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Garrison Keillor: Flying First-Class Flirt
Have you ever had a close brush with someone famous? Worse yet is encountering someone famous, but not recognizing them or knowing anything about them. This happened to “Tammy,” to the great amusement of her friends and family. Now you, too, can experience her flight with Garrison Keillor.
The flight attendant was making her way down the aisle of the CRJ-200, alternately serving the pair of seats on each side of the aisle. She’d already passed out peanuts to everyone who reached out. They’re like elephants in the zoo! she mused. It was hard to do drinks and peanuts at the same time—once she almost poured coffee into a woman’s upturned palm as she dropped the peanuts into her Styrofoam cup! No, it was better to do this in two passes.
This was her first flight of the day, returning the aircraft to Minneapolis/St. Paul after it had overnighted away from its home hub. She’d already served drinks once and now was checking on the few passengers near the front of the plane who always demand a bit more attention. Somehow, they’re more important or special. Most aren’t any trouble—they just want more attention—especially the men. That’s OK as long as it doesn’t interfere with her duties, which most of them understand. Passengers near the front are the frequent fliers and take it all so casually. They’re almost as bored as she is.
Talking with a flight attendant
One passenger on today’s flight was really funny. He was outgoing and it seemed like everything he said could be fodder for one of those stand-up comedy shows. He even called her by name. Crew members wear nametags, of course, but most people aren’t observant enough to read them—or to remember your name once you’ve turned away. But this guy seemed a lot smarter than most people. Passengers like this help relieve the boredom.
Later, at the gate, she greeted each passenger as they deplaned: “I hope you enjoyed your flight…Thank you for flying with us today…I hope you enjoyed your flight…Thank you for flying with us today.” And then he handed her a note scribbled on the back of his boarding pass. She nodded and droned, “Thank you for flying with us today.”
Most passengers were off the 50-passenger plane within a few minutes. A few stragglers struggled with their over-stuffed duffels and backpacks—the overhead bins were too small for wheeled carry-ons. She glanced down to scan the note:
The News from Lake Wobegon
A Prairie Home Companion features Garrison Keillor reporting the News from Lake Wobegon, a fictional small town northwest of St. Cloud.
"Dear Flight Attendant Tammy—I hope you know that you possess an astonishing radiant beauty. I'm sure you have other qualities, but I say this, knowing that persons of atypical beauty sometimes feel awkward. You are a great beauty. Hope you have a good life.”
Oh, my, what a character! she chuckled to herself.
Turning towards the open doorway to the flight deck, she showed it to the flight crew standing behind her. The Captain read it, and casually flipped over the boarding pass to read the passenger’s name. "Garrison Keillor!!!!" and jumped up to go chase him down. Stammering Tammy, her twenty-something age showing, repeated, “Garrison Keillor? Who’s he?”
Facts about Garrison Keillor: Radio comedian
Garrison Keillor is a popular radio personality, public speaker and author. In the early 1970’s, he founded the radio talk show, “A Prairie Home Companion,” as an old-fashioned down-to-earth variety show, which is currently produced and distributed by American Public Media. The setting for many events in the show is the fictional small town of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota. Garrison Keillor has announced that he will retire from the Prairie Home Companion show in 2013.