Friday, April 21, 2006

Fly Girl

A friend of mine sent me a photo of herself sitting in what appears to be the cockpit of a plane. We used to be neighbors in San Franciso an eon ago. She was a teenager then, bright eyed and innocent, still figuring out who she was going to be. Her email was short and sweet:

Probably wondering how I ended up here.

Come on make up a story. It'll be fun.

How are you?
So, without further ado, here was my response:


You were on a flight home from San Francisco. It was supposed to be a short hop, and the weather forecast called for a storm front moving in fast over the Hawaiian Islands. The captain made the call: we can make it. The crew had dinner the night before at PF Changs, and decided to order a batch of entrees and split between them. The Mongolian Beef, always a party favorite, was infected with the Mad Cow disease. The insidious virus wormed its way into their bowels, unnoticed--yet.

The flight started like any other, routine, dull, and boring. The take off was perfect. As the plane leveled itself at thirty thousand feet, the lead flight attendant picked up the mike and cleared her throat.

"The captain has turned off the no smoking sign. You can unfasten your seatbelts, but we suggest keeping them fastened when not..." A loud blast that would have made Dizzy Gillespie proud spouted from her clenched butt cheeks, amplified by her futile attempt to stop it. "Oh my! I'm so sorr..." Now a loud belch, followed by another report from the other end. She fell to the ground, writhing and shaking.

That's when the storm hit, rocking the plane with such violence that overhead bins popped open and vomited carry-on suit cases, laptops and purses onto the heads and laps of the passengers. Pandemonium broke out, especially when the captain stumbled out of the cockpit, shaking like a parody of Steve Martin's wild and crazy guy skit, "C-c-c-can a-a-any-bb-body f-f-fly th-this thing," then fell flat on his face and didn't move, except for a few twitches of his right foot.

Screams of panic blended into a perfect symphony that no football stadium could overtake. "We're all gonna die" and "This thing is going down," were common. You get the picture.

But then there she was, calm and beautiful, standing with on foot on the captains back, elbow resting on her knee, chin in hand, surveying the cacophony with a grin. One by one the passengers saw her, and one by one they fell silent, as if a volume knob were being turned slowly down. Then the only sound was the churning engines outside, and the raucous wind that savaged the plane.

"I'm a pilot," she said plainly (pun intended).

A murmur went through the crowd as they acknowledged their new deity, a new American Idol if you will forgive the blasphemy.

"Well," she continued, "at least I dated one once."

Screams, crying, hysteria!

"Joking. My god people, you need to loosen up, have some fun." She turned towards the cockpit that by now smelled like an outhouse. The copilot was slumped backwards over his seat; head tilted back and mouth open wide.

"Somebody get me a beer," she cried, "and get this stinking corpse out of here."

To make a long story short, because I have to get back to work, she landed the plane with practiced grace. As the plane came to rest on the tarmac, reporters swarmed to the cockpit to see who had saved the lives of four hundred passengers, and snapped the picture you sent, which is now on the cover of the Los Angeles Times.

Am I right?

By the way, I'm doing well!



Bailey Stewart said...

Thanks for the early morning laugh. Over-head bins vomiting carry-on suitcases ... good one. Hope things are going better for you.

Toni Anderson said...

LOL. Nice images. How was your trip away?

Kathleen said...

Now that was fun. I hope you'll share with us the real story once you know it!

Scott said...

Oh yeah, the trip to Newport was half and half. The first night was miserable. It was like living in a college dormitory; drunks stumbling through the back alleys to their cars right outside our window, which we had to leave open because the air conditioner didn't work. We all slept on top of the sheets and tossed all night. The kids were rambunctious, especially during the mansion tour, hopping like rabbits and grabbing antiques to the horror of the guests and host. So I had to take them away while my wife finished. The second day we hiked, went to the beach, had a peaceful lunch and slept wonderfully, the finally got the hell out and went home.

Scott said...

Oh, and maybe Tina will drop by and let us know what the real story behind the picture is!

magnetbabe said...

Wow. That was something. The bodily sounds reminded me of Stephen King's Dreamcatcher.

Scott said...

Keep in mind that this was a brain dump, a free writing exercise if you will, done in about thirty minutes or so. I never do that and I should do it more often.

Random Squeegee has a challenge on his site to write something similar in response to photos. I thought I would give it a try later.

jenbeauty said...

I love it!!

Scott said...

I updated with her picture, with her permission of course!

Miranda said...

*Grin* *Applauds* I don't even need to know the real story! That was good enough for me!

Sadie Lou said...

She's cute! Gotta love a gal with dimples. My daughter has this adorable dimple and I just know it's going to be a source of sleepless nights for me.
Cool story--funny.

mr. schprock said...

Why can't she be Air Marshal Tina, who single-handedly beat back five terrorists and a killer robot and landed the plane safely on I-95 East just outside of New Haven CT?

It just seems so obvious.

Bailey Stewart said...

I love those 30 minute exercises.

Trevor Record said...

Rescuing a plane full of people is about the only way to be a hero these days, isn't it?

Dixie Belle said...

Way to go, Scott

Moni said...

Scott, that was too funny! She'll get a kick out of it, you did email her with the story?

I think it will be a while before I eat Mongolian Barbeque again. :)

"A loud blast that would have made Dizzie Gillespie proud..." ROTLAO! I can't help it, bodily humor always gets me!


Claire said...

Hilarious! So how did she REALLY end up there? Given the sweater ,I'm betting it's a passenger photo on a tourist trip or something.