Monday, March 17, 2008

The Rest of the Story

I remember listening to NPR with my mom in the car on the weekends and always looking forward to Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story. On a recent trip back from Seattle, it was taking forever to close the cockpit door. Once we were finally under way and the other flight attendant came to the back to help with the drink service she told me the reason we were delayed was because we had to wait for a baby Orca Whale to be loaded underneath and have its oxygen system installed.

"Really? Where is it going?" Logically, anyone with an ounce of curiosity would have asked.

"Oh, I don't know. The captain didn't say." Was the only response I got. This is a perfect example of why it's nice to have someone filling you in on The Rest of the Story.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Vestiges of a Full Moon

As seems to be the pattern, I began this month with a high hour, multiple day trip that included layovers in Washington, D.C. and Seattle. While I had a great layover in D.C., walking up and down the mall in sunny, 60 degree weather, it was the passengers that left their mark this time.

From D.C. to Denver there was a very pregnant mother and her four year old daughter traveling with us. From the beginning, they were high maintenance, to put a diplomatic spin on things. "I want a blanket and a pillow." "I want this whole row for my daughter and myself. I'm pregnant and have to keep my feet up." "I need two ginger ales and a tea with three sugars." All of these directives were squeezed in between the timeouts she took from yelling at her daughter who didn't seem to be doing anything but sitting in her seat, watching TV, and making the occasional comment about the cartoon she was watching. While I'll admit it may have been a tiny bit unprofessional, we took to calling this mother our princess.

Ironically, our princess and her daughter were also on the flight from Denver to Seattle. Talk about a long travel day. Most OB/GYN's will recommend against women flying past their 36th week of pregnancy. Our princess' midsection was so distended, I was worried we might be celebrating a new life at 38,000 feet. Thankfully, this did not happen on either leg of our trip, but her pronouncements and demands did not die down either. We all breathed a sigh of relief when she fell asleep for most of the descent into Seattle.

On our flight from Los Angeles to Denver we had a very tall passenger who made his impression through his vestments. We took to calling him our Dr. Seuss passenger. He boarded wearing a brown velour track suit with a coordinating felt Cat and the Hat style hat. Rather than the traditional red and white stripes, however, this hat had leopard spots. The passenger unassumingly sported this accessory throughout the flight, in spite of the fact that between the length of his torso and the high profile of his hat, it nearly scraped the ceiling of the cabin, making a slightly slouchy posture necessary when seated.

Maybe it was the full moon, or the leap day thrown in, but this trip seemed to have no shortage of interesting characters. Pet names are one way to cope, but at the end of the flight, or even those rare chances when we have the back galley to ourselves, all we can do is chuckle about phenomena so strange all that can be done is blame them on the lunar cycle.