I recognised (but couldn’t place) the stewardess.
I do this a lot; my memory is terrible. I’m unsure if I know the person or recognise them from T.V. I once said hello to Chico in a greasy spoon, thinking I’d met him at a party or tongued him in Soho. On another occasion I skirted around a familiar guy in Wetherspoons, not knowing if he was in a DFS ad or part of my close family. Then bam! It hit me: he’d opened my Natwest current account.
I was flying to my mate’s wedding in Tenerife. Lovely. A cheeky bit of sun and sangria. (The legend goes that I was conceived in Tenerife at the onset of a hedonistic, 1980s stupor. I was journeying back to de homeland. It was almost biblical).
Initially, things on the plane had seemed fine. Seatbelt checks were done, life vests blown into…until the pilot announced himself in fits of laughter…
“This has never happened before but er…one of the engines won’t start”.
I shot a quick glance to the familiar looking air stewardess…
Had I lived with her?
Bought food from her?
Did she look afraid that we might die on the big jet plane?
And most importantly:
Could we purchase Gin and Tonics whilst still on the ground?
Three hours and various doubles later, (after the old couple next to me had offered to set me up with their elderly, overweight neighbour Del), we were ready to rumble.
“Don’t read into this but I will not be flying with you as I have an early morning commitment”. The pilot goes. “Cabin crew prepare for take-off.”
Early morning commitment? Yeah, I’ve seen Flight with Denzil Washington. Early morning pick-up more like.
As I wondered who would be flying our plane, it clicked! How I knew the stewardess!! She was from my frickin’ burlesque class!
“Hey”! I shouted down the plane. “It’s me”!
She looked, she registered, fiddled with her seatbelt and faced a crying baby.
“Yoohoo”! I screeched, momentarily stunning the toddler kicking the back of my seat.
“Damn bitch doesn’t recognise me with my clothes on” I moaned to the couple next to me. The guy looking ‘oh-so-not-casually’ at my boobs. (How did he get to the age of 77 without realising that girls clock that shit)? He muttered something about the Munich air disaster, the rusty engine spluttered it's way to ignition and we were on our way.
A drunken bus ride and some conked out sleep later…I located my friends at the breakfast buffet. Taking full advantage of their all-inclusive status, I ate and drank for free. ALL weekend! And the best bit was that I never had to go to the bar (as I didn’t have the special wristband). Boom.
“I WOULD LIKE THE CAVIAR TO START,
FOLLOWED BY THE GREY GOOSE BLOODY MARY”.
Needless to say I had necked an entire bottle of Cava before the ceremony. A running trend of the Lollster.
BEFORE P.O.V SHOT
AFTER P.O.V SHOT
I was seated in my usual position-the furthest table away from the happy couple, surrounded by loud drunks and reprobates. Perfect. Keep the wine flowing please waiter.
The wedding was of course, beautiful and scenic and hopelessly romantic and full of aged and crusty cheese plates. Yes please!
THE HOTTY COUPLE: JULIE AND GARY
I had been promised two single guys by my fixer Gary. Both of whom were not single now. (Not if their Skyping sessions to blonde Brighton-ites were to be taken at face value). A shame. As one of their surnames was Horniman. That would have made for a great anecdote. But as is so often the case, the Horniman was not readily available.
There were some singletons on the island; gay, of course. One who (word had it), had had to delay his flight home owing to a bout of chlamydia in his lower groinal area. Lucky bastard.
I skulked back to my single, ocean view room, tucked up with my Morrissey autobiography and the most well-travelled condom of all time.
A couple of days later, when back on foggy Soho soil, I glanced across the burlesque studio at the familiar stewardess, taking off a black stocking with her teeth.
“Terrible flight delay, wasn’t it”? I mentioned, whilst trying to swing my tassles anti-clockwise and perpendicular.
“What? I’m sorry, I think you must have confused me with someone else”.
“No. No, you were my stewardess to the Islas Canarias”.
She flinged the stocking, dropped the feather fan and fixed me with a glare.
“Afraid not. I work as a General Health Nurse. I cauterized your piles, a week last Saturday”.
Ah. So, you did bird, so you did.
I walked out into the Guy Fawkes evening, a feather tail hanging apologetically between my legs. I skulked back to my Domino Pizza bin-alley facing room, tucked up with my book and the most well-travelled condom of all time and did the only thing left to do: I made myself a brew and snap chatted Del.