|Actual podiums my mom worked on Maui, c/o|
What was nice about Mom's early job for Patriot Airlines was that we could fly in unprecedented style. You know, whenever she could afford to be doing something other than working. We flew to California see my new grandparents, who were as happy with me as they were mad at her; thirty, unmarried and now a bastard child? ("Awww, lookit that, Hal! She spit up on herself. Isn't she an angel.") They took me to Disneyland so many times I had the layout memorized, and would blithely inform my mother that I would meet her "back at Minnie's house" like I was house-sitting for the mouse. But even more fun than Disneyland, as anyone who has flown to California will tell you, is First Class on an airline. There should be a theme park to commemorate it. I haven't had the privilege of inspecting First Class compartments any time recently, as my mother moved on to another job when I was seven and if a Coach Class flier even looks too hard at the First Class cabin, burly flight attendants ask you to leave and you get stranded in Seattle AGAIN. And while Seattle may be aces at coffee, it's deuces at sandwiches -- two guesses as to which one of those I actually like, and da firs' one don't count.
|"We're making money RIGHT NOW."|
And that is where this tale comes at last to its long-awaited point.
In all the trans-Pacific travels of my childhood, whether for my mother's surgeries at UCLA (carpal tunnel is a big reason why she eventually quit Patriot Airlines) or those legendary grandparents-and-Disneyland sojourns, I spent most of my time in those baseboard storage compartments. They were huge compared to the overhead storage, just right for one little girl's BatCave. I'd drag my chosen toys of the day and their sundry paraphernalia off to one of the empty ones, and set up camp in there. It got so regular in my young life that everything started to have its particular place, and all baseboard compartments were in essence One; dolly's bed went over here, and the little bag I carried to show I was a "big girl" like Mommy (filled with more toys and crap) went over here. It was a constant in my travel-filled life, and I got fond of it. But now, as a slightly less self-centered adult, I wonder what that had been like for the hundreds of First Class passengers who had not realized you could store children in the baseboard compartments*. I imagine it would go something like this:
|Livin' the high life - mimosas and hot towels await|
|Was that a GIGGLE?|
|But what can you say? "Excuse me, Miss,|
I'm hearing crazy things at 40,000 feet?"
|That's it, I'm getting to the bottom of this!|
I'm a high-powered business executive and
I won't stand for this sort of mystery on my flight!
|So as long as nobody's looking...|
|I hope it's not a talking animal, I hate that Disney shi-|
|Holy monkeys, a kid!|
*First Class people lead charmed lives that would prevent them from finding out about such unfortunate things as babies and the need to take them with you places. I have decided that the First Class decided that babies come from nannies.