Bored with your self-pity but amused by Patrick, United’s charismatic flight attendant

Please, don’t bore me with your self-pity.

I saw a journalist colleague in the hotel hallway. “Hi, how are you?”

She told about working just as hard as ever for one-third the money. And a seven-hour flight, sitting near the restrooms and getting no sleep. A connecting flight was delayed. 

All frowns.

“We’ll have to catch up later,” she said. “And hear about you.”

Me? I’m just great, thanks.

IMG_8034
This woman eschewed blackout glasses and watched the solar eclipse through a welding mask.

I’m hard on myself after messing up. How illuminating, then, to hear about the airport hotel boondoggle in Denver! Steve, the driver who picked me in Cherry Creek and delivered me to the United terminal, told a merry tale of cost overruns and architectural folly.

He couldn’t help snickering when I said it’s a relief to know there are fuck-ups at a high level.

•••

Only a few other things tick me off like “blame the customer.” As I left dinner at Quality Italian the other night, the waiter asked how everything was. Ordering the fish smothered in sauces had been a mistake. I told him light preparation is best.

“You should’ve ordered the steak,” he said. 

No, you should’ve prepared the fish better. And while you’re at it, can’t you come up with a decent name for your restaurant?

•••

Screenshot 2017-08-23 08.43.24

Donald Trump can’t spell “heal.”

Barack Obama could spell “Che Guevara.”

•••

I hate that seals are prey. The Department of Fisheries should intervene and bring sharks to heel. Fish shouldn’t be allowed to eat mammals.

•••

Two or three years ago I’d flown with Patrick, the United Airlines flight attendant, on an Embraer 120 turboprop from LAX to Palm Springs. So when I got on Sunday’s flight to Denver, I remembered him right away. Patrick is funny in an offhand way and works very hard to ensure passengers’ safety and comfort. Planes heat up while sitting at the gate in Palm Springs, so before we taxied out to the runway, he made sure people had a drink of water. His safety briefing was a delight. When he came by with drinks, I mentioned the LAX shuttle–the 120s are out of service now. He asked my name. After beverage service, an older woman needed to use the restroom, which on this CRJ is back in the tail section (no pun intended), so he gave her his arm for support and did a rumba with her all the way down the aisle. He waited until she was ready, then gave her his arm again and did the same rumba all the way back to her seat. What a cornball! I shook his hand when deplaning. And in the jetway, the man who’d sat behind me said, “He’s the best!”

•••

People ask about the business, Desert Breeze Senior Living, operating in the rental house next door and in two across the street. Desert Breeze Senior Living violates our quiet neighborhood’s bylaws that prohibit commercial activity. (The proprietors and their landlords are cynical in exploiting a loophole in a state law and have an “up yours” attitude toward the property owners.) In response to the questions asked of me, I say there are deliveries, inspectors, emergency calls, visiting family members, and arriving and departing staff. It goes on all day long. You might also remember that two dogs have died in neglectful circumstances: one strangled at the end of its leash when left alone on the back porch, the other–which was made to live outdoors–perished at age five of a blood disorder that was admitted to be the result of exposure to the heat. There are still multiple dogs at each house, and I worry about them. Here’s a sampler of recent photos. 

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