Charlywalker's Blog












The day the Earth stood still was two weeks ago when my son’s Smart phone decided on it’s own to dummy down and quit.

I learned this had happened through his sister who Stumbled upon his Facebook message to a friend commenting that: “His Phone Died”.

I am grateful that my sons lines of communication are open to his thousands of Facebook friends and refuses to add his mother as a bosom buddy.  He does not want  (me) to be privy to his status while away at college.  He thinks his mother will spend her days stalking, (or creeping as they say), on his infamous site, where the Full Monty of Freshman life is displayed and revered.  Like I have time for that. OK, I sneak a peak every so  often when Facebook isn’t looking.  I have eyes in the back of my FACEbook.

It’s amazing how this generation ( xyz?) seem to run amok when an electronic is on the fritz. It’s as if one of their brain waves collide  with an HD air-wave and severed the wireless connection that adheres the Smart phone to their palm, resulting in their  opposable  texting thumbs to short circuit.  Ive seen those thumbs work that virtual keyboard like greased lightening,  while sucking down Kentucky fried wings. Those thumbs slip- slidin’ on the screen not missing a beat of LOL or TTYL or POS. ( Parent Over Shoulder).

My son programmed his smartie phone  messages to modulate the night- watchman in a  Navy ship yard.  It sounds off with two bells every time a text is received.  In the olden days of sailing , watches were timed by a thirty minute hour glass and bells would be struck every time the glass was turned.  My son watches the glass of his phone every second, all day and all  night, no matter which way its facing.

I hear his phone clanging in a Bell  pattern of pairs :

Morning Watch: ding-ding

Forenoon Watch: ding-ding-ding

Afternoon Watch: ding-ding-ding-ding

Night Watch: ding-ding-ding-ding-ding

WEE -Hours- While- Family Members- Sleep-Watch:  DING – DAMNITY- DING. 

I  lie and wonder  for whom the Bells Toll every second as my sons phone shouts out a “new message received”.  What news is so urgent to be shared every minute of the day and night amongst his mates.  And now, here he sits with his dead phone, and I wonder ; what could possibly be going on in his head now that his entire fleet of friends are unable to reach him and text their one syllable messages. 

I have witnessed he and his crew hanging out and barely speaking in full sentences to each other. I  have watched as this collegiate Armada sit around in silence dancing their opposable thumbs across their phones as a multitude of ships bells chimed in unison…sounding alarms….signaling functional and ceremonial uses of considerable significance as to whether one  of them scored a date for the night.

I think about when I was his age and the readiness of communication while out and about, was finding a working payphone.  In my day, there wasn’t a lot of emphasis on  repetitive contact with one another.  If you had something to say, or relative info to convey, you dialed a number,got to the point, and made your arrangements.

There was no need to go back and forth with responses, you knew what to do and when and where to do it. There was no need to hold twenty people on the line to confirm what dress you were wearing to the dance. There was no need to speak every minute to someone via the phone as we were all speaking in PERSON when we got together.  If everyone related all their conversations ahead of time we would have nothing to talk about when we congregated.  Well, well, well..maybe that explains why my son and his friends are silent when they assemble. They are TEXTED-OUT, OVER-MESSAGED, PINGED TO THEIR LAST WORD.

I  will say my son’s faulty phone may have prevented future last minute changes in his life, but all in all he handled being cell-less quite well.  I half expected him to come off his Buzz with certain side affects, maybe a possible cellular detox causing a network disruption and  a communication breakdown of his opposable thumbs, therefore rendering him speechless.

There was a day or two of minor moping and staring at his thumbs trying to figure out their future should texting become obsolete while his phone is incommunicado.  It didn’t take long for him to wander over and pick up the controls to his ill forgotten Xbox collecting dust and play a childhood game or two.  I’m sure its to keep his opossable thumbs conditioned until his phones replacement battery arrives……

…….in 5 to 7 business days…..

spread the humor.

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I have been trying  for months to sit down and tackle my keyboard to try and coerce some nonsense out of my brain. I believe my mind has been on hiatus longer than a new hit series featured on HBO. It was as if the harder I tried to think of something to write about ,the more  the thoughts escaped and tunneled out faster than Andy Dufresne through the sewers of Shawshank. It just stinks when that happens. 

It’s like I’m held prisoner in my own head and I am facing a cell block that refuses to sing a Schwann song.  In order to get the synapses in sync, I  usually will take long walks with my dog or tackle the Elliptical at the gym. I stress the word usually. 

Lately I have found it harder and harder to get out there during the winter months, which seem to drag on longer than Holiday visits from my Mother-in Law.  The motivation to dress in layers, jump into a cold car, drive in sleet , just to arrive and  get out of a now warmed car into the cold, and enter a gym that smells like…like…… a gym;  then strip off the soaked layers and step up onto a piece of equipment that was formally occupied by a wet Wookie………..has left the building.  

As far as the long walks with my dog are concerned?  He avoids nasty weather and will withhold  potty-time longer than a camel craving an oasis.

A lot of my inspiration would attack  me at random times. Times when I didn’t have anything handy to jot the idea down. This frequently  happens while driving to the store and circling the parking lot for a space, at the same time, averting run- a -way grocery carts searching for a head on.

One time was in a bank as I stood eleventh in line during rush hour.  I found myself digging through my  bottomless pit of a purse for a pen.

A PEN I always carry in the zipper portion of a pocketbook which inevitably gets devoured by the hand bag monster lying in the abyss below the hole in fabric lining.

A PEN that sits there in clutch camo teasing the grasp of my pre -arthritic fingers ,sticking it’s partially opened tip out leaving it’s mark on my manicure to let me know it’s” there “and “unattainable at the moment”.

A PEN that refuses to surrender by the time I reach the front of the line to make my deposit; In addition, the bank employee reprimands me to sign the check and offers me a pen.  There I stand with a Pen and Teller and “No Vacancy” written all over my brain…

And as fate will have it, my thought for the day had vanished ,only to possibly resurface during another inopportune moment.  Much like that PEN of inequity did  when it decided to show itself as I returned to my car outside the bank.   Never  walk and blindly fish for keys in an open receptacle whilst trying to recapture your initial brainstorm, it leads to  a dropped hand bag adjacent to the car door causing an accessories crisis spill onto the the black top and watching a PEN that is mightier than my satchel, to roll under the car.

I got down on all fours to locate its final destination.  I tried to retrieve that slippery shut in, but  it was out of my reach and I risked bumping heads with a header pipe……and that would exhaust me…….

Gathering ideas to stimulate a blog thought is not an easy task and can prove to be hazardous depending on your surroundings at the time.  I’ve had many  afflatus attack me in the middle of a shampoo while showering.  Maybe scrubbing the scalp stimulates that a fore mentioned “cell ” block and whips a body out of the bath, dripping without a towel, sliding towards a pen spotted on the countertop……only to land on the cold tile floor in the process.

Which brought my brain to a conclusion that all ideas brought on during that scenario are………….

(wait for it)……..

SLIPPERY WHEN WET.

spread the humor.




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…)



et cetera
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