First off, my trip to California was not a complete wash. While my agent had me believing we'd be sunning ourselves in L.A., I learned upon boarding the plane, that we were actually headed to rainy and cold San Francisco.
I met many interesting people on the plane and, with your permission dear readers (not really...I'll do it whether you want me to or not), I'd like to talk to some of them here in mini-open-letters I like to call "open-letterlettes."
Dear Lady with the Big Hair and Gold Lamé Sweatshirt with Matching Stretch-Pants,
I'm sorry that, when my Agent felt obligated to offer you a piece of gum because you happened to see her remove the Plen-T Pack from her purse, you had to decline because you are afflicted with TMJ (or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder). I felt even sorrier when, after the flight attendant offered you something to drink, you declined, citing TMJ as your reason. I guess I didn't know it affected your swallowing fluids abilities...or do you chew your Cran-Apple juice?
I would like to make a suggestion to help you combat your condition. You may want to look at upgrading your cassette walkman for (at least) two reasons: 1) Balancing the doughnut-sized headphones on your head must unleash some severe strain on your jaw, inflaming your TMJ and 2) It's not 1982.
Dear Lady with $1200 in Airline Vouchers (I really could have called you so many things...as you will learn, but this one just seemed to encompass all that I found you to be),
First, allow me to thank you, on behalf of all the other passengers in coach, for getting on the plane and immediately calling someone to bitch about being seated in coach. "We traded in our first class seats for $1200 in vouchers and now we're seated...in coach! Yes...I said COACH!" Unless that sweet old woman at the gate wrestled you to the ground, stole your first class tickets and replaced them with general-seating boarding passes (along with $1200 to be used for future travel), I don't feel badly for you. Shut it.
I would be remiss if I didn't congratulate you on your great traveling duds! I wish your outfit came in my size! I think I, too, would look groovy in a red turtleneck and denim jumper with appliquéd fruits/vegetables/school busses/teddy bears/stars/stripes/etc. While I wouldn't have made this fashion choice, I commend you on sporting the shiny, brown penny-loafers (complete with coinage) without socks or hose. You are one brave cookie!
Your brave cookiness (or would that be "kookiness?") was further proven when you turned and flashed your badge. Yes, you were on the second leg of your flight, but you were still wearing your official work badge so proudly. "CITY OF NEW YORK. OFFICE OF THE MAYOR." Wow! You must be someone pretty important and special to have that badge. It's probably critical you wear it so people understand how wicked-awesome you are without have to exchange words with you. BLAM! I'm the shiz!
I'm sorry the flight attendant's offer of coffee interrupted your quest to complete every Sudoku puzzle ever made. I though you showed how big your balls were when you looked at her over the top of your bifocaled-old-lady-half-glasses and handed the coffee back to her. I would have probably felt like I needed to offer a more solid explanation for my rejection of her hot brew, but you? You just said, "It's too bitter. Take it back." That is chutzpah, bitch! You've got some serious stones!
Who would have guessed that in the end, it wouldn't be your chutzpah, but your connections that would help you get your way in coach. When the flight attendant pushed the coffee back toward you and said, "Well, why don't we put a bit of sugar in it...," you were able to whip out the badge and say, "BY THE ORDER OF THE BLOOMBERG, I REBUKE THIS BITTER COFFEE!" That really showed her!
As I promised, I am sending you a travel-pack of bandages for your heels. Next time, wear socks!
Dear Nefertiti, the Cat who had to Travel in a Cat Carrier and be Stowed Securely Under the Seat in Front of her Woman,
I know you claim to be an Egyptian Queen. I'm sorry, but I'm sitting here, watching you pathetically look at me through the screen of your cat carrier. A QUEEN? Right...
Don't hate me because I get to sit, buckled up in a cushy airplane seat. Don't glare at me because I'm sipping on a Bloody Mary and reading "Tomcats are from Mars...Bitches are from Venus." Give that pouty look to your lady there who has decided you are to be viewed as carry-on luggage!
Quit wailing about the fact that stale, circulating air will be the death of you! Do your research! You will die from a plague! Stop moaning and groaning after each lick of your bath! You are really starting to get on my nerves.
I'm sorry the captain just said we were free to move about the cabin...and you are not so free to do that. I'm sneaking up to first class to get some snacks. On my way back, I'll throw an air-biscuit your way. I'm nice like that.
BY ROYAL DECREE OF:
Empress Kukka-Maria (REAL royalty)
Dear Extremely Hairy Man with Shirt Opened to his Navel,
Yuck. Yuck, yuck, icky, ick. I have a few nuggets of wisdom to share with you:
- Bathing in cologne is not a substitute for a real bath. This is not rumor. This is fact. I've done research...and most of it while sitting next to you! All you do when shrouding your B.O. with cologne is make it a stronger force. When faced with a thick cloud of cologne, the B.O. will fight and fight and fight. All it does is gain strength! Trust me. When you decide to NOT bathe again tomorrow, you're just going to throw more cologne at it and it's just going to laugh and laugh at you, while making the rest of us cry.
- Patting your hand on my agent's arm with your hairy, pinky-ringed hand every time you speak to her is not at all creepy, nor uncomfortable. Her retching is purely coincidental.
- I know you probably paid some large dollars to have those nipples pierced, but we'll pay some big bucks to have you keep them under wraps! You're too old. You're too hairy. You're too...let's just be honest. Nipple rings are icky.
I appreciate your openness to hearing this feedback. You are a true gentlem...FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! STOP EFFING TOUCHING ME!
Dear Girl who Refuses to Turn Off her Fucking Pink iPod Long After the Announcement has Been Made that we are Approaching our Final Destination,
Shut the damn thing off! Turn! It! Off!
If we die, I am totally suing your ass for negligence. I saw you take your earbuds out when the announcement was made that all electronic devices should be turned off and stowed away until further notice. You turned to your friend, nodded and smiled as she put her iPod away like a good passenger. Conversely, you put your earbuds back in and started jamming away to one of the self-proclaimed, female-empowering tunes from "The Pussycat Dolls" (because don't all women feel empowered when they hear lyrics like: Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?).
I SAID TURN YOUR IPOD OFF! The flight attendant is walking down the aisle doing a seatbelt check...you had better get your shit together or she's gonna yell at you! Oh. My. Gawd! Did you just tilt your seat back ¼ inch? Oh, snap! The flight attendant's going to usher you to the front and arrest you!
I'm warning you,
Dear Negligent Flight Attendant,
We might die because of that girl's iPod and you don't give a shit. You care if I stick a napkin in the seatback in front of me. That is clear because you stand there, shaking a plastic bag in my general direction, asking me if I have garbage. When I say, "No," you look sideways at the napkin, shake the bag again and ask, "Are you sure, ma'am?"
But this skank next to me can listen to her iPod when the rules prohibit it?
Am I to assume, based on you ignoring the seat-dancing girl next to me, that you don't really care about my personal safety? When we first met, you seemed very concerned about me. You even put on a "seatbelt-oxygen-mask" demonstration to ensure I knew what to do in case of an emergency. Was that for your own amusement?
Wow. That hurts.
Tell her to turn it off! Why are you only glancing our way as you do your last sashay through the cabin for pre-landing preparation?
I'M GOING TO DIIIIIIIIIIE