Thursday, August 17, 2006

Snakes on a Plane

As someone who spent the last eleven years employed as a flight attendant for a major airline (actually twelve, if you count last year when I was still on the books, yet never once donned the blue polyester suit), I will state now, and for the record, that I have never, ever seen a snake on a plane.
Cockroaches? Yup.
Mice? Check.
Extremely bad, snake-like, venomous behavior by VFP’s (very famous people)? You bet.
But snakes? Not so much.
Although I did serve Samuel L. Jackson a bottle of water once, and I’m happy to report that he behaved very well.

I haven’t seen the movie. And I’ll be honest and say that I probably never will. Flight Attendant’s are unusually harsh critics of airplane movies. “They just never get it right,” we whine. Though all too often it’s true. The flight attendants are always portrayed as unbelievably ditzy, the pilots are cast as overwhelmingly sexy (as if), and the passengers are all well meaning, understanding, and far to willing to roll up their sleeves and help out (this rarely happens, I assure you). Besides, I’ve got plenty of my own airplane horror stories to last me a lifetime. Though unlike my friend and fellow scribe, Lori Jakiela- (if you haven’t read Miss New York has Everything, go get it, now!)- I was never licked by a passenger. Although I was tripped (on purpose), barfed on (may have been an accident, I’m still not sure), solicited (definitely sure on this one), screamed at by a VFP (I still won’t watch her show), and had a very finicky first class passenger demand that I obtain some “palate cleansing sorbet” immediately. I was used to the occasional odd request, all flight attendants are, but at 30,000 feet, flying over the middle of the Atlantic, in the middle of the night, well, it’s sort of awkward to just pop out and head over to the local market.

And even though the days were excruciatingly long, and even though my feet hurt for eleven years straight, and even though the majority of my layovers weren’t at all glamorous, I wouldn’t trade those memories for nothin’. I may have been encased in blue polyester for a good deal of the time, but I met some amazing people, worked with the best crews, and saw the world (for free!).

Though never once did I see a snake.

FLY ME TO THE MOON, my first adult novel, is about a 28 year-old flight attendant living in New York City. It will be released on Dec. 26, 2006.

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