Friday, 3 April 2009

Eleventh Post - It's a tough fackin' job, but someone's gotta do it mate!


All flight crew are trained - in all aspects of First Aid.

We can perform CPR. We can use defibrillators. We can deliver a baby, administer all sorts of drugs from our (seriously important) First Aid CASE*....heck, we can even stop people from choking!

With this in mind, I would like to tell you my very favourite joke.


A woman, sitting in the middle row of the first leg of the flight from Adelaide en route to London, (having just been served drinks and peanuts) suddenly begins to cough and splutter.

After a few seconds it becomes apparent that she is in real distress.

The two passengers on either side of her, Bluey and Bazza, swigging their beers, turn to look at her, only slightly interested.

"Caaan't ya swaller?" asks Bluey, eventually.

The woman desperately signals "No!", shaking her head and clasping a hand to her throat.

"Caaan't ya breathe eitha?" asks Bazza.

The woman frantically shakes her head again.

With that, Bluey stands up, pulls the woman out of her seat and throws her, head first, over the seat in front. He lifts up the back of her dress, yanks down her knickers, and slowly runs the full length of his tongue up and down the crack of her bum.

This shocks the woman into such a violent spasm that the obstruction flies out of her mouth and she begins to breathe again.

Bluey carefully replaces the the knickers... then the skirt... lowers the gasping woman into her seat, then sits down in his own seat, casually buckles up, and takes a deep swig of his beer.

Bazza, full of admiration, looks over and says;

"Geez. Y' know Bluey...mate, I've heard of that bloody 'Hind Lick Manoeuvre', but that's the first time I ever seen somebody fackin' do it! "






*First Aid 'Kits' are childs play. The serious First Aid 'CASE' only gets taken out in serious situations. Usually with the music from the 'A' Team playing in the back ground, and people running in slow motion.

TENTH POST Passengers #3

We get all sorts, as you can probably imagine.

On some of my flights from Europe, we get a fair few passengers who have obviously just had cosmetic surgery. They are not actually allowed to fly for at least 48 hours, as there is a risk of wounds opening, stitches bursting etc. Some of them ignore this advice, some take it. But all limp on looking battered, bruised and furtive.

I personally have never seen a silicone breast implant explode...but I have witnessed my fair share of rather spectacularly embarrassing explosions, eruptions and erections. Most of these I intend to document in a further post about ill people, sick people, weird people, and just plain dead people.

Just don't eat before you read it.

However. The effects of pressurisation on the human body are well known. Just think about that little bread roll in the polythene bag on your meal tray, or the crisp packet in your flight bag. Basically, anything that is filled with air (from sinus cavity, to eardrum, to stomach)....is subject to the laws of motion, and the dynamics of flight.

With that in mind, just thank God you were not witness to The Flight, darkly remembered, and still whispered about, as

'The Day of the Exploding Colostomy Bag'.

We have just taken off from Lagos, and an extremely large woman suddenly launches herself out of her seat, and waddles toward the toilet.

I approach her to tell her the seat belt sign is still on, but the one bulging eye and the 'don't you fuck wit me Lady! ' expression makes me stop. I back off with two hands up and let her continue on her way.

Two or three seconds after she locks the toilet door, we hear a muffled 'whoomph' accompanied by a strangled shout for help. I listen outside for a moment, and can hear more strange sounds - a bit like the elongated raspberry a balloon makes when you blow it up, let it go, and it flaps round the room like a big wet fart.

I knock on the door and shout...'Are you ok in there?'

More muffled grunts and now, a slight hissing sound, like air coming out of a tyre, petering off into a sort of wet, 'phutt.... phutt..... phutttttt'.

I knock again, putting on my Purser 'bossy voice'.

'Madam, are you alright in there ? OK...... I'm coming in!'

Silence.

I don't know if you have noticed, but on the outside of every loo door on an aircraft is a grooved space on the lock, just big enough to get a coin in. This enables us to open the door from the outside in the case of an emergency.

What I see that day will go with me to my grave.

I manage to get the door slightly open. This poor woman is standing with her back to me; huge wobbly, clenched pensioner backside inches from my face, pants round her knees.

She is absolutely covered in shite.

The toilet walls look like they have been pebble dashed. All I can see is what looks to be her two eyes reflected in the mirror. (It's difficult to tell, as the mirror is .....well, covered in shite.)

At this point I decide to pull rank, and rapidly call for help from the rest of the crew.

I have this lasting memory of one of the junior crew, having pulled on a pair of latex gloves, standing - ready to go in - armed with a pack of baby wipes. (Baby wipes! Ha! Deary me...that'll just about get the shit off the door handle so you can open it.)

By this time, the rest of the passengers have that 'look' on their face - you know the one, when someone does a silent fart in a lift. All looking round at each other, with sneering top lip and flared nostrils, as if to say 'you dirty bastard'.

The smell lingers for the rest of the fourteen hour flight, and the woman is sat in the very back row, wearing two fetching in-flight blankets , stretched over hips and bust - knees akimbo - and a pair of flight socks.

We call for assistance at our destination - and as she was being lifted off by two ambulance men, clutching two carrier bags full of stinking clothes, she looks at me (still suppressing my gag reflex, but trying to smile) and says;

'Worst flight I have ever had! I'll be complaining you know.....'

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

NINTH POST - Passengers #2

Most people think you have to be able to speak more than one language to become an Air Hostess. Nowadays, a good command of the Queen's English will actually suffice, but when I was recruited way back in nineteen oatcake, I managed to scrape in with 'A' Level French, (helped by a few hours at home with a language tape, and maybe a tiny bit of Spanish I learned from a waiter in Torremolinos. I don't think I could have actually ever used the phrases he taught me though.)

Anyway. Sigh. (Snaps back....where was I?)

Oh yes.

Years ago, I was wandering down the cabin doing my take off checks on a return flight from Charles De Gaulle. ( To explain...it's not essential - even now - to have a language speaker on board European flights - 'language speakers' are the ones with the little relevant flag on their name badge. Usually to be found on long haul flights. And usually to clear up any discrepancy between 'Thai Balls', and 'Thai Fishcakes' on the menu. )

Anyway, there I am, doing my thing....'Put your seat back up please, lap tray in the upright position please...' and then, I notice a very young, very harassed girl; probably all of about 19. Her crimson faced toddler is no more than a year old, and has two revolting green lines from his nostrils to his top lip, which he is sucking - disconcertingly loudly - rather like an old man trying to get the last of his Boddingtons beer off his moustache. When he isn't sucking his lip, his face is basically just one huge, cavernous open mouth, with accompanying noises. This poor young mother keeps pushing her hair behind her ears, while trying to stifle the child with a crotcheted blanket.

The rules for this particular airline at that time, were for babies under a certain age to be sitting on the mothers lap. This toddler was standing on the floor between the mothers knees. To be fair, it was a rather large baby, and she was a typical 'sylph like' French woman (what the hell do they eat, these girls....cress on egg white? One raisin for pudding?)

We had already had the ' ten minutes to take off'' bing bongs, so I kneel down by the girl, and the conversation goes something like this:

Me: 'The baby should be sitting on your lap.....?' (Gesticulates, on lap motion)

She: 'Désolé, je ne comprends pas....?' (slightly panicked)

I try again in English...but louder.

'The BAY-BE, BABA? YES? Hee, (points) needs to beee (points) ON YOUR LAP.

Girl is now shaking head, shrugging shoulders, baby still suck suck sucking, wah wah wahing.

I try, with best A Level French to say ..
'S'il vous plaît, le bébé doit être sur le dessus' (please, the baby should be on top.)

I now realise I probably said something along the lines of...

'S'il vous plaît, le bébé doit être au-dessus de' (please, the baby should be up above.)

Hence the reason, hurrying back DOWN down the cabin to complete my 'Cabin Secure' check, I notice there is now no sign of 'le bébé'.

Nope, not one hint.

I look at her, she looks at me. I look at her lap. I look on the floor. I look out the window. I look up my sleeves. I frantically look around at the other passengers....and then, I hear it.

The muffled 'suck suck suck'.

Yup.

She has put the baby in the overhead locker, wrapped in the crocheted blanket, now sound asleep and still loudly sucking the top lip like Maggie Simpson.

He - and the mother - looked so content, I was tempted to leave him there.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

EIGHTH POST - Appearances

It's hard work you know, keeping up appearances. Especially when you are considered to be 'over the hill.'

Nowadays, these youngsters don't seem to bother with how they look.

Girl, boy... sometimes you can't even tell what sex the person is serving you breakfast, never mind noticing how well cosmetically 'made up' they are.

Gents.....there is not a lot of opportunity nowadays to play the old 'Hide the Hard On With the Newspaper' game is there.

Not like the old days. Oh, you know the game. Catching a glimpse of the telltale 'suspender lines', either when the hostie sits down on the jump seat in front of you, or bends over the breakfast trolley with her visible suspender bumps doing the 'Golden Shot' in line with your nose. Especially if your wife wasn't too receptive at 4.20am...(oh for fuck sake, it's 4.20 am!!! Can't it wait till you get home...? Yawn. )




Nowadays, the girls wear tights (involuntary gag) or trousers. Well, you may find a few stewards wearing kinky underwear.....but that might not float your boat.

Where was I?

Oh yes. With today's hair styles...there is just no opportunity for the lady passengers to even try to jealously work out how the hell these girls get their hair to stay in that gorgeous 'Walnut Whip' concoction. (From experience, it was pins, hairspray, and a LOT of genuflection and prayer.)

Showing my age? Yes, I guess you could say that I am a little bit of an oldie now....but Hey! I still try!

I do still get the occasional glance, although in truth, it is usually from men asking me to get their liver pills from the hat rack, or want me make sure the guide dog is lying down under the seat, and not surreptitiously humping the leg of the passenger next to them.

Sigh.

Aging is so hard for an Air Hostess. After years of men talking to my pert chest, I now appear to be completely invisible to males under a certain age. Can't complain though....that knee height midget yesterday still noticed me....after all, he was on the same level as my chest.

My sons tell me however, that their MATES tell them, I am apparently, a 'M.I.L.F'.

(Yes, I had to google it too. Thank God for Wonderbra, hair dye, and Youthful Beer Goggles.)

It's horrible, when you have been considered even slightly attractive in your youth...to suddenly hit 45 and it's like you have morphed into one of the witches in 'Stardust'. Or a wrinkly, anus lipped, Brigitte Bardot. But uglier.

Cosmetic surgery is always an option, but I see so much of it, it kind of puts me off. Scary stuff. Girls with whirly, pointy out tits that could drill through granite (for diamonds probably, like a female Bond villain.) And never mind the wind tunnel expression....I know a chestnut haired Purser who has had so many 'pull up' lifts, she now has a beard. And, it's wiry, and grey. (Think about it. Suffice to say her nickname is James 'Fanny Face' Hetfield.)

Ach well. Tomorrow morning at 4am will see me going through the same rigmarole...getting up an hour before the flight in order for the face to settle back into some semblance of normality, and not resemble an un-ironed, gurning Les Dawson. Just make sure you appreciate it you bastards, and don't even let me hear a whisper of 'look at that old bat' or I might just have to change the bogey habit of a lifetime. (See post #3)

SEVENTH POST: Captain Marvel(lous)

The Captain, is the Boss.

The Master of His Vessel. The Head Honcho. The Big Cheese. The One Who Must Be Obeyed.

Of course, there are loads of female Captains flying the skies now, but in my day ...the flight deck were nearly all men. They were usually ex forces, had a handlebar moustache, and were probably called 'Nigel'. Remember, I am from an era where men were not allowed to be stewards until 1980...

There is something about a man in a uniform. Especially a pilots uniform. And, especially when he is sitting on the flight deck, confidently in charge of this great, lumbering beast of the sky. He makes all the decisions. He has the power to order the police to meet the aircraft - if there are dodgy drunks on board for instance. He alone wields the Company visa card (have you ever seen the fuel bill for a fully loaded 747?)

Gosh, he could probably stop and single handedly lift a truck off a trapped toddler on the way to work. He can do anything. (Except perform marriage ceremonies. That is an urban myth.)

This man is to be revered...to be looked up to, to be admired.

How many times have you tried to catch a glimpse of this hero as you board the aircraft? Peer as you might, all you see is the back of the head.. perhaps - ah, look! - the noble profile. Maybe, you just catch sight of one muscled arm - the shirt sleeve ironed to an edge that could draw blood - so you sigh happily, and settle back in your seat, listening out for his warm, dulcit tones welcoming you on board...secure in the knowledge that He Is In Control.

OK.

Just let me tell you how it is from the Air Hostess's point of view.

I, along with the rest of the crew, have just spent the previous drunken evening with this particular velvet voiced Captain, on a Nightstop.

The famous, 'Spin the Bottle' Nightstop.

The last lucid memory I have of this man, is of him bouncing up and down on a hotel bed, wearing nothing but his mismatched socks and his Captains Hat. He has two danish pastries, (salvaged from the breakfast trolley) strapped to his head by a hair band, and is waving his willie around, making 'schzzzzzz' noises, and shouting 'Help me Oh-Bi-Wan Big Knobby, you're my only hope'.

So, kinda hard to take him seriously now.

(And yes, Captain *****, if you are reading this.....you know who you are. And if I wanted to, I could identify you by a particularly odd mole on your nether regions.)

Of course, this did not happen on every single nightstop. (I remember at least one where the most exiting thing that happened was the hotel fire alarm going off at 4am.)

However, I have to add that in all my years of flying, I have never once been involved in, or witnessed any sort of incident where the safety of passengers was compromised by the behaviour of the flight deck the previous evening. After all, we are all human, and they are off duty! We have strict rules about drinking before flights (at least eight hours with no alcohol - twelve in some airlines) and even the most social of pilots would never put passengers lives or his job at risk.

So don't worry.

Chances are Captain ***** is retired by now. No doubt sitting at home, watching Star Wars movies.

I bet he still does the thing with the pastries. And I wonder if his drooping light sabre has lost its glow?

Friday, 20 March 2009

SIXTH POST: The Nature of the Beast

Blogs tend to be the wrong way round. Or is it just me that thinks that?

Anyway...the post you are reading is currently the last post. (Cue lonely trumpet)

N0 - not the very last post...just the latest post to the blog. Probably well superseded by now.

So please, if you are at all an orderly sort of person, and want to keep up...read the first post first, and the last post...erm, last.


FIFTH POST: Passengers (#1)

Apparently, in space, there are only a few things visible to the naked eye on Earth. These include the Great Wall of China ...the Pyramids...

and the ARSE of the woman blundering her way toward me down the aisle. (I'm blind! I'm blind! Oh, wait a minute.....her ARSE is just blocking out the light.)


Now, don't get me wrong.

I am NOT 'fattist'.

God knows I have enough of a problem with my own wobbly bits, and of course, it is very non PC nowadays to mention weight - and I do accept that some unfortunate people have a 'glandular problem'.

(Aye, they have this big 'gland' that makes them 'a greedy fat ba*stard'.)

Whoops! My other personality just let that slip out. HOWEVER, medical reasons aside..for goodness sake! Sometimes it just has to be said!

YOU. EAT. TOO. MUCH.

(I know I could have a weight problem...so I step AWAY from the donuts. )

To get back to the story.

This particular woman struggles for at least ten minutes to get all of her backside into the seat. Oh, she tries hard to look nonchelant; giving a little determined wiggle now and again, whistling as she does - pretending to look in the seat pocket - appearing, for all the world, like she actually prefers sitting head and shoulders above every one else; perched half on, half between, the armrests.

She keeps looking at the seatbelt too, mentally working out if it will fit at full stretch. (It won't. Watching from afar...and having seen it all before, trust me, This IS an Extension Job.)

Finally, like a great jelly settling into a bowl, she lets out a grunt of relief and smiles round at everyone, triumphantly, as if to say,

'Ok! We can go now!'

The wimpy stranger next to her just about manages a half smile back, (as much as he can, with his little face pressed flat against the window, left shoulder touching his ear..the latest Dan Brown book wedged half way up his nose)

She then proceeds to eat every single thing in sight. Packets of crisps, sandwiches, bars of chocolate..all produced from a seemingly endless pit between her knees. (I hope they are actually coming from the bag on the floor, and not being handed up by some other poor soul she sat on, who is now trying to bribe his way out.)

Her eyes light up as she sees the food trolley on its way toward her.

'Coffee or tea Madam with your meal?'

'Ooooh, black coffee please...and, do you have a low calorie sweetener?'






Sunday, 15 March 2009

FOURTH POST: So......

...We are always asked...

....do Air Hostesses.... actually shag the pilots??

Well, all I can say is....the contents of the video below would never have happened in any airline in the UK.

Uh-uh. Nope.

But only because most refined, UK crew are able to contain themselves until they actually get OFF the airplane.

Truth? In my day , it just happened before video phones. ..just wait for future posts for the details.

Anyway ....Viva La France!

And thank you You Tube.

(By the way ...I have no idea who these people are, I found this video on the Internet without copyright notice..... apologies if I am doing the wrong thing by linking to it. )


video

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

THIRD POST: SECURITY, BOGEYS, etc

Sometimes, air travel is not fun.

Business travellers already know this, and they truly are in a class of their own.

They are easily spotted. The Bose earphones. The tiny laptop they know exactly when to switch on and off. Some even shave while reading the newspaper, (the men usually, although in Germany it can be hard to tell.) They wave away the breakfast and accept only drinks....some even bring their own well travelled coffee mug.

However, the once a year traveller should take note. It used to be that your holiday started when you left home for the airport.... singing 'Viva Espana' and checking your handbag a hundred times for your passport, ticket and money. So excited, you would eat all the (round tinned) Travelsweets before you even got to the end of your road.

Not nowadays.

If the traffic on the way to the airport doesn't press your angry button, then going through security will. Oh, we may be Air Hostesses..but we know all about travelling as passengers too. We get such cheap holidays, we become like you, at least four times a year. AND, crew have to go through security checks too, every time we check in for duty.

Take your shoes off. Take your jacket off. Take your belt off. (Bow! Women, BOW! ) Throw your £20 lipstick and your tweezers in the bin. What? It's lipstick for God's sake....and tweezers? What am I going to do...break into the flippin' flight deck and 'make the pilots up' with my Estee Lauder? 'Tweeze' them to death? Anyway, why did the other security guard not say this to the woman over there? Do they make it up as they go along? You don't want to mention it though....might be marched off in a half nelson for raising your head above the parapet.

Don't ever joke with security by the way. No smiling at all. I once saw a man, (bit pished, it has to be said..... Rangers FC top on ) walking straight legged through the screener, joking loudly that he had dynamite strapped to his thighs. The last we saw, he was looking a bit less cheeky, but still doing his Douglas Bader walk.. all the way to the local police station.

However. We are all fully aware that these new measures are for our safety and the safety of others.... but for goodness sake, let's standardise the rules! Why can you fly from Blackpool with an Eye Dew in your handbag, and not from Gatwick?

So, where does the Air Hostess come into this? Let me explain.

There you are, having been cut up on the motorway on the way in... had to take your shoes off on the way through....you're late anyway......then to cap it all you lose your boarding pass in the departure lounge. On the way out of the lounge when your flight is called, you give the ground staff your best death stare, but it isn't enough to get it out of your system, and so, you just can't help yourself. You growl at the first person you see in that uniform, the hostie wishing you a cheery greeting.... because they, and the company they represent, are the reason you are having a bad day and it is only 6.45am.

People. Listen to me. Be NICE to the hostie. It's not our fault! If you persist in your vendetta, you are likely to get a bogey (a greener... a booger, a snotter ) hidden in your breakfast.

Not by me personally I hasten to add...(I am a princess, and don't actually have bogey's) but possibly by the already huffy steward....

I have witnessed the bogey thing, as have I witnessed a willie being dangled in a passengers orange juice. ('Oh any excuse to get my knob out sweetie'.)

So, if you are having a bad day, and soon after boarding are handed your yummy breakfast, along with a cold (*) drink, from a steward who looks like Larry Grayson crossed with Gok Wan...you now know why he is smiling.

You have been warned.


(Ok....joking on the 'Bow!' thing. Watched too much Tenko.)

(*Even the stupidest man would not dangle his willie in a passengers coffee.)

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

SECOND POST: The Mile High Club.

Imagine the scene.

It's 4.30 in the morning, on a flight across the Pond.

All is quiet. All is well.

The economy cabin is in darkness, punctuated by a few reading lights....a gentle snore...the occasional fart.

Then... you spot them.

The couple who have been snogging and giggling throughout the flight, suddenly stir from under the in-flight blanket. He coughs nervously, and makes his way to the toilet. She waits for a moment or two, fluffs her hair, then follows him and nonchalantly stands outside. She taps on the door, twice. The door opens, and she slips in.

What follows - by series of muffled grunts and bumps - is quite frankly the best entertainment we get all night, at least since the old bloke in Seat 15 puked up his false teeth into the sick bag.

The word goes round by secret code....and silently, all the available crew assemble outside the loo.

Bulkheads on airplanes are thin. Toilets on airplanes are tiny. Every elbow, every knee.... every body part knocked against the walls is painfully communicated. We hear each muffled 'ouch' and each hissed 'for God's sake...lift it up! Left a bit!'

Our toilets are not pleasant at the best of times - never mind at 4.30am, after most of our economy passengers have pooped, piddled and 'abluted'. The atmosphere can hardly be described as erotic. Even Barry White, piped in in all his deep throated glory, wouldn't take the edge off the fact that this is in fact, a Stinking Hole. One can only imagine the horror inside; as they slip around on the wet floor, grim jawed and staring eyed, determined to fulfill weeks of plotting on the best way to join this elusive club. The desperation to get it over with almost seeps out underneath the door, along with the smell of stale urine.

Finally.....it is over.

The crew melt back into the night as the door creaks open half an inch.

One staring eye appears in the open crack (actually...that conjures up a horrible vision, never mind) and the couple exit, one at a time, and make their way back to their seats... leaving only a cheek shaped smear of makeup between four hand prints on the mirror.

FIRST POST: I was a REAL 'Air Hostess'......

.....and not a 'cabin crew member', or a 'flight attendant' ... or even a 'stewardess'.

Oh no.

I became an Air Hostess in the late seventies.

Those were the days when we all had long hair, wore blue eyeshadow and suspenders, and our lipstick matched our nail varnish. We were proper Air Hostesses, not like this lot nowadays; few of whom speak English. The girls are even allowed to wear..(shudder).. trousers.

We were lined up every morning on our initial training course, like army recruits. Our Tenko's included a helmet haired, fifty year old female drill sergeant staring at our nails, our teeth...and even checking what colour underwear we had on. Many of us dropped out due to sheer nervous exhaustion. (What to do, when Revlon discontinued 'Pampered Pink?')

However, it was not all about how we looked. To be serious for a moment, we were - and ALL crew members continue to be - trained to the hilt on safety and first aid measures. The SAS of the air. Woe betide anyone who scornfully called us 'flying waitresses'. (How many waitresses can get you out of a burning restaurant at a rate of one person per second? Tackle a toilet fire at 30,000 feet? Administer the Heimlich maneoevre, or CPR? They even teach us how to use handcuffs, which are stored on board. )

So read on...for lots of true stories about all you ever wanted to know and more, about what really goes on at 30,000 feet.

Welcome on board Ladies and Gentlemen......


video
 
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