In another life, I was a flight attendant. Fresh out of college, prim and proper in my navy blue uniform, working puddle-jumpers from Atlanta and back. Oh 25, how much fun you were!
One flight in particular stands out in my memory. It must have been March, because Spring Break is pulsing like a loud club beat and flight are full of kids eager to dance.
On this flight, as we push back from the gate, I stand at the front of the coach cabin, doing the safety demonstration. (Yes, Virginia, there is no video equipment aboard a 727. You do know what a 727 is, right?)
In the front row sits a young college gentleman. He and his companions are in high spirits, ready to head to the beach and blow off some pent-up energy. I finish the demo with no incident and get ready to start my safety check walk down the cabin to the rear jump seat for take-off.
Except Mr. Bright Eyes has a question for me. He holds both hands aloft, and asks me loudly, “Miss, could you help me fasten my seat belt?” with an faux innocent tone in his voice and a lewd twinkle in his eyes.
His friends guffaw, pound the back of his seat, elbow him in complicity. The three rows around him fall silent, waiting to see what I will do.
I look at hims square in the eye and say the following (smiling, but not with my eyes): “Of course! Take the male end of the buckle, and insert it into the female end. Do you understand how that works, or do you still need assistance?”
For a split second, the cabin is silent. And then the hooting and laughter erupts. The staid business men in the row across the aisle chuckle into the ends of their ties. Mr. Bright Eyes’ friends cackle with glee. Mr. Bright Eyes himself turns crimson as the Tide and sinks as low as he can into his seat. I think if the floor had opened up under him, he would have gladly crawled into the baggage compartment.
I keep my face in Position Neutral, with Pleasant Smile plastered on my face and continue to look inquiringly at him.
He mumbles something like thanks, and I proceed down the aisle, maybe with a slight sashay.
The rest of taxi and take off goes without a hitch, and once we hit cruising altitude, it’s time to serve beverages.
Of COURSE I make sure to take the forward end of the drink trolley, and smile again sweetly (but without my eyes participating) at Mr. Bright Eyes and solicitously ask him if he requires a beverage. And if he would like an extra bag of nuts.
His seat belt is still fastened, and my revenge is complete.
And all within regulation.