Archive for lavatory

Mile High Club: Death and Romance in the Outhouse.

Posted in air travel, airliner, mile high club, passenger with tags , , on November 4, 2011 by Chris Manno

Of all the useless 1960s air travel nostalgia hangovers, this is the worst. No, not the idea of food in coach–although that’s definitely nostalgic, unless you have a major credit card ready for the on-board data reader to deduct the cash before you even break the plastic wrap. Want to eat but don’t want to pay? You should have brought your own lunch, pal.

Okay, I buy the turkey sandwich pictured here even when there's a First Class meal catered for the flight crew--it's excellent.

No, not food–what I’m talking about is the bogus urban legend surrounding–inexplicably, at least to one who actually knows what we’re talking about–the aircraft lavatory. There it is: the on-board toilet and the closet where it’s secreted away.

Which leads me to ask: what the hell don’t I understand about this? What is the fascination with the filthiest, foulest, most disgusting six square feet on board an airliner? Namely, this:

Sure, there are some flimsy walls partitioning off this mess–and your mess–from the general public. And believe me, they ARE flimsy walls too–weight is fuel burn which is cost in flight. But shrewd aircraft designers rely on the ambient background noise of flight (you know: jet engines, 300 mile and an hour wind noise) to cover up your bodily noises on the can, much like the lame exhaust fan in a tiny apartment is intended as background noise so you can crank away without disgusting a cohabitant. Lesson for the wise: don’t do anything in an aircraft lav on the ground that you don’t want others to hear. Because they will, especially as they troop past on boarding, and they’ll give you that look when you step out.

Do you get it yet? We’re basically talking about this:

Being confused with this:

Which is apparently another legendary site involving the inexplicably pajama-clad Crypt Keeper (above) and teenagers or other foolish yet financially astute bimbos. So here’s my point: the lav, like Hef’s geriatric boudoir, is actually the last place anyone with an awareness of reality would have anything approaching conjugal relations.

Sure, people say they’ve “done it” in an airliner lav.

But again, it’s as outdated as the prop job in the drawing above, never mind the natty dress and Pepsodent grins. Because besides the issue of today’s cramped lav (space is $, remember), there’s the detail of sanitation: it’s as clean as your average outhouse, and often smells like one. Because either you have the swirling tank of port-o-john water below, or on more modern jets, no water at all–just a non-stick coating with fragrant skid marks anyway:

So anyone who says they have joined “The Mile High Club” is either A) Lying, B) Disgusting, or  C) Has lost the will to live. And here’s the dirt on option “C:” there is no supplemental oxygen in the lav.

Read the fine print: some restrictions apply.

That means that no matter what purpose there is in your lav visit, in case of a rapid depressurization, you’ll need to immediately get out of the lav and grab one of the hangy-down masks before you lose consciousness. As my keenly observant son (he took the above picture aboard a foreign carrier) mused, you have to decide if you want to take the time to pull your pants up and stumble nearly hypoxic into the aisle, or bolt out with your pants down, business unfinished and hope someone would help you anyway to don a mask as if you weren’t naked from the waist down.

In all probability, you’re meeting your maker like Elvis’s last public appearance: face down, pants down, toilet unflushed. Now that’s the stuff of legends, right?

So my point is this: never mind the folklore and urban legends–avoid the lav at all costs. Hold it, go before you board, whatever and if you do have to go into the lav make it quick and then get back to your seat.

To me, that’s just common sense. But if in any way this is news to you, I recommend this icon of travel nostalgia:

At least you’ll be able to breathe no matter what demonstration of disgustingly poor judgment you’re finding necessary to pursue in the can.

Bon voyage, and don’t forget to wash your hands.

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Vuelo Loco: Tennyson, Dead Fish and Mexico City.

Posted in air travel, airliner, airlines, airport, faith, fart, flight, flight attendant, flight crew, food, jet, lavatory, layover, life, pilot with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2011 by Chris Manno

Listen, I’m a fan of Mexico. Really, I am.

What’s not to like about Mexico City? Always looked forward to those downtown layovers–it was part of my job–but they’re scary dangerous. Probably not for the reason you think though.

I mean, sure, there’s plenty of drug violence. And yes, I did have to dodge through four lanes of traffic to evade a scroungy-looking cop trying to shake me down once, but he was either too lazy or too smart to chase me through the insane downtown traffic.

And yes, plenty of people with questionable intent in a city of 20 million, where you could simply disappear, kind of like the city itself  is doing, slowly sinking into its own aquifer. And okay, maybe I did roll the dice in a sense, as an instructor-evaluator taking pilots down to Mexico City every month, showing them the safe way to fly in and out of the mountain bowl.

Well, it’s not even really this “thread-the-needle-through-mountains” approach and usually, through thunderstorm alley that was like playing craps weekly. And it’s not really that I minded the always slick (memo to Mexico City Airport: the rest of the world cleans the reverted rubber off of their runways every year or two, so get a clue) runway with the puddle in the middle that you hit doing about 150 and exit two thousand feet later at about 149.

More, actually, was requiring the qualifying pilot have a beverage and a Cuban at an outdoor cafe on the traffic circle outside the Presidente Hotel. The bar–Karishma–is where a whole crew got mugged one night. They noticed that suddenly the place was empty save the two airline crews enjoying tapas and the generously poured (“Tell me when to stop pouring, Senor”) refreshments there. Then suddenly, watches, rings, wallets–buh-BYE, as we like to say.

So to be on the “safe” side, we sat outside on the traffic circle–maybe more witnesses?–and since it was my idea, I made sure my back was to the building, so the new guy got to sit with his back to the insane traffic, puffing a Cuban (relaxing–but mandatory) and enjoying a refreshment, maybe getting a shoeshine from the roving vendors who’d magically appear, ignoring the demolition derby mere feet away.

Hey, might as well get the full flavor: massive city (did I mention 20 MILLION people?), exotic neighborhoods of jumbled steel and glass elbowing in between with castellated stone architecture, snarled in the clogged highways like the arteries of a fat man. You watch the traffic and muse over your beverage, how the hell do they do this five way intersection without a traffic light?

And then on the side streets of The Polanco, maybe a quieter sidewalk cafe where I actually did much of my doctoral exam study: outside, books piled, good coffee, usually a thunderstorm in the afternoon that made me glad I wasn’t trying to fly a jet in or out at that moment. Out of nowhere, it seemed, in the afternoon towering big-shouldered thunderheads would roll through the mountain pass with raggedy sheets of torrential rain and thunder that echoed through canyons of concrete and steel, the reverberations so fitting to Tennyson’s “Ulysses” marching across the page before me toward the inexorable doom awaiting us all.

Harder to relax at dinner, though, when you were concentrating on the guard dog staring at your plate and whatever you were having for dinner. The armed guard restraining the dog had his eye on you and the plate alternately, and you had to wonder if either or both of them might figure that the dinner and your wallet might tip the scale in favor of mutiny. It was a stand-off in Mexico: the guard and dog making sure banditos didn’t mug you while you ate–but then the silently menacing pair themselves having to resist the hunger and temptation to rebid the transaction in more favorable terms.

And it’s not even the “one-eye-open” sleep in the airport high rise hotel with the un-level floors from the tipped buildings patiently waiting to tremble and topple in the next big quake they know is coming soon.

You wake up the next morning with the feeling of relief: ahh, The Big One they’ve been expecting didn’t happen while you slept, crushing you in tons of rubble that will take about ten years–if ever–to remove.

No, I’m talking about this:

That’ll eat you alive. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I was heading down to Mexico City for the umpteenth time and my favorite cousin was there with her husband who worked for the U.S. Department of State. “Hey, want to meet for dinner?”

Okay, I already know why not–I’ve been in the airline crew biz a looooong time: relatives don’t get it, you’re not on vacation; time does matter, sleep too.

“Sure, why not?” Because I’m an idiot–and here’s why. We’re going out for Mexican, traditional, right? I mean, we’re in Mexico-friggin-City, right? Enchiladas? Queso? Fajitas?

No.

We’re doing Mexican-Asian fusion, which means I’m eating raw fish in Mexico: salmon carpaccio, pictured above. Delicious. Amazing! Immodium, amen. That didn’t take long.

The fever lasted about a week. The shower nozzle effect (any chance of scheduling a colonoscopy? I’m prepped, just for the hell of it) lasted a couple weeks. Thanks cuz.

Forget banditos. Who cares about high altitude aircraft performance, up-sloping mountainous terrain and treacherous rolling thunderstorms. The real danger’s on the plate.

Yes, I love Mexico City. Just don’t go there unarmed, okay?

The TRUTH About Flight Attendants.

Posted in air travel, airline cartoon, airliner, airlines, airport, cartoon, fart, flight, flight attendant, flight crew, flight training, jet, lavatory, passenger, pilot, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2010 by Chris Manno

You sure you’re ready for the truth?

Still watching “Happy Days” reruns? Or maybe even “Leave it to Beaver” (okay I do, but I already have seen behind the curtain when it comes to Flight Attendants) where June Cleaver vacuums in pearls and heels? If this is you, please click here. Okay, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

First, let’s start with the basics: who IS this person we call Flight Attendant? Where do they come from? Actually, they’re parents and spouses and significant others and sons and daughters. And they come from, well, everywhere.

My friend Melissa and her crew.

The common denominator seems to be the ability to get along with nearly anyone. That, plus the ability to handle children. No, it’s not that they handle children on board in their role as Flight Attendant. Rather, they must deal with a lot of childishness in flight on both sides of the cockpit door. So anyway, many, it seems, have a background in Education: either  as a college degree or as a teacher–or both.

My friend Nanci dealing with one of the children on board.

But that’s just what constitutes a significant number, but by no means, the majority. I once dated a Flight Attendant who had previously been a USDA meat inspector (I got rejected as “Not Prime,” although I’d like to consider myself at least “Average Chuck”), I know several with PhDs, I know one guy who flies for my airline who is an M.D.; the bass player in my band (shoutout to Angela!) is a flight attendant; My Darling Bride (MDB) before she became a “stewardess” was an engineer.

Okay, WARNING: don’t EVER call them “stew;” they hate it–even though my own mother, even after 25 years of non-rev travel on my passes still calls me to say, “The stews were so nice.”

Thanks, Mom.

But I can use the term myself because MDB doesn’t listen to me any more and in fact, with Flight Attendants you could say anything you want on the aircraft P.A. and they’ll NEVER KNOW. Seriously–the P.A. is a frequency that they can’t hear–kind of like a reverse dog hearing–so I could announce “I slept with your sister!” on the P.A. and she would simply ask, “what time are we landing?” Because she didn’t hear that P.A. either. But I digress.

Let’s just cut to the chase: here’s what you really want to know. In fact, let’s just go over important facts you NEED to know if you’re going to deal with flight attendants (of course you are, in flight), or date a flight attendant (you THINK you are, but that’s in YOUR dream, not theirs and they don’t get much sleep these days anyway), or maybe even you want to BE one (What, you’re finally off suicide watch, now this? Break the Prozac in half). Anyway, learn THIS:

1. Flight attendants will kick your ass. Seriously, they can and they will if they have to–and trust me, I’ll explain later–you want them to.

Okay, Carolyn's actually one of my Facebook friends and she's very nice. Mostly.

I’m not kidding. If you piss them off, you will pay. It might be be something simple like overfilling your coffee cup purposely so you’ll have to spill it (that was one of MDB’s specialties) or even the patented Flight Attendant “eff you” that is given so subtly and sweetly that you don’t even realize till the cart and flight attendant are three rows back before you think it through and realize, “Hmmmm . . . I think I just got told to go eff myself.”

Not that you don’t deserve it: they’ve asked one hundred people before you the same simple question–“What would you like to drink?” And they’ve answered the what do you have question at least as many times, plus they made a P.A. giving you the answers ahead of time. So, when you in row 32 ask again anyway, they have a soothing, pleasant proximate answer that after a few minutes your brain finally deciphers correctly as, you stupid idiot, YOU SHALL HAVE NOTHING. To which I would add, “you douchebag” but Flight Attendants are more skilled and less vulgar than I am. Bottom line: don’t be an idiot.

2. Flight attendants will share their ass–and they are crafty. We’re all crammed into a long, sealed tube, right?

Let’s face it–you’re in a sardine can for hours on end. In the cockpit, I actually have separate zone-controlled (by me) air conditioning and recirculation. Yes, it is good to be captain. And sure, you have some weird ideas about what goes on beyond that cockpit door, don’t you?

Suffice it to say that we pilots get “the royal treatment.” Now let’s move on.

Back to the long metal tube you’re paying a few bucks to be trapped in rather than face the freeway for days on end getting to whatever destination you’ve coughed up your vacation savings for.

The air in the jet is fine, it’s just the people like you who muck it up with your coughing, sneezing and personal exhaust if you know what I mean and I think you do.

Well, the cabin is their workplace, too.  As long as they’re trapped and required to endure assorted emissions from both of your ends (sometimes you’d have to think that the ones from your south end are more tolerable than the “what do you have?” stuff coming out topside), they deserve a chance to defend themselves. And when you travel, especially as much as we do on a flightcrew, diet is at best a catch as catch can thing. That end result is bad, eventually.

Wet cleanup on aisle six.

And the best defense in this case as in most others is a good offense.

Hence, “crop dusting.” That’s the diabolical plan by which they spray front to back on board so that by the time you get smacked in the face

"My god--air, please . . . !

. . . they’re already halfway to the aft galley and out of sight. You all will blame each other, but there was, you should know, a secret plan:

From the Flight Attendant Manual: "Always cropdust front to back."

There’s nothing you can do about this, by the way, except take small breaths. Deal with it.

Finally, here’s the last and probably most important thing you should know:

3. Flight attendants will save your ass. And that’s what they’re on board for–not just to tell you what beverages are available, not to entertain you, but actually to save your ass in the worst possible moment of your life.

Notice who isn’t walking away from this crashed aircraft alive and well? It’s the Flight Attendants who helped them off and are still on board helping others. That’s what they do. And that’s why you want them to be able to do item #1 above: they need to be able to throw your ass down an escape slide if you can get out of a burning passenger cabin yourself.

They can handle the 90 pound emergency exit door or the even heavier cabin doors. They know the route by feel and by heart to the nearest emergency exit in a smoke-filled cabin–and they’ll take you there. They are ready with first aid and CPR and a defibrillator and a fire extinguisher and oxygen and anything else you or I might need in flight. Not what we “want” in flight, although they take care of all they can–but most importantly, what you need to make it off the plane alive in any circumstance.

That’s the challenge they’ve undertaken on your behalf. That’s what they’ve trained to do, what they’re tested on and certified annually and rigorously through drills, classes and study.

They’re not leaving without you, even if they have to haul your ass out of a burning plane themselves. To me, that’s amazing.

This they do for minimal pay over long hours with little time for food or sleep and with complete disregard for time zones or body clock, because that’s just the nature of the job. I’ve never known a more selfless group, and there isn’t a more versatile group of professionals on the planet. They can hang with anyone, talk to anyone, and they’ll save the life of anyone, in the air or on the ground.

Do I have to spell this out for you? You should respect and appreciate the unique and giving individuals who are the flight attendants on your flight. Or in my case, I appreciate the one who is my partner for life. Or there’ll be an ass-whuppin’ in short order for you and me alike.

Got it? Good–remember it. Think about the big three flight attendant truths I just shared with you the next time you fly.

And be sure, if nothing else, that you know what you’d like to drink BEFORE the cart gets to you. When it does, “please” and “thank you” are mandatory–especially to the professionals who can both kick your ass and save it, and who will do both as necessary.

And THAT is the truth about Flight Attendants.

Epilogue:

Actually never met the guy, but you gotta like the way he thinks.

Coming next:

You hear the name, you see the pilot, but who is this person, “the airline captain” in whom you place your trust?

The exclusive, only here. Subscribe.

Steven Slater, Dental Hell and the Death of Civility in Air Travel.

Posted in air travel, airliner, airlines, airport, elderly traveller, flight, flight attendant, flight crew, jet, lavatory, life, passenger, pilot, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2010 by Chris Manno

The outrageous JetBlue incident last week brings back memories. And they’re not necessarily good.

Used to be when the last squadron jet of the day’s flying reported in on the tower frequency, a very surly Bad Jimmy Williams would step out of his Operations Officer cubicle and without a word, he’d open the padlock on a large refrigerator in the back corner of the Flight Ops lounge, glare at us waiting Lieutenants, then stalk off.

That signaled  that the “Beer Box” (presumably derived from “ice box”) was officially open, which also opened the lounge for an impromptu happy hour and flying story session. After beers all around, we’d discuss the day’s flying and eventually the conversation would meander into all manner of B.S. stories.

Although he wasn’t a pilot, Dr. Love (yes, that was his real name) often would wander over from the Dental Clinic, knowing he could poach a beer or two before heading home. Which was fair, because he lived near us and we drank plenty of his beer whenever possible.

For whatever reason, he felt like he had to add a dental war story to the absurd flying tales being spun and although that was largely irrelevant, one thing he said I’ve never forgotten.

“Well,” he drawled, contemplating his half empty beer can, “I used to be so careful when I was doing dental work on a patient.”

The room fell silent. What the hell could he possibly say next? Please make him say and I’ve only gotten more careful and caring as time goes on, because we all have to go to the Dental Clinic sometime.

“But you know what I learned?” he asked, studying the Budweiser label (there were only a few brands of beer available there on The Rock in the South China Sea). He paused for effect. “I learned, people heal. You don’t have to be so careful.”

Note to self: never see Dr. Love at the Dental Clinic. But beyond that, there’s a real point:

Dr. Love deliberately contributes to everyone’s lore of dental hell. Which only perpetuates the problem, reinforcing not only the fear of dentistry, but also escalating spiral of outrageous dental tales.

People only want to tell a story about a “horrible” dental experience. No one wants to tell–or hear–a story about a pain-free, simple dental procedure.

The same is true for air travel nowadays: everyone needs to tell a horror story now at happy hour. Ten hour tarmac delays with no food, crying babies, and overflowing toilets (not physically possible unless there’s actually over fifty gallons of human waste added during the delay) and passengers dying.

That’s the stuff of legends, and perhaps Steven Slater is the new “Dr. Love.”

On the day he snapped, cursing a passenger on the P.A., blowing an escape slide, grabbing a couple beers and sliding off the jet, Slater negated the day’s work of his peers–just like Dr. Love did for his dental clinic and fellow dentists.

Because on that same day, thousands of flight attendants were treated rudely by thoughtless, boorish passengers.

But they didn’t snap. They didn’t blow a slide. And though many likely wanted to, they didn’t curse their passengers, at least not out loud.

Instead, they did their jobs, under trying circumstances with unreasonable passengers and onerously long work days. You didn’t read about the flight attendants who that day–like every day of the year–perform CPR on a passenger in cardiac arrest at 30,000 feet. Nor the ones who helped the very young or very old with the extra attention that they need above and beyond the normal passenger services so that they can get where they need to go safely.

No, the headlines were only about the one flight attendant who blew up–and quit being a flight attendant. Which I say discounts and devalues all those who didn’t. Those remembering Dr. Love’s “healing” philosophy project it onto the thousands of dentists who do care about their patients.

And the thousands of passengers who were treated kindly by their cabin crew nonetheless have their radar scanning for a Steven Slater rogue to spin into a cocktail yarn or a “Good Morning America” interview.

That’s life and moreover, that’s popular culture. Don’t get me wrong; I know thousands of flight attendants nationwide cheered the actions of Slater. But in the fantasy sense of wow, what a great gesture. The public is too often rude, surly, inconsiderate and they get away with it.

Because  in air travel, this:

Has given way to this:

. . . and so this

Has devolved into this:

Funny stuff for tall tales, late night talk show monologues and silly YouTube tribute songs.

But a sad commentary on both popular culture and those who comprise its storytellers and listeners. And even worse, it’s an accurate commentary on both the traveling public and the norms of behavior en route.

Every profession has its Dr. Loves. Unfortunately, the rest of the profession suffers the derisive connotation of the rogue’s actions  regardless of the reality of their work, which pales against the backdrop of popular culture that rewards outrageous behavior.

Not sure what ever happened to Dr. Love or what will become of Flight Attendant Slater. But both are hard to forget, for all the wrong reasons.

Airliner Lavatories: No Blue Sky and NO DEUCE. Ever.

Posted in air travel, airliner, airlines, airport, flight crew, jet, lavatory, mile high club, passenger, pilot with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2010 by Chris Manno

I couldn’t wait to stick my head in that toilet. I was nine, we were flying from Buffalo to Chicago and when the seatbelt sign finally went off, I flew up to the lav, just certain that when I flushed the toilet–once I figured out how–the bottom of the bowl would open up and I’d see blue sky below. I’d planned to drop stuff out of there across the country, pencils, tissue, pictures, maybe even a deuce if I could work one up.

What a buzzkill when I realized the truth: it’s just a chemical toilet. No open skies, thousands of feet of open sky below. Just a chemical toilet.

Well, it’s worse than that. The way your modern airliner is designed, it’s basically a chemical toilet with no water–just degerm solution swirling around below an aluminum “splash pan.” Yes, “ewwwwww,” but stay with me–it gets even worse: the chemical toilet is barely an arm’s reach from the galley.

This is you, standing in the galley, looking into the can. Nice, huh?

Are you getting this? Here, let’s paint the picture: the aircraft designers put an outhouse right next to the kitchen. But it’s worse than that, too. Let’s strip out the walls

Okay, see where that bowl is? And see where my seat in the cockpit up front on the left is? And how close? Well, the ventilation is designed so that whatever you do in the lav is brought forward almost instantly.

An old Air Force buddy of mine flies for Southwest Airlines and reports this as a major problem on early morning flights. Since Southwest doesn’t have reserved seating, a line forms at the gate well before boarding.And no one will leave the line to go to the bathroom lest they lose their boarding priority. He reports that as soon as they’re airborne, everyone suddenly needs their morning constitutional. The end result could only be described as similar to my high school memories on Saturdays when my Dad would roam the house picking up newspapers and magazines. You knew what was coming next: an hourlong sit down during which you hoped none of your friends came over; the whole house smelled like, well, an airplane lav.

No, we’re not defenseless in the cockpit:

But that does make it hard to drink my morning coffee (believe me: you want me to have my morning coffee) and does nothing for your fellow passengers gagging up front.

Yes I always fly with a drawing pad. Why do you ask? Anyway, take pity on the other hundred-plus people on the plane. Here are some reasonable yet crucial guidelines:

1. No Deuce in the forward lav. That’s the one by the cockpit near me. “Number One” only in the forward lav–NO DEUCE (that’s a “Number Two,” okay?) EVER up front. Except, of course, for me:

It’s good to be captain. You? Go to the aft lav in the rear of the airplane. Everyone back there’s traveling on some kind of discount anyway, they can live with it.

2. Mile High Club? Seriously?

What, in an outhouse? The last guy’s skid marks (remember: no water) stinking the place up? Now THAT’S amore. And you’d have to be an idiot. Your buddy who claims he did it in the lav (yeah, right) is an idiot for even thinking about it.

3. In and out, quickly. No newspapers, you’re not my Dad and this isn’t Saturday; you’re in a Porta-Potty five miles up at 500 miles an hour. Make it quick.

4. Wear shoes! It’s not that we mind you mopping up the sticky spillage on the lav floor with your socks (or less–ewwwwww); we don’t. It’s just the thought of it makes me gag when I type this, and especially when I see you doing it.

5. Mercy Flush: every thirty seconds, at least. Remember: no water. Lots of air. People trying hard to breathe and your atomized particulate matter is wafting around the cabin.

Look, your best bet is to just hold it, because the lav’s a filthy Petri dish; between flights the unlucky low man on the ramp totem pole holds his nose, flaps a rag around the lav, sprays some junk to mask the stench then slams the door. You can hold it and remember, it’s not like the bottom’s going to open up and let you throw stuff out into the blue sky. Seriously, I checked.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

World’s most dangerous sandwich, from the deli in Hangar 3 in LaGuardia Airport:

My in-flight hogfest from LaGarbage to DFW February 2.

Hot pastrami with provolone, onions  and mustard on a hero. Definitely will get you to the other coast, and someone’s going on oxygen a couple hours into the trip. Okay, there’s the connection with the “Deuce” post above.

When I was a First Officer–back when the earth was still cooling and dinosaurs roamed the planet–on the DC-10, I’d get one of these babies to go from the LaGuardia deli and eat it in flight enroute to O’Hare. During the next leg, about midway to Seattle, you could count on a burnt-onions-like gas cloud in the cockpit that had the captain ranting. What was he all whipped up about? Here, just Pull My Finger.

He’d fingerpoint, eventually at me, but on a three-man crew he couldn’t be certain if it was me or the flight engineer (that’s the beauty of today’s two-man crews: you always know who farted) who was responsible for gagging him. I swore up and down it wasn’t me.

Then one trip, the usual engineer called in sick. Over Wyoming–same stench. Busted; he wouldn’t give me any landings the rest of the trip.

Now, “My Darling Bride & Favorite Flight Attendant of All Time,” like most women, would be horrified and grossed out by this story,

but seriously–nobody’s reading this blog, much less this far down in it, plus she doesn’t even know I have a  blog. So shhhhhhh, mum’s the word, okay? Besides, whenever she asks me what I could possibly know about the general topic I call “Man Stuff,” I tell her honestly, “I used to be a guy.” Guys–particularly husbands–reading this are nodding and grunting. Women? Whatever. As I said, nobody’s reading this anyway.

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