Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Flight From Hell

You know it's a bad flight when a father tells his 16-month-old son, "You were such a good boy. You were better than some adults on the flight."

Sad but true.

Of course, it was my luck to be sitting in front of the adult in question. The adult who talked nonstop for an hour and half all the way from Phoenix to Burbank. Never mind that nobody on that plane, save for the woman who encouraged the diatribe, gave a shit about what she had to say.

So how bad was it?

It was so bad that the woman sitting a seat away from me leaned over at the end of the flight and asked in sotto voce if I had had an enjoyable flight, too. It was so bad, that I could hear her voice projecting and echoing throughout the cabin even though both my ears were stuffed up. It was so bad that I took pity on her poor Corgi that she had stowed under my seat. Doggone it, doesn't she realize dogs have more sensitive hearing than people? I imagined the little bubble over the dog's head saying: "Why me, Lord? Of all the people who could've been my owner, I had to get this one!"

Oh, wait.

Maybe that was in the bubble over my head, Except substitute "fellow traveler" for "owner."

Of course, I knew why I was led to sit in front of the loudmouth: material.

Ah, yes. The stuff of which a writer's life is made. Material.

I must say, I learned more in 90 minutes about her life than I learned in years from ex-husbands. Yep. She revealed that much about herself. Hell, I even learned her email address, which I am sorely tempted to print here, but I know some of my smartass friends might email her and say, "Why did you make Eileen's flight so miserable?"

I told the woman a seat away that the one in the row behind us was someone who talked the talk instead of walking the walk.

Here are a few things my fellow travelers and I learned about Ms. Blabbermouth:

• She is the mother of four.

• She has accomplished nothing but everything in her life.

• She is married to an Australian film producer of westerns.

• She has dual citizenship in both the U.S. and Australia and also spends time in New Mexico.

• She is from Tennessee and supposedly is a great-granddaughter of James Robertson.

• She is certified to do permanent makeup, i.e. tattoo makeup, and charges $250 for brows alone.

• She prefers country to city life.

• She is 5 foot 6.

• Her daughter has lips that are all hers.

• Her daughter is going to take care of her Corgi while Mommy Dearest is in Australia for the next month.

• The Corgi breathed a sigh of relief at this point.

• Elton John has Corgis.

• Australia has strict quarantines on traveling dogs, which is why both she and Elton John won't take their Corgis there.

• The daughter is going to buy the Corgi some Rodeo Drive bling.

• The daughter is a model and has two agents.

• The woman loves kangaroo steak, which tastes like elk.

• The woman grew up eating all sorts of wild game, which her father trapped and killed. We're talking turtles, catfish, frogs, venison, and more. (Sorry, I was getting visions of the dead buck my father hung on my swingset by its hind legs so he could gut it and let the blood drain, which is why I couldn't remember anything after the word "venison.")

• The husband refuses to live in the U.S. (Three guesses why and the first two don't count, OK?)

• Her father was also a rodeo cowboy.

• She critiques her husband's work, which led her to write her first screenplay that Paramount offered her $3,000 for but she turned it down because she did not want to lose control of her work.

• So now she has no buyer for her film, but she plans to produce it herself and hopes to get Harry Connick Jr. to play the lead, and she is getting funding for it now.

• It is going to be the greatest film of all time, a movie about gay cowboys who compete in the International Gay Rodeo Association.

• Final Draft is a screenwriting program, which she had to learn to use to write her screenplay.

• She got a millionaire to agree to invest in it, but he wanted to have control over her script if the film was not made in a year.

• She could not agree to those terms unless he paid her $60,000.

• The film budget is set at $10 million.

• All her gay friends who have read it think it is wonderful and better than Brokeback Mountain.

• She is meeting on Monday with a couple of agents, one for Aaron somebody, whom she also wants to star in her flick.

• Yes, she and her husband are quite successful in the film biz.

• So successful, in fact, that they are in debt, even though they own two homes, one in Tennessee and one in the wine country near Melbourne.

• Most people in the entertainment business are poor.

• So what she and her husband do is vacation in places by caretaking other people's properties in different countries.

• Did you know you can stay for free in Ireland if you just take care of someone's cat?

• You can order a catalogue of caretaking vacation places for only $30.

• She is going to the coast of Australia this coming week.

• Her film would be great if only people who say they want to back it would show her the money.

• Her email address is ...

I could go on, but you get the idea. Plus, I would like to take a nap, which I couldn't do during the flight for some reason.

In closing, I would just like to say that if you do hear of a movie about gay caballeros anytime soon, it is because I stole her idea and gave it to my screenwriter son.


  1. Ah com-on, give up the email address. I send her a note from a movie executive and offer her one million dollars for her script.

    We'll see if she mails me a sample of it.

    You will not be implicated at all. I won't mention the flight or your name.

    Chicken. . .

  2. This is hilarious. And I really grok what you mean when you talk about what really the only bright spot in the whole experience was - that you now had material to write.

    Been there myself. A number of years ago, I had just finished getting high on weed (I don't do that anymore of course), and was fighting off the effects of paranoia, when I encountered an older woman who latched on to me for dear life. I got to hear her whole life story, and about how her sister Susan shouldn't be smoking because her family has a history of cancer, but Susan never listens anyway so she'll probably die young like her mother, but at least her mother kept the bills paid unlike Susan, and now even Susan's son (her nephew) was turning out to be a gadfly, with no sense of accountability, and now he's even taken up smoking too and the world is going to hell you know in a hand basket.......

    ...and all the time I'm thinking "can she tell I'm high? Am I smiling too much? Oh my God I wish she'd just leave me alone...." A person who is stupid on drugs can't understand that narcissistic talkers aren't truly all that aware of anyone around them, including the person they're talking to.

    The end of it of course was that I had something to write about. :)

    You'll tell us, won't you, if ever you see her name or her husband's name in any movie credits? At least then you'll know you were rubbing shoulders with Hollywood royalty. ;)