Okay so an emergency medical technician, a computer science Ph.D, an adjunct professor, and an olympic gold medalist baton twirler get on an airplane. “What is this?” Asks the snarky flight attendant, “some kind of joke?”
The EMT was a San Diego native getting an associate’s degree and on his second-ever plane flight. He was impressed when he learned that I had a PhD, but he just could not get over the professor who was sitting across the aisle from us. He just kept saying “wow, a professor.”
The reason we were all sharing so much about ourselves actually had to do with this EMT in training as well. Somehow within the first 5 minutes of the flight he had revealed that he was on a flight back from Baltimore where the long-distance girlfriend he was visiting avoided him for 7 days straight. This led to the medalist and the professor demanding more details, and soon we were all working together to advise this man on his relationship.
Meanwhile, and this is true, the snarky flight attendant would ask us to speak up when we spoke to him and then accuse us of yelling. The captain turned out to be snarky, too, and he told us to look out the window- no wait we missed it – wow you don’t see something like that every day. Then the flight attendant tried to offer me food off of the floor. When he came around with clean food, I politely declined, and the EMT was dumbfounded. This led to a lengthy discussion in which I tried to explain that I was not on a special diet beyond “free junk food is not a good enough reason to eat junk food.” The conversation was interrupted when the flight attendant threw the extra cookie the EMT had requested and succeeded at hitting him in the face.
The plane was noisy enough that we could never understand each other when we tried to introduce ourselves. The professor wanted to keep calling me “Stan” but I wouldn’t let her. We compromised on “Stam.”
The flight attendant told us that he was from New York and his southern accent was from when he had an injury that impaired his speech and he learn to speak again from a Mississippi-based speech therapist.
The pilot was whispering unintelligibly into his intercom by the time we got off the plane. We all wished the EMT luck in love, and “Stam” bid farewell to his brief friends in the air between Baltimore and San Diego.
Besides the flight attendant asking if it was some kind of joke, the above is all true. The cover image is not related.