There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Air travel? Don’t even get me started. To a growing list of annoyances that includes long waits, potentially drunken pilots, and seats you need a shoehorn to squeeze into, you can now add the suspicion that the fellow next to you might be sporting a sneaker with a burning fuse sticking out of it. But what really drives me nuts is Amelia Earhart luggage. I mean, what genius came up with the idea of naming a line of travel bags after aviation’s most famous disappearing act? But if you think we passengers have a raw deal—so raw it makes you wonder why somebody doesn’t just get it over with and call an airline DespAir—you can be glad you’re not a flight attendant. After all, they’re up there all the time. Why do they do it? Why slip the surly bonds of earth only to be abused by Courtney Love? In his book Plane Insanity: A Flight Attendant’s Tales of Sex, Rage, and Queasiness at 30,000 Feet, sky waiter Elliott Hester shares his true stories of team projectile vomiting, passenger hysterics, smelly Frenchmen, an ancient flight attendant who liked to say “They’re gonna have to carry me off the airplane in a body bag,” and the very real dangers of trying to urinate during heavy turbulence. To hell with the pilots—Hester’s stories will be enough to make you wonder why they don’t arm the flight attendants. Hear more at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, at Olsson’s Books & Records, Washington National Airport, Arlington. Free. (703) 417-1087. (Michael Little)