Soup On Your Pants, Egg On Your Face

, , , , | Related | July 14, 2020

My parents used to go on a short vacation in Europe every year. My dad would always complain that Mom needlessly packed extra clothes that never got used and were just dead weight in the luggage. 

One time, he decided to prove his point; after she finished packing, he secretly removed the extra pair of his pants from the suitcase.

Then, he had tomato soup for lunch on the plane. There was some turbulence and Dad had to spend three days in Germany with huge soup stains on his pants. He never complained about the extra clothes again.

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Sometimes A Brownie Makes It All Better

, , , , , | Working | June 22, 2020

My husband and I are going on our honeymoon, which is the first overseas trip either of us has ever been on. We’ve done as much as we can to prepare, but there are a few things like toothbrushes and such that can’t be packed until the day we leave. And, of course, that’s exactly when everything seems to fall apart.

Our dog sitter cancels that morning, meaning we have to very quickly find a kennel for our dog and pack up her stuff. Then, on the way back inside after taking the dog to the kennel, I manage to trip and cut my arm on the mailbox. It’s bad enough that I have to get stitches. Luckily, our flight is in the late afternoon, so we sort of have enough time for a trip to the hospital.

But then, just as we get home to finish packing and do a few last-minute tasks we would have had done by noon if life hadn’t gotten in the way, the airport shuttle pulls up to our door a full hour early. The driver tells us that if we’re not ready to leave in five minutes, our reservation will be canceled without refund. It’s only after we haphazardly finish packing and get to the airport that we find out he was absolutely not allowed to do that. By then, it’s too late to go back home to get the items we already realize we’ve forgotten, so we decide we’ll just have to buy them once we land.

All in all, it’s been a pretty awful day, and I’m stressed out.

I’ve put in a request ahead of time for an alternative meal on our trans-Atlantic flight, since I’m vegetarian. When they serve the meals, it’s clear the airline has one single alternative meal that is vegan, kosher, halal, gluten-free, nut-free, low-sodium, and suitable for diabetics. It’s just rice and unseasoned boiled vegetables because of all the restrictions. Though it’s not that appetizing, it’s food, and I eat it.

After the main meal, the flight attendants serve dessert: a brownie for each passenger. I’m really looking forward to the brownie after the day I’ve had. When the flight attendant reaches me, she starts handing me the brownie but then stops.

“Oh, you had the alternative meal, didn’t you?”

She pulls back the brownie and hands me something else. I look down to find an unsweetened, unflavored rice cake. For whatever reason, that is the straw that broke the camel’s back, even if it isn’t a big deal comparatively. I look back up at the flight attendant with what my husband claims is the expression of someone whose heart has just been ripped out and stomped on, and I’m struggling not to cry.

“Did you want the brownie, instead?”

“Yes, please!”

The brownie was delicious, and the rest of our trip went much more smoothly.

This story has been included in our June 2020 roundup as one of that month’s most memorable stories!

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That Attitude Is Very Self-Serving

, , , , , | Right | June 19, 2020

I am a flight attendant. We are in the air and I’m doing a beverage service. I ask a woman by the window:

Me: “Would you like a beverage, ma’am?”

Her husband in the middle seat says to me:

Husband: “You have to pardon my wife; she doesn’t speak to servants.”

Me: “Very well. I don’t serve until spoken to.”

Everyone else on the plane got drinks and dinner. She didn’t.

This story has been included in our June 2020 roundup as one of that month’s most memorable stories!

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Age Is Just A Number; Maturity Is Everything

, , , , , | Friendly | June 15, 2020

My family — my husband, our three-year-old son, and me — are flying across Canada to visit extended family. We were able to upgrade our seats to first-class for a really reasonable rate at the last minute. We’ve got a big bag of stuff to keep our son entertained on the flight. We know; babies and little kids are not always the best travellers.

We get settled in and another family boards right after us. The parents are in their fifties or so, and their three kids are in their twenties. They take one look at my son, who’s sitting quietly while I read him a book, and start complaining. Loudly. They’re saying things like, “Oh, great! I thought this was supposed to be first-class!” They’re trying to engage the other first-class passengers, who are mostly looking uncomfortable that we can clearly hear these people complaining about us.

As soon as the plane takes off, this other family starts ordering drinks. And more drinks. First, they start talking and joking in increasingly loud voices. Then, they start bickering, shouting across the aisles at each other. They are the noisiest passengers I’ve ever been stuck with. 

Our three-year-old son, meanwhile, was quiet and calm the whole flight. He watched cartoons, ate snacks, and played with his toys. Model flyer.

This story has been included in our June 2020 roundup as one of that month’s most memorable stories!

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Vegas Starts In London

, , , | Right | June 2, 2020

I’ve boarded a flight from London to Las Vegas — about ten hours flying time. I do this flight fairly frequently, so I am prepared; my meal is requested in advance, which of course means it comes to my numbered seat, and I have the flight essentials on my person, which include noise-cancelling headphones.

A group of women boards the flight and immediately, the noise level kicks up. One of the group starts asking all of the people around me if they are travelling alone, and if so, will they switch seats with one of their party so they can all sit together? This behaviour makes my blood boil, as most of the rest of the flight likely did everything by the book and now people are being hassled by this woman and her friends to move. They’re not being polite; they are being wheedling and irritating.

The woman gets to me to ask if I will move, but the passenger next to me sees the look on my face and jumps in.

Passenger: “We’re all together, sorry!”

Me: “Thanks for that. She was really getting on my nerves, and I can’t move easily, anyway, as my meal is coming to this seat.”

The ringleader of the group then does not stop talking in her elevated volume for most of the flight, including sharing a story about how she was on a flight once and a woman asked her if she would swap seats with her young son, so they could sit together. This clueless goon went on about how the woman should have planned ahead. Yes, really.

Another passenger eventually complains about the noise coming from this one empty vessel, and the stewardess speaks with her. This prompts the woman to speak even louder about this injustice, and how awful it is that some other passenger complained about her. She starts canvassing those around her — strangers — for support, asking if she has been loud on the flight. She gets to me.

Gobby Woman: “Excuse me, have I been loud on this flight? Have you been able to hear me? Only, the stewardess said someone complained about me and, you see, I’m hard of hearing, so I sometimes speak a little louder than normal and—”

I speak in my normal voice.

Me: “I’ve been watching movies the entire flight, with the volume turned up, wearing noise-cancelling headphones, and I have heard every word you have said. EVERY. WORD.”

She looked stunned and sat back and finally shut up for a while.

This story has been included in our June 2020 roundup as one of that month’s most memorable stories!

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