The Captain Is Now Free To Judge The Flight Attendant

Days Until I Am Married:  23

Current Weight:  169

Before I get to the wedding-weight-loss-recap portion of my blog, I feel the need to tell a random story that will inevitably lead to a rant of some kind.

So I’m waiting at the Tampa airport this evening for a flight to Ft. Lauderdale on Southwest.  Even though I’ve been traveling a lot lately, it’s has been awhile since I’ve flown Southwest.  Normally I wouldn’t notice the difference, but Southwest is different.  Flying Southwest is a different experience than flying any other airline, but every Southwest experience I’ve ever had has essentially been exactly the same.

Southwest always has long lines at check-in, a long line of idiots standing in the “A” line an hour before the scheduled flight time, and always departs late.  Everyone puts up with the shitty services because the tickets are so cheap.  Everything involved in my Southwest is typical up to the point where I sit down.1 I see the typical flight Southwest flight attendants on the plane, i.e. the bored young one, the older women with bad hair and too much makeup, and the middle aged guy that overcompensates for his flight attendant shame by being extra wacky.

Just as I’m about to zone out with the iPod while the wacky middle aged guy goes through his pre-rehearsed set of zany safety instructions, I hear him announce that there is a celebrity on the aircraft.  Not believing that a celebrity would actually ride Southwest, I take out my earbuds and listen.  He informs the passengers that one of flight attendants is actually a guest celebrity.

Turns out the middle-aged lady with bad hair and too much makeup is actually Susan Lucci.  It takes me a minute to recollect who Susan Lucci is, and then I vaguely remember she is a soap star who is famous for always losing at the Daytime Emmys.2 Apparently she is conducting some research on flight attendants for a documentary that she is producing.  She eventually took my drink order in flight and I had to repress several cracks about the fact that she was taking my drink order.

The reason that I am telling this story is because I am not really that amazed a celebrity was on a Southwest flight.  This kind of thing seems rather normal down here in Florida.  What I found interesting is that this sort of thing would never occur in St. Louis or anywhere in the Midwest.  Celebrities simply never travel to anywhere in the Midwest.  I never realized how true this was until I moved out of Missouri.  I’ve seen more celebrities during my year in Florida than I did the previous 20+ years I lived in Missouri.  The only celebrities I ever met in St. Louis happened to actually live there, like Ozzie Smith or Nelly.

I think most celebrities probably avoid the Midwest like the plague, and for good reason.  The few stories I’ve heard about celebrity sightings in the Midwest always end in “and then a mob of people rushed towards the celebrity, and they promptly left.”

If Susan Lucci or any other nominally famous person was on the same plane in the Midwest they would have been forced to sign autographs, pose for some pictures, and be generally pestered for the entire flight.  The passengers on this flight seemed slightly amused, and then went back to their business.  Florida residents seem quite used to celebrities.  I think that the lack of celebrities almost forces Midwesterners to behave like Japanese school girls when one approaches.  And here I am bitching about it, even though I just wrote a whole page about meeting Susan Lucci.

Anyhoo, on to the wedding-weight-loss-recap portion of my blog.  My weight-loss is going well so far.  I’m hitting the gym regularly and eating right.  I’ve even done well with not drinking, except for last weekend.  Megan and I took a mini-trip last to Orlando last weekend to spend some time with our friends Amir and Julie.

We stayed at Disney World Friday and Saturday nite, and spent all day Saturday at Universal Studios.  The weekend was really relaxing and enjoyable.  We wanted to have one weekend before the wedding that required no planning.  We ate at nice restaurants, did everything there was to do at Universal, and enjoyed hanging out with our friends from Sarasota.

I really enjoyed Universal, it was cool to be in a theme park that wasn’t full of Disney or Looney Tunes characters.  Give me the X-Men and Dr. Seuss anyday.

Sunday we spent shopping at a mega-mall in Orlando, where Megan and I finally picked out and purchased our wedding rings.  Earlier in the week we applied for our marriage license.  These two events really hit home that I’m getting married soon, more than anything else has so far.  While it felt a little strange, it mostly felt exciting.  As the planning intensifies and the date gets closer I find my excitement level consistently growing.  With a little over three weeks to go I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it looks mighty good to me.

Ciao,

The Captain

1  I even had some guy comment to me that Southwest was getting rid of the A, B, and C ticketing process next year.  I’ve had someone say this to me on every Southwest flight I’ve taken for the past five years.  These are the same people that insist that the U.S. is changing to the metric system next year, or that American soccer is supposed to explode next year.  I don’t know why people continue to spread these myths.

2  I think this may be perhaps the worst thing to be famous for ever.  I know that soap stars are supposed to be bad actors, but to lose at the Daytime Emmys for over a decade redefines what it is to be a bad actor.  I used to think that former reality stars were the lamest celebrities.  Susan Lucci has now set my bar even lower.

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