They’re always there, each flight there’s The Dude. Nowhere near as cool as Jeff Bridges. He talks on his phone until he’s asked to turn it off three times, he orders some complicated nonsensical drink which a bartender at the Hilton wouldn’t recognize, he yells too loudly because he can’t adjust to the pressure change. That dude.
Let’s change pace, un momento.
Flight Attendant’s come in categories and these categories are reflective to your age, sex and general demeanor. FA’s have an amazing ability to change their level of service depending on who you are . For this Attendants get a nod of appreciation. Master’s of the ocular pat-down (yeah I stole that, you figure out where) they’ll sum you up, set you down, make or break your flight. The expertise that Attendants typically exercise is phenomenal and preternatural. You’re young, hip, arrogant, they know, they’ll give you the eye during the ‘turn off your shit’ phase. You’re elderly, kind, and generally aware of your surroundings, they’re going to help lift your carry-on.
Then there’s the dude. Who they’re going to treat well regardless, because it’s their job. And they’re going to talk about him later on, either in a crew lounge, or while commuting to their hotel for the evening. If they’re ending the shift, well, that dude will be there somewhere lurking in the abyss.
This is now our point of view, here Under the Jet Bridge and it stands that our POV is not appropriate for every person, age, race, preference nor style. But as twenty-somethings, working in the airline industry, breaking the handles off of people’s luggage and, sometimes, feeling bad about it (I’ve left a sorry note once), we have a point of view. We smile at FAs. The female attendants that are older than us, we try to charm, be on our best behavior, speak loudly and make eye contact, give simple drink requests and have our trash at the ready. Young females, well, we turn up the charm, check our hair, whatevs. Male FAs, you guys are like distant cousins, regardless of age, you’re in the trenches, smellin’ the mustard gas and puttin’ on airs with asshole-dealin’-swag.
Whether burnt out, dead tired, or kind of craggy and scary looking, FA’s drive the business that is the airline industry. That smile sells reputation and reputation is what people bitch about on the internet (a very scary place).
Then there’s the dude. He’s there, two rows in front or behind you, opposite the aisle, trying to play Words with Friends or Draw Something, shoving his gum under the lip of the back seat pocket and trying to hide his headphones under his hoodie. He’s a dick
I’m satisfied we’ve established this.
Now, we’re not fiends of karma, we don’t think that every bad person gets his come-uppins and we don’t believe in taking the law into our own hands. But the tube of an airplane is a society, a microcosm not unlike a county. You get all breeds of bacteria (people too). There are real-estate mongers who monopolize the bathroom, you’ve got Federal Air Marshals sticking out like a Secret Service Agent in a Columbian Cathouse (too late?) and you’ve got the dude.
Now, dude. Brandon calls him the Bro, because he has on a Giant’s hat sideways. Bro Dude, regardless of your next stock trade, or informing your wife when and exactly where to pick you up, you got to adhere to a couple of rules.
But past those rules you need to understand the society. Every person on this plane is the Drake or Magellan or Hilary Clinton, even if we’re not representing the places we come from, or the ways of our people, we must tread carefully over the potential cultural differences between us. Mainly to avoid a arm-rest turf war. By adhering to the ‘pay attention law’ you may find yourself in better favor with the powers that be i.e. (Latin lesson of the day! id est: that is) your wonderful Flight Attendants.
When you don’t, the cool part is, you won’t know. You won’t fathom that you’re the Bro Dude, the guy who’s pushing everyone’s buttons. When you wake up though, suddenly from your apnea coma and you find a pretzel or a peanut on your lapel, you’ll shake it off. No worries says the Bro Dude.
We’re there though. Us twenty-somethings. Us guys who take a little law in our hands. We’ll be the guys sipping on a ginger ale and Jack. We’ll be the guys with an open bag of peanuts on our tray tables. We’re the ones who woke up your disfigured, sleep-terror face. Then we’re going to post something on Twitter about it, just for giggles.