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Date:         Sun, 1 Jan 1995 12:14:26 EDT
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From: gilbertsmith <gsmith@social.chass.ncsu.edu>
Subject:      American Airlines Moment
Comments: To: words-l@uga.cc.uga.edu
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L <words-l@uga.cc.uga.edu>
Status: RO

So, I nearly have a chance to give up my ticket at the San Diego
airport and spend another night partying with natalie and whoever
else remains until NYD.  But, the ticket agent wants me to get in the
long line just to declare that I am a "volunteer" so I decide I
really want to get home, even though the tc\sw has called me to tell
me that her step-mother has coerced her into coming to the lake to
spend New Year's Eve with her.  So no one will be home except
teenagers when I get there.  I get on the plane, and have an
unexpected AAM:

Flight attendant (what used to be called a *stewardess*) with lots of
stringy bleached blond hair and red suspenders pushes the food cart
down the aisles and inquires:
  "Thai-grilled chicken or ham and cheese calzone?"
  Two people on my right respond, then she looks at me without saying
anything and without so much as an <inquiring> look in her piercing
blue eyes.  I think, this person is pissed, and I dont think I am
responsible.  I say:
  "Chicken."
  No response, I mean absolutely *no* response, except to whip out
the three trays, pass two of them in front of me, almost hitting my
little nose with her elbow, then plopping my chicken in front of me.
I think, "This is irritating me, but most of all, this is making me
curious.  What is this person's problem and why didnt she leave it at
home this morning."
  I watch her for the rest of the flight.  She stops at an aisle and
says:  "Give me your cups."  Passengers comply, and she gives *no*
response, not even a nod.  I begin to get more and more irritated.
Even begin to experience righteous indignation.  I have paid $650 for
this flight and this person is disrupting my tranquility.  I never.
  Then, she marches up the aisle and unlocks the cockpit door and
disappears inside.  Does not emerge until one hour later, looking no
more happy than before.  I am relieved that the plane does not
plummet to the ground while she is inside, most surely harrassing the
poor pilots, one of whom probably is responsible for her bad mood.
  By now, after having been subjected several times to this person's
elbow in my face, I am supremely annoyed.  After a safe landing at
DFW, I emerge from the plane and spot the woman who seemed to be the
chief flight attendant.  I cannot help myself, I know I must *do*
something about this annoyance:
  ME:  Excuse me, are you the head flight attendant?
  SHE: No, but what is the problem (smiling very genuinely and
sweetly)
  ME:  In all my years of flying on American Airlines, I have never
seen a flight attendant as rude as that blond woman.
  SHE:  Which one?  The short one or the tall one.
  ME:  The short one with all the hair and the suspenders.
  SHE:  Oh.  I am not in charge.  (Calling to other woman): Excuse
me, can you come here.
  ME: (to other woman)  That flight attendant was incredibly rude.
The blond one with all the hair.  I dont know what her problem is,
but she should have left it at home.
  SHE2:  Oh, sometimes she jokes around and people misunderstand.
  ME:  Today, she was not joking.
  SHE2:  Oh.
  SHE1:  Thank you for telling us that.
  ME:  (feeling very righteous, feeling as if I had made a difference
today).  You're welcome.

Now, why did I do that?  Why didnt I just ignore it?  Must be the
influence of my friends...  no, cut that.  Must be the influence of
my wordslers, who put up with nothing.  I was almost punished,
though.  As the plane tried to land at RDU and then, at the last
moment, aborted the landing and soared into the skies again, I
thought:  "This is it.  This is definitely it.  And it's all my
fault.  I am going to die at RDU airport because I have been a nasty
boy.  Goodbye world.  I have forgotten that charity begins at home.
This is the fault of my wordslers."  Then, we landed and I got in my
Miata and went home to a New Year's Eve party of eight giggling
teenagers.  And now, at 11:45 in the morning, hiding in my office
from the throng of youth, I have called my daughter and told her to
clear out the kids in the next 45 minutes because I am coming home.
She has accused me of being irrational, selfish, mean, and I dont
know what all.  I just kept repeating: "You have had a nice party,
your friends have all spent the night.  I am coming home.  the party
is over."  She may not survive this tragedy.
  I *will* be punished.
--ggs