Well, here I am again on a trans-con flight with nothing but time on my hands. I was planning on doing something useful like work on my script or write a Jersey Shore photocap, but this flight has proven to be something of an amusing farce so far. I must live blog the events because they are too entertaining for me to keep to myself.

I should have known today would be a bit kooky when my mother, who dropped me off at JFK, accidentally took me to the terminal servicing Air Qatar. (Actually, the TRUE kookiness began when Z100 played Lady Gaga on the ride to the airport and my mom eschewed her normal “THIS they call an artist?” for a more curious “What’s her background?” Strange behavior by my mom indeed).

Anyhow, once my mother finally got me to terminal 8, I dragged my bag inside only to find the longest security line I’d ever seen. It stretched from the zig-zag ropes all the way to the doors of the terminal, then hooked right and extended all the way down to the self-check kiosks, and THEN doubled back to the doors. Oh, and I believe the Australian women’s basketball team was in line, thus providing a curious display of height and Aussie-ness.

Making matters worse was that the handle on my TravelPro bag had somehow broken and was now refusing to extend, which meant I could not actually roll the rollerboard. This made for a rather uncomfortable experience as I grappled the thing around the terminal, and let me assure you that I already looked rather silly as I was wearing a Banana Republic blazer over a Mixwell t-shirt. I looked like some God-awful ’80s skateboard disaster, but I wasn’t about to stuff the blazer in my bag.

The good news was that the security line did move at a rather decent clip, and after about twenty minutes, I was done. That’s when I had the brilliant idea that I would tie my hoodie around the handle and drag my bag around like a dog on a leash. Easier said than done. Turns out that the zipper clasps had FALLEN OFF the bag. So I had to fumble and futz around to get the damn thing open. Thanks TRAVELPRO. More like TRAVELSUCK.

Well, I did get my hoodie out of the bag eventually, and soon I had a nice little ghetto baggage tote in place that I was dragging all over the terminal in search of my gate. Not my finest moment.

Soon, however, I made it to my gate, and there really wasn’t anyone there. I boarded with group six, and then what the? THE ENTIRE PLANE WAS FULL. Where did these people come from?? This meant I had to do my least favorite thing: stow my carry-on ten rows BEHIND me. So counterproductive.

Eventually, after having navigated my way upstream back to my row, I found my seat and discovered I was seated next to an older Latina woman who I will lovingly name Esperanza. From the looks of it, Esperanza seemed quite fatigued, and I felt rather certain that I’d be in for a quiet and peaceful flight.

I happily settled into my corner by the window and waited for the plane to pull out of the gate. Around this time I spotted the obligatory celebrity on the flight: none other than Topher Grace, who apparently was seated somewhere back in coach, perhaps near my bag. Hopefully I stowed my carry-on properly because the last thing I’d want would be for Topher to open the bin midflight and have the TravelPro careen down onto his cherubic face. Then again, should that happen, I’d have great bragging rights.

Anyway after about five minutes of hanging out in tranquility, Esperanza tapped me on the shoulder. I already knew this was not going to be good.

Now, I could write about what happened, but I think I’ll instead cut and paste an email I sent to my friends (with a few touch-ups):

This flight is going to be a disaster.

First of all, there is a hot flight attendant in the galley adjacent to me. Amusingly, his name is Dewey.

As for the woman next to me, she’s a disaster. Before we took off, she gave me $10 so I could buy her a whiskey (she had lost her credit card). I should note that she’s a latina woman in her mid-fifties who looks immensely homely.

Anyway, she said that she was massively hungover from a birthday party the night before in the hamptons with Maxwell, the singer. Yes, that Maxwell. Now she’s going home and needs whiskey because she has the shakes. Or at least, she’s going to get them.

Furthermore, she has four sons, one of whom is a bartender in Santa Monica, and a daughter who hasn’t finished college. They are mad at her because she drinks too much.

The good news is that despite my very serious face, she has decided that I am actually quite sweet (just like Dewey, who she also found to be a delight because he apparently got her water).

Less sweet is the Susan Sarandon-esque flight attendant from the business class galley that this woman bothered for an orange juice. The flight attendant brought it to her, but when it arrived, the woman asked “Does this have vodka in it?” This rubbed the Susan the wrong way, and she replied with a “No. And let me tell you something. You don’t get vodka until service begins. And furthermore, this is the business class galley; so if you have any requests, you have to go to the back.”

The woman then gulped down her orange juice, which she assured me was “delicious” and then headed to the bathroom, despite the seatbelt sign being on. This gave me the perfect opportunity to make eyes with Dewey in a “omg, she’s a disaster” way. Unfortunately, some old dude flight attendant totally joined in on the eyes, which killed my attempt to forge a very important romantic bond with Dewey.

Incidentally, when the lady next to me emerged from the bathroom, she disregarded the warning and swung open the door violently and of course slammed it right into some hipster dude who happened to be walking by.

“Jesus!” he said as I quietly chuckled.

This is gonna be a fun one. I might have to flog.

In response, Malibu Judie offered up this corporate-frieindly series of bullet points:

Customer at risk for awful flight

Customer’s current situation:

* Ogling the “hot” flight attendant
* Seated next to Latina [name retracted to protect the identity of the person Malibu Judie was mocking]
* Mistakenly flirting with unattractive “old” flight attendant


* Impending disaster

I then sent this very important update:

Further updates:

I went to the bathroom and discovered I have huge pit stains, which will undermine my attempts to woo Dewey.

Meanwhile, cocktail service has arrived. I ordered for Esperanza, and the flight attendant (not Dewey) gave it to me/her on the house. I think he empathized with my situation. Esperanza then told me “This will make me feel good.”

That was about four minutes ago. Esperanza has now finished the vodka and is contemplating a second one. Not so much contemplating as ready for one. She already called the flight attendant back for a second one, and he told her to hold on (as he’d only gotten about four rows back — hasn’t even reached Topher yet).

Esperanza has now informed me that she’ll be having one more and *that’s it*. “I promise.”


SInce these emails, much has happened. I ordered Esperanza a second cocktail, and for a moment, the flight attendant was ready to yell at her, saying, “You DO know you have to PAY for these, right?” I then informed him that she had lost her credit card and that she had given me cash so I could charge the drink. The flight attendant softened considerably and gave her the requested bottle of vodka.

This was followed by many expressions of gratitude that included but was not limited to an offer to make me dinner.

“What time do you eat?” she asked.

“Uh, all the time,” I responded (after having told her ‘no thank you’ a multitude of times).

“I make you something and send to you. I make it,” Esperanza insisted. I just smiled and said “It’s alright,” which led to comments along the lines of “You are very good. Very sweet. Your parents raise you well” (thanks Mom and Dad!).

Esperanza then said she knew I was a smart young man and that I was going to be famous. Furthermore, famous people love her, and she knows many of them (her words, not mine). In fact, after about five minutes of silence, Esperanza asked me, “You know where I sleep last night?”

I had assumed at Maxwell’s house (given the prior claims), but Esperanza informed me that I was wrong. She was in fact at the house of the brother of Meryl Streep in East Hampton. Obviously.

Then things went from amusing to sad.

Esperanza told me she wasn’t a drunk and that she’s normally very responsible. And then she said she was in AA. And then she said her children hated that drank so much. And then she said her husband flew off to DC with another woman. And then she said she was raised by her grandparents. And then she said her stepfather abused her.

This all in the span of about ninety seconds.

“Maybe one more drink to help me go to sleep?” she asked. Um, no.

I told Esperanza to nap, which she tried to do for about five minutes before asking for another drink. I responded with a firm, “No.”

She told me “Thank you,” and now she seems to be asleep. I’m hoping she stays that way for the rest of the flight. Unfortunately, Dewey is speaking quite loudly in the galley, and I’m afraid that his story (which has the Susan Sarandon flight attendant, née TERRY, laughing) will awaken Esperanza from her slumber.

Oh my.

7:38 PM
The new Karate Kid is playing. This is not improving matters. Interesting tidbit, courtesy of my high school friend. Mrs. Blankenship from Mad Men is also the mom from the original Karate Kid. Kind of rocks your world, right?

7:55 PM
Thoughts and observations about The Karate Kid. Jaeden Smith looks like a girl. There. I said it. Second of all, he just got beaten up on screen, and it was QUITE violent for airplane fare. That being said, I’m always up for edgier fare, especially if it means I don’t have to watch another awful movie about a dog who manages to unlock the heart of a crusty mid-thirties bachelor.

7:57 PM
The business class flight attendants are getting rather annoyed with all the passengers in coach asking them for things. They keep referring people to the back galley, each time a bit more agitated than before (except for Dewey who has stayed out of the fray by attending to the various coffee pots and buttons around him). The real test would be if Topher Grace were to come by and ask for something. Would they send him off to the back? Or cater to his celebrity? These are the questions that keep me up at night, people.

8:18 PM
Esperanza is up and headed toward business class. This will be a disaster.

8:23 PM
Dear God. Someone is snoring behind me. It’s the last thing I need. As for Esperanza, she’s back from her Business Class odyssey. She seems to have incurred no wrath from the flight attendants, and now she’s trying to sleep again. She did ask for yet another drink, but I told her no. A few minutes later she told me, “Maybe no more drink.” OH REALLY?

8:27 PM
Okay, there are like five flight attendants in the business class galley. Someone just dropped a fork. They have got to get a hold of themselves.

8:31 PM
You’ll be happy to know that Business just finished their dessert. Many half-eaten bowls of pudding have returned to the galley. I think it’s pudding. Maybe ice cream. Whatever it is, it looks messy. Don’t worry though. Dewey’s on top of it. Meanwhile, the older flight attendant looks like he’s having the worst flight of his life.

SIde note: Dewey sort of sounds like a male version of Jackée.

Side note 2: Dewey is making a flight attendant whose name MIGHT ACTUALLY BE Jackée cackle out of control. Clearly he is the life of the party.

8:36 PM
I am thoroughly missing the Directv of JetBlue. Both US Open finals are on AND the Jets! Meanwhile, I’m stuck with frickin’ images of a shirtless, pre-pubescent Jaeden Smith frolicking around the screen. Not enjoyable — especially because, as I mentioned before, he looks like a girl, and thus I feel like I’m watching kiddy porn. I would order a cocktail, but I’m afraid Esperanza might wrestle it out of my hands.

8:51 PM
I just used the lav (coincidentally after Dewey, who did NOT drain the sink of the water and soap — don’t worry, I took care of it). While I waited for the lav to be unoccupied, I spied Topher Grace, who truly is sitting directly under my bag. This could lead to an awkward interaction. I wonder if I should mention that one of my fraternity brothers went to high school with him. I’m thinking no.

9:00 PM
Just looked at my fantasy football teams. I’m officially depressed. The amount of points on my bench are killing me. It’s a fact though that every time I come to NY during football season, my teams lose.

6:07 PM
I am still angry about my fantasy teams. In an effort to distract myself, I adjusted my laptop’s time zone to Pacific. Hence the timestamp going back in “time.” Sadly, this diversion lasted all of 45 seconds. Why are none of my friends on IM right now? Also, I’m crossing from Oklahoma to Texas. It’s gettin’ panhandly up in herre.

6:13 PM
We’ve hit some Texas turbulence. I hope Topher is safe. We all know my malfunctioning TravelPro is just waiting to attack him from on high.

6:19 PM
So apparently the Gossip Girl season premiere is tonight. Perhaps the CW should have marketed this a little?

6:24 PM
I love technology. I just set my DVR to record Gossip Girl tonight. I’m excited. I actually met Tim Stack of EW.com (name drop!) thishis weekend, and he said the first two episodes are really good. Meanwhile, we seem to be flying into a beautiful sunset. Pausing for moment of introspection.

6:53 PM
About an hour left on this flight. NOTHING has happened except my fantasy situation has become more dire, IndianJones has sent me a few middling IMs, and the Jets have under performed against Baltimore. #awful.

7:00 PM
Playing my favorite game with IndianJones wherein I test his hatred of Nancy Pelosi by asking who he would get to sleep with to make sleeping with Nancy Pelosi tolerable for him. For instance, I just asked him if he would sleep with Nancy Pelosi if it meant he could DO Katee Sackhoff. His response: “For sure.”

Marissa Tomei? “Mmm… yeah. She’s quite fit.”

Tina Fey? “Nah.” OUCH.

7:05 PM
Further commentary from IndianJones re; Tina Fey.
“not worth it
she has wide hips
and is older
not as fit as marissa”

7:07 PM
I’m officially hungry. Contemplating getting the Big Cookie (a.k.a. MEGA BITE), but the last few times, it’s been stale. Will just push on until I get to LA. Of course, I don’t know what I’ll do once I get there. This is a mealsaster!

7:09 PM
Of course, the moment I announce my determination to avoid the MEGA BITE, the Business Class galley starts emitting glorious cookie odors. Maybe Dewey can hook me up. I think I deserve one for being stuck next to the alcoholic housekeeper from hell (and yes, she IS a housekeeper, I’m not being an asshole. Well, I’m being an asshole, but not to THAT extent).

7:13 PM
My conversation with IndianJones has shifted from his sexual pining for Katee Sackhoff to a mutual adoration of the song “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz. Like me, he is in transit (but on a work shuttle) and is currently fighting off an urge to dance along (what with him being surrounded by employees and such). Wow, am I so bored that I’m just blogging about my IMs with IndianJones?

7:16 PM
‘Cause we gon’ rock this club, we gon’ go all night, we gon’ light it up like it’s DYN-O-MITE.

Do you realize how awesome it would be if that song just started BLARING on the loudspeaker right now? Beat the beat!

8:01 PM
Well, we’re beginning our descent. 110 miles away from LA. Excited to be headed back to the city of angels. I suppose I should wrap this flog up anyway. Nothing exciting is going on. Esperanza is awake now, but she seems distracted by the episode of Parks and Recreation. Good for her. I pity the poor barkeep that she’s going to sidle up to tonight…

Wish me luck with my suitcase!

63 replies on “FLIGHT LIVE BLOG: Spirits In The Sky!”

  1. eek. a few things: first, they DO serve vodka in pre-flight cocktails in business if you ask. i only know this because on one flight this older man sat down next to me and he immediately asked for his pre-boarding cocktail–a double vodka on the rocks (it was 9am) and he got it. i was like GREAT, i’m next to an alcoholic. turned out he was just a nervous flier and second, one of the original producers of west side story.

    1. I can assure you that the rules are not the same in coach and that Esperanza is NOT a nervous flyer.

  2. Wow at these flight attendant’s fail! You should accidentally drop your headphones in the aisle way and see what happens. Heh heh.

  3. We have so much in common. Whenever I fantasize about jumping the bones of some hot guy, I think of Marla Gibbs.

  4. Please don’t be one of “those people” that insists on pushing to the back of the plane to retrieve their carry-on. Wait a few minutes for the rows behind you to clear. It won’t take long, and will allow people to get out of that awful, hell-tunnel of a plane. And that way someone closer to Topher will open the bin, and you won’t be held responsible for injuries.

      1. Same here! I’ve been reading you since early TVgasm and it took all this time for my romantic illusions to be shattered.

        1. I’m officially the last to figure it out. I’m so naive…

          I’m sorry for your suffering next to Esperanza, but I loved how you made an annoying situation funny once again.

    1. “Those people” believe that the only way to de-plane is strictly in order by row, regardless of how how many people have to stand around waiting for somebody to dig around in the bins, retrieve their items, comport themselves, etc. It’s my pet peeve, and it’s a losing battle. I’ll go to my grave shaking my fist (metaphorically, of course, since I’m so passive-aggressive) at “those people.”

      1. Are these the same “those people” who refuse to check any bags and bring their huge-ass “carry-ons” which do NOT fit into the overhead bins but they still attempt to shove it in the one directly above your head? I concur with your dislike of “those people”.

        1. No, they’re not exact same group of people, although there is quite a bit of overlap in the Venn diagram. The people I’m talking about assume they are being polite by holding up the aisle for a single person to collect their belongings. It doesn’t matter how many dozen people behind them are frozen in their tracks as a result. Let the people in the aisle go through, I say! Ok, I’m done on this hopeless topic.

  5. He does recaps of the Real Housewives and is excited to watch Gossip Girl. Let’s Take a moment and pretend we’re shocked by his gayness.

    If Topher was right under your bag, I think I’d have hollered back there and asked him to grab it for you. Seems like the least he could do. And if he refused, I’d take him to “back in the day” and threaten to put your foot up his ass.

  6. Gahh you’re gay?? I have been salivating over your cuteness and wit for two years. You could have said something earlier.

    Fuck. FUCK!

  7. WELL, i guess we’ll have LOTS to discuss when i pick you up from LAX momentarily! …. i mean, you didnt know GOSSIP GIRL WAS ON TONIGHT????

  8. I’m with J on the shock factor, but how could i be soooo stupid to think a straight man would recap and get excited about all the shows i love. All my friends and past boyfriends think they are stupid lame shows, damn i am going to end up marrying a gay man haha

  9. Yes, you are gay!!!! I had a bet with my roommate. I won! I knew it! Not that there is anything wrong with that…

    1. I don’t think, he has ever confirmed it before, and I wonder why now? Nice way to do it though, no fanfare, just part of a normal conversation. Wouldn’t expect anything else, from Ben.

  10. 1. Glad (hope?) it wasn’t Zoila; and

    2. Everyone’s speculative blather re: your orientation is almost as amusing as your blog always is…Damn, boy, you are loved!

    3. I have a very cool, very smart, writerly gay son; next time you’re in NY…

  11. What, what, WHAT. But you seem so straight. Not that there is anything wrong with that. While reading this I was going back and forth between yeah he is. No he isn’t. He is just being funny about Dewey. Anyway. How awesome! I have found your cuteness and wit very attractive and will continue to do so. Only now I have as much chance as before.

  12. OMG. You’re a FLOGGER?!

    LOL. Anyone surprised by finding a Dewie in your flog hasn’t really been paying attention for the past few years, have they?

    Great flog, by the way. Loved it.

  13. LMAO @ “I went to the bathroom and discovered I have huge pit stains, which will undermine my attempts to woo Dewey.”

  14. what happened to the “glorious” in the 27__________ comments!!!!!!! WTH? 🙂

    LOVE the flog…



  15. “Thanks TRAVELPRO. More like TRAVELSUCK.” Haha! You should have totally gone with TRAVELROOKIE! 😉

    And I blame the blazer for aforementioned pit stains.

  16. RE: the flog – love the flog, spit coffee a couple of times due to trying not to laugh out loud and alert the bosses to lack of actual working going on right now. Re: the Dewey crush – sometimes wondered, never knew for sure, doesn’t matter because you are too funny. Keep up the blogging and the flogging. (did that sound a little S&M…sorry to be creepy).

  17. Well, I am truly SHOCKED and DISILLUSIONED and SADDENED. And also hurt that it took you this long to share such important information with your dear readers. How can it be that IndianJones hates Nancy Pelosi???

  18. go malibu judie! indianjones was hating on tina fey’s looks big time – this makes me sad. what did you eat once you landed at LAX?

  19. Please do a Jersey Shore Photocap, I am psyched to have a new season of Survivor starting Wednesday. Can’t wait to see the photocaps.

    1. AmyJ, funny you say that: ME TOO! I wonder why… I liked the idea of a secret romance with someone we ‘know’ (even if we never actually see their face) right under our noses…

      Well, I hope there is a romance happening – no need to tell us who, we can just speculate.

      To think, I was busy and almost skipped reading this Flog!

  20. B-Side, for me you were always a faceless, asexual, nameless (other than B-Side) blogger. I love your writing and humor. I’m IN LOVE with my husband so who other people like is none of my concern. Just don’t let any Dewey’s of your life take you from ours.

  21. I like how you fly your flog B! It made me laugh, and I told my boyfriend about Esperanza and that made HIM laugh- so thanks for the shared experience. He’s headed out to Cleveland tomorrow, so I don’t think that there will be any celebs on his flight, especially not LeBron James!

  22. I’ve been readin since wayyyyyy back in the day but don’t comment much. But seriously, people? All this time I’ve just assumed Ben was gay. Maybe it’s my finely tuned gaydar. *shrug* Of course, all of my friends accuse me of thinking everyone is gay. Mark my words: Brent Musburger is gonna be on the cover of Sports Illustrated one day sayin “Yep, I’m Gay”

  23. I know a lot of people are shocked, but I for one am disappointed. You didn’t even TRY to sneak a picture of Topher Grace? No lean over your seat as if you dropped something whilst snapping a quick one with your laptop? No walk to the bathroom with a phone half in/half out of your pocket? I figured you would have at least TRIED and then come away with a pic of him or a pic of the seat behind you with a funny description where Topher was in reference to said seat.
    Oh well. It’s not like you don’t fly somewhere every other day.

  24. I forgot to tell you B that Hines ward is my FB friend (holla!) and he posted that he had to watch Jersey Shore b/c it was his fave show. I know that he’s one of your fave players, so I’m gonna suggest your site to him since you have a common love.

  25. I’ll be flying to LA a lot more now, so I look forward to the “obligatory celebrity.” The best would be a B-Side sighting. I would risk your eye-rolling and say hi and how much I adore you, etc. Such behavior might add fodder to your flog.

  26. B, I love you. I’m very naive, I should have known, but you broke my heart regardless. Still love you though.

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