Robin, Thog, Lew Zealan, Gonzo, Dr Bunsen Honeydew, Zoot, Muppy, Beauregard, Janice, Wanda, Hilda, Sam the Eagle, Statler, Wayne, Crazy Harry,Sue, Lips, Nigel, and, last but not least, Animal on drums.  Most of whom began their day with beer and dough nuts and ended the night with fantastic stories which made you laugh until your stomach hurt. Each of whom could capture and carry the most renown version of  Marty Robbin’s song of El Paso in the key of F (flat) to be sung all through the night in various locations in a sleepy town 78 miles north of the Emerald City.

The wedding was a smash hit especially with the Muppet clan singing El Paso as the Bride and Groom took  their fateful walk down the aisle of Marriage into the reception hall.  I loved this group of Muppet misfits and I am proud to have been a part of them during this glorious time.  I didn’t know what to expect  given the horror stories of family gatherings, but this by far was an  unexpected pleasure and sheer Puppet mastery with no strings attached.  Well, maybe with the exception of Crabby Patty resurfacing on shore trying to keep his claws out of the drink.

This was your Muppet News woman reporting……..spread the humor.



{June 23, 2011}   Blog Against The Wall

Oh boy. Here I go again. Hold onto your brains, I’m approaching a bumpy gyrus………..so don’t just sit and sulcus;  fasten your frontal lobes and grin and blog it…..

It appears on this hemisphere we are having a problem with security Pat Downs.  I tried to research Pat Downs using the Google search and I was unable to locate Ms. or Mr. Downs in the Transportation Security Administration.  Pat is a neutral name, it stands on either side of the gender bureau. Maybe I need a user friendly mode that has more badda-BING in it’s engine……(maybe I might have better luck if I check Megan’s Law website…. ouch..)

Apparently  Pat Downs has been seen wearing blue surgical gloves and groping youngsters who are traveling with mommy and daddy concealing Pampers in their carry-on.  It looks as though these little darlings are harboring explosive diapers as they waddle across the airport security sections.  Transit authorities are trying to Change the diaper dilemma and  have the toddler’s check their Huggies into baggage claim in order to lessen the work load of Pat Downs.

Oh I beg your pardon…….I misinterpreted the Ted Turner stations again…..they were discussing pat downs in the physical sense…..ohh do let me blog over….

Let’s talk pat downs.  I have never experienced a pat down since the new law took over our terminals.  I have had the luxury of the Wand tracing the outline of my stature spitting out “blips” as it lingered around my  under-wire……..(maybe we need to call in the Victoria Secret Service…..).   I don’t know how I would feel if I were pulled aside by a young, tall ,dark, and handsome TSA who wants to put his hands on me and gently pat down areas on my body with a slow blue glove…….

Oh…sorry….lost my focus for a moment….

I  saw on the news how some of these transit employees were performing their job. They seem to be enjoying their work now that pat downs have been approved.  The security employees are  a lot more “hands-on” now then they were in the old days, when you would just stroll through a scanner and  witness an occasional rifling of your neatly packed tote; hoping they breeze past an unknowingly canister of contraband left in the zipper pocket of a Samsonite that you borrowed from your sister’s hippie boyfriend….

As a former Airline Employee I never came across a pat down, or even a scanner.  We merely flagged our ID’s and were given an accepted wave to pass Go.  I did run across an incident with a security agent once who may have been riddled with the pat down syndrome when I was on a 24hr layover in The Emerald City.  I spent the night at my sisters house and upon packing my things I managed to slip one of her expensive make-up products into my color coded airline bag and neglected to tell her.  My sister and her hippie boyfriend took me to the airport and walked me to the gate, but her hippie boyfriend stopped short of the security table. ( He must have felt guilty about something…or maybe he was just somewhere over a rainbow looking for his pot of  Acapulco gold..).

I flipped my badge at the agent and slid on through as usual, but  this time they decided to pull me and my bag aside for a check.  As he was emptying the contents onto the table he fished out the bottle of make-up and lined it up in plain view of my sister’s eyes.  My sister commented on my pilfering her cosmetics and asked: “What else did you confiscate from my house?”.

(I may inject now, that this was during a time before CD’s were on the menu of music distribution and Records were the means of composition and not just for scratching, followed by eight track tapes.   For history sake, Vinyl records came in variations of 78, LP, and 45’s and  this all had to do with RPM’s.)

I replaced my articles that were displayed on the security table into my suitcase and I added a little joke as I answered my sisters query.  I retracted with: “Oh yeah, I also packed one of your 45’s in my back pocket”.

I said this as I was reaching behind my back and before I could relinquish my smirk,  a six foot 200 pound Agent came out of nowhere and snapped my arm behind my back and slammed me up against a wall and screamed at the back of my  impeccably coiffed airline doo:

” You think joking about guns is funny at an airport?”………

Mind you, I was in full dress uniform with my company wings flapping an attentive salute. He turned me around slowly and I could see he was a product of the 8-Track heaven generation so I methodically explained the history of  the modes and methods of music transportation and the means of listening to it being played.   He released his grip and let me go and decided not to RECORD it in his evening report..

At least in the pat downs today the agents offer you a quiet explanation as they explore the regions that seem to be out-of-the-boundaries – before the process was approved.  I don’t know if I’m comfortable with a low breathy stranger crooning his moves in my ear as I’m being gently stroked by a blue-hand- group inspecting  my expanding waistline…….

Well….maybe if it’s carried out in Italian, with candle light, dinner, and soft music Recording in the back round …….. I might look the other way………

spread the humor.



et cetera
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