Oh, I'm sorry- 'Doctor' Faggot
BLOG by Lori Culpepper Dinsmore
Oh, I'm sorry-Doctor'Faggot
Somewhere behind those storm clouds, imposing and pendulous, soared a microcosm of society and insanity.
Passenger names were listedon our finaldeparture reports, one copy given to the Pilots and one copy given to the Flight Attendants just before we shut the boarding door. There was never a dearth of interesting information on these reports. The First Class Flight Attendants were requiredto addresseach occupant by their last name, e.g., Ms. Jones, Mr. Smith, to facilitatean atmosphere of geniality (as if we valued each individual passenger's patronage so much that their name was always right on the tip of our tongue). This frequently backfired when someone had switched seats and didn't tell us.
We would approach a passenger, as if welcoming back an old friend, and say familiarly"Mr. Johnson! What may I get for you today?"
This was commonly followed by a puzzled look on the face of the man who was not Mr. Johnson, and someone across the aisle calling out "I'm Mr. Johnson."
It definitely detracted from our aura of elegance, however, the company was adamant that we use each First Class passenger name on every flight. Okay, not that big of a deal-until I had Dick Seamen, and Bruce Faggot on a flight. I stood in the galley before approaching them thinking-"Okay, focus on something else, this is not funny, what's the most un-funny thing you can think of?dead puppies, think of dead puppies, and you'll be fine."
Here goes, "Mr. Faggot, would you prefer the chicken or fish?" "Oh, I'm sorry, Doctor Faggot"
"Mr. Seamen, would you care for a hot towel?" It was rough.
One afternoon, my friend Lucy and I were sitting in First Class between flights discussing this very thing. Why would someone go by the name Dick?' It just made no sense in this day and age. There were reasonable alternatives: Rick,' Rich,' Richard,' but Dick?' Come on, that's just uncalled for. Lucy and I were in the middle of our Dick' discussion when our new Captain came aboard. He stood in front of Lucy and me, and said "Hi, I'm Dick." Lucy and I sat there for a couple nano seconds red-faced and then both spit up our spleens in fits of hysterical laughter. It was simply beyond our control. Dick stood there looking down at his pants, saying "Is my zipper down?" Poor, poor Dick.
There were definitely some passengers-Mr.Violentendencies, or Ms. Painintheass-who caused legitimate concerns. One Flight Attendant whom I knew had actually been choked (hands tightened around her throat), by a male passenger traveling in First Class. He was "upset"because he thought he was going to miss his connection (with that kind of affront, obviously, his violence was justified-and she got what was coming to her). The brute followed the Flight Attendant into the galley and pinned her against the wall and grabbed her by the neck. Very quickly someone heard her distress, and several passengers on the flight restrained the choker with some handcuffs that were kept in the cockpit, and threw him in the brig. Of course the brig' on a commercial aircraft is just a regular airplane seat, but we had ways of making it not so comfortable for the detained party. Wetook away all seat reclining privileges orplaced theprisoner next to a colicky baby. I'm not disclosing that we actually everparticipated inthe following-maybe yes, maybe no-but we had tools to water board with the hot towels used in First Class.There were also methods that I'm not at liberty to discuss.
Bear in mind that my Father was and my Brother isan Airborne Ranger in the armed services. I grew up in the same house with them and have endured torture which Al Qaeda hasn't even glimpsed. My personal favorite was (a classic) when my Brother would hold me down on my back andlean over my face and let a strand of saliva drizzle downwarduntil it landed somewhere on my head. Sometimes that was pairedwitha "pink belly" or "Indian sun burn." Once, heand a friendrestrained meand taped me up with masking tape from head to toe-so that the only body part that I could freely move was my mouth. "We gave her some grape bubble gum,"my brotherprotested innocently when I ratted him out. "It's her favorite." He's now a Colonel in the Army-I wonder if they know about his psychological history.
Anyway, the Galley Strangler' plane made an emergency landing, and Choky' was arrested. His victim was physically all right, but had some post-traumatic stress related emotional issues after the assault. Oh, and Choky did, in fact, miss his connection.
It was always comical to me to remember that we carried a set of handcuffs in the cockpit.
Don'tyou dare speak to me that way pal. I'll cuff you so fast, your grape sized nuts will spin.'
I once had a man sitting in First Class, Mr. Addict,who had a couple cocktails during the flight. There was a good chance that some other recreational pharmaceuticals were involvedbecause suddenly, the man couldn't even walk to the bathroom. He was a huge guy and was falling into the seats, projectile vomiting, yelling, and causing quitea scene. We called ahead and had the authorities meet the flight on the ground, and he was whiskedaway. The entire time Mr. Addict was bouncing around the First Class cabin and spraying his vomitus everywhere, there was a foppish gentleman sitting in the row behind him. He was reading a book and didn't look up once. I happened to see thisdignified manin a gate area in the airport just after the flight, and approached him to apologize for what he'd had to endure.
He looked at me graciously and said "Thank you. That man was most unpleasant."
"Yes, I concur."
My friend, Emily, was just an exquisite Flight Attendant. She could not have been sweeter to passengers and crew, and was extraordinarily conscientious in her attention to her duties. Emily was working the First Class service on one flight, and was affably visiting with each of her passengers "Are you traveling on business or pleasure Ms. Yuremyfavoritepassenger?" All was perfect. A man in 4B, Mr. Extemporaneous, had been especially enjoyable, and she stopped to chat with him frequently. He was quite a gentleman. Mid-flight, Emily brought him a beverage, and after he gracefully thanked her-as she was walking away-she heard him say "F*** you, bitch."
She whipped her head around and looked at him. The expression on his face was just as pleasant as it had been.
What the heck?'
She continued working, and when his glass was empty,Emily approachedMr.Extemporaneousagain.She asked him, "May I get you another drink?"
He responded with a smile "Whenever you have a free minute that would be great. Thank you." Emily turned toward the galley and heard "F***ing s***."
She spun around again, and he still had this placid expression on his face. Ah,Tourette's Syndrome-that or very rapid cycling Bipolar Disorder-or a really rare form of a mean streak.'
Later in the flight, another young, fairly new Flight Attendant, Amber, walked through First Class and noticed that the gentleman at 4Bhad an empty glass. Unawares, she asked if she could offer him a refill. "Thank you so much," he responded. She picked up his empty "rolly polly" glass and headed toward the galley. Emily was engagedin conversation, and didn't notice Amber making the drink and heading back out in the aisle. She looked up at the last minute and tried to stop her saying "Wait, who's that drink for?"
Too late. Amber didn't hear Emily and set the drink down on the armrest at 4B. "Thank you," the man politely offered.
"My pleasure, Mr. Extemporaneous."
"F*** you, c***."
Lori Culpepper Dinsmore
Oh, I'm sorry- 'Doctor' Faggot
By: Lori Culpepper Dinsmore