Walking is Better

Once upon a time in a world long ago flying was a pleasure. From the moment you got to the airport to when you put your tush in your seat you were treated with respect and hospitality.

I was on my way to becoming a flight attendant for PanAm when all of a sudden it went belly-up. I wanted to see the world while hosting travelers on their planes. To this day there’s nothing I’d rather do than travel, that is until I get to security. Then it’s all out war. I refuse to go into the scanners. I’m convinced they’re a health hazard. New York TSA agents are the worse. They’re bullies. Well, I bully back, which throws them off their game. That’s when they threaten me with harsh pat downs. “Bring them on,” I say standing my ground and glowering back.

It seems to me airline travel is a burden to the airlines. I think they’d rather be transporting chickens than humans. At least chickens wouldn’t be a threat on board or try to commandeer a plane into mass destruction.  You’d just have to clean up a lot of feathers after every trip, but then you could diversify and go into making pillows.photo (90)

Flight attendants are tired and irritated with the long hours of the work day. Pilots no longer just fly the planes, they also do cabin clean-up in between stops. There’s no time for lunch. I’ve seen crews grab granola bars and wilted salads at the airports. They’re probably dehydrated, which explains their impatience with the public.  And the hours of cabin pressure I’m sure is stressing out their hearts and lungs. No wonder they’re angry. Nobody is taking care of anybody and it trickles down to the traveler who only wants a beer, a movie and a smooth trip home.

None of this, however excuses United from the abominable treatment of its passenger on the flight out of Chicago. I noticed that neither pilots or crew were involved in the incident, which was good otherwise if I had been on board I would have bolted off the flight, realizing I was in a horror movie. And then the airline would have had its empty seat.

Calvin says, “The friendly skies look troubled these days. Stick to walking.”  beagle

The Un-American Baseball Scene

Everyone loves to win. Last night the Giants won the game with the Mets. Today in the office the mood was lighter, there were more smiles, and people were huddled in small groups discussing the plays.

Except me.

I rushed home last night to see the game on TV. Nada. None of the major networks was televising it. I was shocked.

I checked the Internet for live streaming. Nada. I had to download flash players and create accounts in order to see the game.

What once was the right of every American to see baseball on TV for freeIMG_0130 has been usurped by grubby hungry cable companies in order to make more money.

That’s just plain un-American.

It’s time for a revolt.

Let’s all go to our local sports bar and view the games there. That will teach these cable guys they can’t mess with the public like that.

The bars would love the business, and we’d enjoy watching with others who are mad with us. Besides, it’s more fun being together. After a few drinks, and lots of peanut shells on the floor, we can be as noisy as we want together.

Calvin says, “I’m mad with you. It’s like removing all the rabbits from a field. It leaves you bereft.”                                       beagle

 

 

 

 

Down the Hall

Things started off with a cliffhanger as I prepared to oversee a food event for 60 people.

The food distribution truck showed up two and a half hours late and parked a block away instead of in front of the house like they usually do. Then the driver came to the front gate, a Hispanic dude, and saw the six steps leading to the front door and announced, “I don’t do stairs.”
“What?” I said incredulously.
“I don’t do stairs,” he said a second time. “It’s against company policy.”
“Really? You guys have been doing stairs for 20 years with us.”
He whipped out his cell phone, took a picture of those nasty stairs, and said, “I’ve just sent this off to my supervisor for instructions.” Then he disappeared around the corner to sit in his truck. photo-4

I called my rep. “I’ll fix this and get back to you,” he said.
I waited.
No driver.
No rep.
No food.
No answers.

I called my rep again.

“I’ll call my manager,” he said.

The driver came back to the gate. “If we don’t solve this I’ll have to take the food back to the warehouse.”

By now the chef, two friends, a co-worker and I were on the street staring the dude down in a gunslinger showdown.

Suddenly my rep appeared out of the ether. “I was in the neighborhood,” he said out of breath. A short, wiry guy with consternation all over his face. I showed him the tables set and ready and the kitchen.

I showed him those nasty stairs.

Meanwhile the dude had disappeared and returned with his first load of boxes. About 25 of them. At street level.

We had no choice but to make an assembly line sandbag style and run boxes from the street, up the nasty stairs, down the long hall, and into the kitchen.

It took us almost an hour to check every box against the order sheet. The dude was now in the kitchen helping us identify the boxes. The rep stood there with  jaw open.

We finished checking the last item, signed the sheet, and the dude disappeared around the corner.

The rep said he’d make sure this wouldn’t happen again.

You bet. Because you’d just lost a customer of 20 years, dude.

Calvin says, “Cut the dude some slack. If you hauled boxes all day, everyday of the week, you’d be a dragon lady throwing your rights around, too.”  beagle

A Reality Ride Home

Last week’s subway train was late pulling into the station. The crowd shoving to get on board reminded me of a stampede of cows racing down a hillside before an earthquake hit. A few stations later, a commotion between two people began at the back of the car.

“Don’t touch me!” a woman yelled to a man who had pushed his way onto the car.

“I didn’t touch you!” he screamed back.   Christmas2

“Yes you did! Don’t you touch me!” she bellowed back.

Their voices intensified as we traveled through the tunnel to the next station. At this point everyone was straining their necks watching them.

A reality show was unfolding before us.

Next the name calling began, followed by obscene language, and then tempers erupted.

I didn’t want to be witness to a homicide. I prayed. I asked God to calm them down. He did, but it only lasted until the next subway station. Then both parties detonated again.

“Don’t you remember they taught  you in kindergarten to keep your hands off of other people? Did you learn that?” the woman said.

The man said nothing. He drew a knife.  The woman screamed even louder.

The subway was now parked at the station.  Seconds later the police showed up and stepped on board. They handcuffed both parties and escorted them out of the station.

The rest of the ride home was in eerie silence.

Calvin says, “What they need are sniffer dogs to ferret out eruptions like they do drugs at airports. I’m game. I’ve had lots of practice.”  beagle

 

A Ringless Night

Yesterday on the subway, I unzipped the compartment in my purse where I keep my phone, and discovered it was missing.

My heart stopped.

I searched every nook and cranny. Nada.  cellphone

I began to hyperventilate.

Had I dropped it on my walk to the station? Not unless my purse bottomed out and disgorged its contents onto the street like a piñata.

Did a pickpocket steal it? No, nobody came near me, bumped me, or distracted me, unless you call a series of cute youngsters walking their even cuter pooches a distraction.

I slumped down in my seat and mentally went through the steps I take when readying myself to go home.

That’s when it hit me.

I left the phone on my desk.

How is that possible?

It’s my right arm, my lifeline, my entertainment, my reading, my video watching, my Internet searching, my photo catalog, my music, my note taking, my contacts, my phone numbers, my camera, my clock, my calculator, my calendar, my memory and my brain!

I was devastated.

Sweat beads appeared on my upper lip.

I told myself to calm down.

It was only a phone.

Millions live without one and are quite happy.

Right. But I wasn’t millions.

I needed my phone. Now!

I tossed the idea around of going back to retrieve it, but I was too far into the commute home by then.

Oh well, I said, you needed some peace and quiet so here’s your chance.

Okay. Let’s see what life is like while being shut off from the world.

Alf picked me up at the station and as soon as I climbed into the car, I said, “I need to use your phone, to call the kids, to tell them they can’t call me because I don’t have my phone with me tonight.”

Calvin says, “You’re a nut case. I don’t need a phone. I come with an internal clock that notifies me everyday when it’s dinner time. What else do you need?”

beagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re Too Emotional With Our Feelings

A friend said the other day, “I’m going to spend some quality time in the walk-in fridge at work.”

It wasn’t about the weather. It was about his mood. His emotions needed chilling. They were out of hand. Leaking out and making a mess all over the floor. And this was a restaurant he worked in. Nobody wanted tears with the gazpacho. It messes with the temperature of the soup.

It’s fascinating the ways people handle emotions. So much of it is cultural.

The Japanese hide theirs behind a veneer of formality.

The British remain polite no matter what devastation is occurring.

The French smoke more and talk faster.

The Americans pop pills.

Middle Easterners shout and holler.

The Russians drink more vodka.

And the Mexicans pull out guns and shoot.

Truth is nobody handles his feelings well.

Emotions are difficult to control once they’re out. For example, Romeo and Juliet drank poison; Hamlet died in a sword fight with a poisoned tip; Caesar was stabbed; Ophelia drowned, and MacBeth was beheaded.

And that’s just our fictional relatives.

It’s no wonder people aren’t skilled at expressing their feelings. Their examples are too emotional.

Calvin says, “When I’m emotional, I roll in the foulest smelling grass my nose can find. Then I run to you for a hug.”

Oh Oh. Calvin Sounds Off.

I wasn’t my perky self today.

Maybe I’m not perky, but that’s my vision of myself. I strive to live up to it.

Today I was feeling blue.

A lot of drama going on with my relatives including health problems, relationship break-ups, worries about the future. I was thinking about all these when a colleague of mine popped in the door in my office.

“What’s new with you?” Agnes said.

“Oh, you know, the usual drama – health, romance, money,” I said.

“That’s nothing,” she said with a laugh. “In my family, I have people in prison, people that should be in prison, a daughter who’s running a muck, my dog is costing me a fortune in meds every month –  I look at him and think, I should put wheels on him, he’s more expensive than a new car. Then there’s my husband with the implants in his mouth, except they can’t put them in until his mouth heals from the infection he has. I squeeze his cheeks and say, ‘That’s my new car in there.'”

Then she gave me a hug.

“Feel better now?” she said and walked out.

Hmm…I was feeling better after hearing what she has to live with.

Then the thought hit me. I made her feel better, too by giving her an opportunity to download her life for a moment.

Glad I could listen.

Calvin says, “Her attitude toward her dog stinks. We work our tails off being good companions. We devote ourselves to listening, to loving, to obeying you. Well, maybe not to obeying – hey, nobody’s perfect – and this is the thanks we get? Where’s the devotion back? I thought this was a lifetime commitment. From breeder to the grave, that sort of thing. I’m hurt. Truly hurt. This revelation is shocking. I expected better. And don’t try buttering me up by tossing me a bone or taking me for a walk to my favorite place where all the trash cans are. I’m offended. Does anybody out there want an opinionated beagle?”