Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dumbassery at 26k Feet

But first- Shuttle America (a Delta provider) has some Embraer 170/175s that are pretty sweet.
Not much overhead storage space, but at least I don't have to crawl on my hands and knees to get to my seat, and the coach-class bulkhead seats are awesome.
No actual bulkhead wall, and size 13 seats for my size 13 ass, even with the tray table in the arm of the seat.
I'm liking the GauchoJet 170/175.
(Ask for the Ethel Merman autograph model.)

Now to the fun:

It's only a 2 hour and 15 minute flight. How bad can it get?

Pretty bad, actually.
Bad for some, irritating to others, and amusing to Yours Truly.

Some time ago I had the occasion to discuss air travel and air travelers with a group of Stewardesses Flight Attendants and one of the things that came out of the discussion was Never Press The Call Attendant Button. Not unless you are actually on fire or you've burst a blood vessel and are bleeding out, or the 2 year old next to you has started projectile vomiting.
Never. Press. The. Button.

Especially not for a blanket or a pillow. Not these days, bucko.
Grab one on your way to your seat, or do without.

So, I'm in Bulkhead right, and Mr Dumbass Business Frequent Flyer Guy is in Bulkhead left.
As people are getting on the plane, still clogging up the aisles, Mr Dumbass Business Frequent Flyer Guy (henceforth to be known as "Dumbass") presses the The Button.

Dumbass: (after the Flight Attendant has made her way through the crowd back to his seat) "Could I get a blanket?"

Dude. WTF? What are you, a noob?

FA: "Yes sir, I'll find you one and bring it back once boarding has calmed down."

Dumbass settles back into his seat, oblivious to the eye rolling the FA does as she turns away.

After the stream of humanity heading back into steerage slacks off, the FA shows up with the blanket.

Dumbass: "Oh... Can I get a pillow too?"

Now, I've seen this before, once. But it was done by a mom trying to juggle two kids and the assorted crap one needs when traveling en famile.
BUt this guy? Wow.

She brings Dumbass his pillow and stalks off muttering... This doesn't bode well.

Dumbass is knuckle-deep in his iPhone as the "Shut off your cellphones & other electronics" call is made, and he makes no effort to kill his Angry Birds or whatever the hell he was working on...The FA had to offer two personal invitations to Dumbass to wrap up... Then had to remind him to buckle his seat belt.

We had just finished climb-out and they'd just announced that it was OK to use your electronic toys again and Dumbass is reaching for The Button. Again.

Dumbass: "Can I get some water, please?"
Well, at least he said 'please'.

The FA is getting righteously pissed now. She's seething, and this guy has no clue.
She brings his water, along with a "Ha ha - Only serious" lecture about impatience and waiting the 5 minutes for the FAs to start the beverage service.

They are serving the Biz Class folks their "breakfast" (Yogurt, banana, cereal)... Dumbass sees this, and when they come by for our beverage & pretzels/peanuts, Dumbass come up with this jewel:
Dumbass: "You know, you said in your opening speech 'If there's anything we can do to improve your flight, just let us know...' so... Those bananas looked really good... Do you think I could get one of those?"

Dumbass apparently can't tell the difference between a "Yes sir! Anything for you, Mr Wonderful Customer" and the "You've got to be shitting me, you complete asshole" look.

BUT...she got him his banana.

I thought to myself, this is going to go bad...
He hits that button once more and I'm going to head back to the back of the cabin and hide 'cause I don't want to get blood on my shirt.

So dumbass had his water and banana... And before the FAs could come around to pick up trash he's pushing the damned button again...
"Holy dogshit Batman. This guy is an idiot." I think to myself.
As the FA approached I caught her eye- I've seen that look before...Avenging-Angel-Wrath-of-God stuff...
Dumbass put on his best manners... "Hey, could I bother you for a cup of coffee?"
FA: (through gritted teeth) "Of course. Just a moment, I'll bring you a cup. Cream or Sugar?"
Dumbass: "Oh yeah. Both please."

Now I was absolutely sure that she was going to kill him then-and-there.
She was going to trip and impale him with a ice scoop or or run the beverage cart into his skull or something.
But no.

Not even the cup of hot joe in the lap.


FA: "Here you are... Coffee...Cream...and sugar."
Dumbass: "Thank you so much. I really appreciate it."
FA: (fighting the urge to choke the living shit out of this asshole) "Think nothing of it."
and heads back to the forward cabin.
Dumbass worked on his cuppa for a moment and then took a sip.
And then the straw that broke the camel's back...

He pushed The Button AGAIN...

Oh. My. God. What. The. Fuck. (I know I was thinking it, and I'm absolutely sure the FAs were thinking it.)
I was astounded, trying to figure out what he was going to ask for now.

The FA returned, doing the "Old Stone Face" trying to keep from showing any emotion at all...I have a feeling her mask was about to slip and the Angry Reptile Inside would show through; We'd be faced with an angry Stewardess/Velociraptor biting and slashing her way down the aisle.

Velociraptor/FA: "Yes? What now?"
Dumbass: "Yeah.. I think this coffee is Decaf."


V/FA: "Really. Let. Me. Get. You. Another. Cup."
Dumbass: (handing her the cup) "Thanks. Sorry to be a pain."

You know when your watching a horror movie, and you KNOW Something Really Bad is about to happen, and you're watching on pins and needles, just waiting for the slasher to step out of the shadows, or the giant claw to reach out from under the bed... You just know it is juuuuust about to happen, but you just have to keep watching?
Yeah. That's me, watching this tableau...

The Velociraptor/FA comes back down the aisle with another cup of joe...

Now, I have to imagine that if one aspect of your job is to hand cups of water, soda, coffee or tea to people several hundred times a day, you probably know exactly how to hand someone something without spilling it.
You probably also know how to hand it to them in a way that it is almost 100% guaranteed to spill...

And she did.

And it did.

Right in Mr Dumbass Business Frequent Flyer Guy lap.
It. Was. Awesome.

And she smiled.

And I smiled.

Clever girl...

Karma. It not just for breakfast anymore.


Luc said...

Great story thanks. Couldn't find a picture of a Shuttle America airline plane? ;)

TheWrongWay said...

This post is exactly why I struggle through your political rants (yelling at both sides, I can't keep track of who's winning). Every so often there's a gem like this.

I've given up on the exit row. I'm either next to a guy your size or someone much larger, though a story like this every so often makes it worth the loss of comfort.

Irish said...

Great post... Its cool that you can keep track of all that and then put it into words so easily. I would have just said "I sat next to an asshole on a flight today and he almost died".