Category Archives: personal nightmares

Flight Attending My Own Funeral

When you’re unemployed for a lengthy chunk of time – let’s say, over six months – your brain starts to wander as far as your “career goals” are concerned. No longer are you waiting on that perfect writing job – instead, you’ve started to look into the eyes of the bodega cashier with a jealous intensity. How’d they get that cushy gig? Who’s their father? Nepotism has taken over the Fifth Avenue Stop n’ Shop.

During the heart of the recession in 2009, I was one of those people, resorting to calling the Better Business Bureau on places that wouldn’t take my resume. I wasn’t completely desperate, as I never took a job that required a hair net, but I was applying for gigs that wouldn’t have crossed my mind a few months before. Five a day, that was my rule. I had to apply to at least five jobs or the day was wasted. Security guard, mailroom clerk, dental dam tester, puppet dry-cleaner, human yoga mat: done, call it a day.

But my favorite job posting that eventually rejected me, out of what had to be hundreds, was for a flight attendant position at Southwest Airlines. I will always remember applying to this, because I audibly said, “This is how my life will end,” without a drip of irony. Not that I could never see myself flying the not-so-friendly skies, handing out double scotches to business-types, but working for a company that herds customers like alpacas with head injuries? No, thanks.

Shockingly, I never heard back from the always-reliable folks at Southwest. This was actually manna from heaven, because I would have taken that job and slowly turned into a self-loathing lesbian in a vest and high-rise chinos. I mean no offense to all you nice Vesties out there, but it just wasn’t my destiny.

But what this story presupposes is, maybe it was (h/t, Eli Cash). What if I was supposed to become that high-flier with a bleached updo? My life’s course was headed down its intended path, but something went awry. Maybe a recruiter with a severe nut allergy got caught in the crossfire of an impromptu bag o’ peanuts fight at the office, which we know happens almost daily at all major airline headquarters. My resume was at the top of her pile, only to be discarded when she never recovered (R.I.P. Lady I Just Made Up).

Let’s just say, for the sake of this flimsy premise, that she called in sick that day, or hadn’t run out of EpiPens. How would I have blended into that world? Would it have been an easy transition? Would I have lasted more than a month? What’s that? We can find out right now with a poorly thought-out scene? How lucky!

DEATH OF A STEWARD
A ONE-ACT PLAY BY MATTHEW LEATHERS

INT. BOEING 737 – DAY

We’re on a cross-country flight to Las Vegas. The cabin is completely full, bursting with people ready for a weekend of fun, sun, and buns (i.e., butts). Matthew the Steward is preparing the drink cart when a passenger calls out.

DRUNK GUY:
Hey, stewardess!

Matthew hears, but ignores.

DRUNK GUY:
Stewwwwwwwwardess!

Ignores further, growing annoyed.

DRUNK GUY:
I seeee you, Stewardess. Bring those tight slacks over here.

Matthew turns around.

DRUNK GUY:
Stewie, stewie, steweeeehoolly shit! She’s a dude!

DRUNK GUY’S FRIEND:
Still want to hit that, bro?

Drunk Guy pauses, notices Matthew’s dainty physique, pauses again.

DRUNK GUY:
..Hell, no, bro! I like tits. LADY tits.

DRUNK GUY’S FRIEND:
I also love tits!

They high-five, letting their fingertips linger for a second.

DRUNK GUY:
Com’ere, stewardess bro.

Matthew walks over, teeth clinched in a dead smile.

MATTHEW:
How can I help you, sir?

DRUNK GUY:

I see you working the booze cart there. Not that I was checkin’ you out or nothin’, because I love tits – LADY tits – but could you do us a solid real quick?

MATTHEW:
(hesitant)
What would you like, sir?

DRUNK GUY:
You see those two broads at the front? The ones with the bangin’ backends?

MATTHEW:
You’ll have to be more specific.

DRUNK GUY:
Jesus, bro! You blind? The ones with the asses that satisfy the masses!
(turns to his friend)
This guy’s balls ain’t dropped.

The friend shakes his head sadly, staring at Matthew’s crotch, as if to say, “et tu, brute?”

MATTHEW:
Oh, THOSE two women. The ones with the butts you like.

DRUNK GUY:
Yeah, go give them a shot of Jäger, tell ’em it’s from the Poon Patrol back in row 18.

MATTHEW:
Sorry, but we don’t have any Jägermeister. Anything else? Glass of wine, maybe?

DRUNK GUY:

NO JÄGER?!? You hearin’ this, bro? This shitbox airline ain’t got no Jäger!

DRUNK GUY’S FRIEND:
(shaking head)
It’s Obama’s America. We’re just livin’ in it.

(30 seconds of silence)

DRUNK GUY:
(sighing under his breath)
Obama’s America.

Matthew turns to leave, thinking the conversation is over.

DRUNK GUY:
Whooa, buddy, these gals still need to get filled up with panty dropper juice. You gotta any Jäger Bombs?

MATTHEW:
Sir, there’s still no Jägermeister on board this aircraft.

DRUNK GUY:
I heard ya, buddy. I asked for a Jäger BOMB. Your brain on the fritz? That’s a whole different drink   from the Red Bull Corporational Institute.

MATTHEW:
Sir, please don’t yell “bomb” while on the aircraft, and we still don’t have any products of any kind with “Jäger” in the title.

DRUNK GUY:
(grows angry)
Hey, watch yer mouth, Peggy Pantsuit. What do I look like to you….a turban-eating terrorist?

MATTHEW:
No, no, I meant nothing of the sort, although I don’t think terrorists eat turbans. I apologize. Let me get some Pinot for the ladies at the front.

Matthew goes back to the front to pour the drinks. He turns around to find the man standing in front of him.

DRUNK GUY:
Gimme them drinks, Sally Strap-On. I don’t trust you to get the party started. I bet you never even been to Cabo Wabo and partied with Sammy Hagar. While I HAVE, and it was AWESOME. The Red Rocker even said hello to me, said, “You’re standing on my foot.” It. Was. Epic. You look more like half-a-gal that couldn’t crush a shot of ‘quila without yakking in yer purse.

MATTHEW:
You’re probably right, sir. Have fun serving five-to-ten for sexual assault.

DRUNK GUY:
Dang right, I’m right. I’m always rig….what’d you say?!

MATTHEW:
I said, “Have fun in Vegas, I hope you win five-to-ten grand.”

DRUNK GUY:
Ahhh, yeah man, dang right I’ll break the bank. I saw that documentary “Rain Man” last night. Dude could count cards like nobody’s business! I’m just as smart as that bro, for sure.

MATTHEW:
I could tell right away, sir. Have a good trip.

The plane lands. Matthew goes to his hotel and jumps off the balcony, screaming “DEAR GOD, MAKE ME A BIRD, SO I COULD FLY FAR, FAR AWAY FROM HERE.” He dies.

Fin.

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Filed under flying, personal nightmares, southwest airlines, Uncategorized, unemployed