Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Mile High Flub

"Would you sleep with Ralph Fiennes?"
"Dunno... 'English Patient' Ralph Fiennes or 'fat Nazi' Ralph Fiennes?"

- Ellen and a friend discuss the actor in question, The Ellen Show
(when Ellen's character was still straight, back in the dark ages)

Sure, I can understand that moment when the heat of passion overtakes you. You lose control. You do things you might not normally do.

Heck, you might do something that causes you to get fired.

A few jobs back, one of my colleagues was found bent over her desk, getting a "special delivery" from the young dude freshly hired for the mail room. At 10 in the morning. She was late for a meeting, the boss stopped by to see if she could join the group in the conference room, and... BAM. She did not get fired, but the new dude from the mail room did. I know that the boss, a very conservative guy, really wanted to can her, but she was disabled, a minority, and a legacy for the organization. Firing her would have been even messier than that mid-morning screw over a paper-littered desk.

But after the episode, she was shunned by management - and most of the staff. Eventually she quit. The office had become a hostile work environment, but, admittedly, that was mostly of her own doing.

According to a 2006 Harris Interactive survey, 16% of U.S. men and 7% of U.S. women reported having sex in the office. Of course, this statistic doesn't say if they were having that sex alone or with a partner. I don't think I want to speculate. I would hope that most of those folks had at least a private office or a conference room to get down and get funky. "Hey, Bob, heh heh... uh... sometimes it's tough to share a cubicle wall, huh? Heh heh... uh... could you turn down your radio? I'm not really into WASH FM... and, uh, while you're at it, heh heh, maybe you could thrust a little less aggressively? You guys keep knocking over my coffee... Maybe stifle Mary's screams, too???"

So, that begs the question: what if you're horny and don't have much private space at work? Say, if you're a flight attendant?

Yeah, yeah, we all know about the mile high club. But, c'mon - how many people actually indulge in the fantasy of sex in mid-air on a commercial jet? A few years back, there was a "mile high" airline called Fly Key West. Their slogan was "We fly at 5,280 feet, give or take six inches." Crass, but funny. For a fee, they would take an amorous couple up in a Piper Cub decked out with a bed in the back, so they could go at it in the very friendly skies. Patrons had the option of having their session filmed, and, if they chose, the video would be made available on the airline's website for paying members to view. They had quite the array of screenshots on their website, trust me. But, just a month before 9/11, Fly Key West had a bizarre tragedy on board one of their planes. A 60-something Cuban couple booked a flight, ostensibly to make whoopie over the lovely waters of the Florida Keys. In fact, they were would-be hijackers, and they wanted that plane to fly to Cuba. In the end, the plane crashed and the couple died, but miraculously, the pilot survived.

But there are other airlines dotting the (artificial) horizon that still serve up hot sex in mid-air, like Mile High Atlanta, where $299 gets you a bottle of champagne, an hour in a Piper Cub, and your souvenir sheets to take home after you've pumped some airborne rump. (Probably because the pilot doesn't want to have to handle your dirty linens after you're done.)

Aero-Tech, Inc. in Lexington, Kentucky offers the same type of service. You'll see the link to the $250 mile high offering on this "scenic flights" page - it's under the Kid's Flight and the Father's Day Flight (both of which may occur after the Mile High Flight.)

I'm sure there's a whole lotta lovin' goin' down on board private jets, too. Lord only knows what happens on John Travolta's Boeing 707. Sorry, that should be "Xenu only knows." My bad.

But what about commercial jets? How many people really go off to an airline lavatory and have sex? First, the couple would have to be small enough to get both parties inside one of those freakishly claustrophobic toilets. Second... well, dear god... most people would have be utterly drunk to do it there. I mean, have you really looked around an airplane toilet after you've been in flight for a short time? YUCK! I bring throw-away toothbrushes when I fly long-haul trips, just so I don't have to re-use one that's been in an airplane lavatory.

Sure, I can think of worse toilets in which to have sex: a row of porta-potties at the Renaissance Faire (or a NASCAR event)... a Central Asian open hole (holy crap, you'd have to have outstanding balance - and no sense of smell)... and, of course, the loo on a Russian train comes to mind. True story: on a business trip to rural Russian back in 1995, I went into a Russian overnight train bathroom and accidentally brushed up against the pee-covered edge of the toilet. The fluid touched my leg and - as god is my witness - it BURNED THROUGH MY TROUSERS. I can only image what kind of terrifying, homemade jet fuel hooch my fellow travelers were drinking through the night to create that level of toxicity.

But still, I cannot imagine what level of passion - or stupidity - would drive anyone to attempt sex in an airplane toilet. The yuckiness. The claustrophobia. The bruising.

Unless, I guess, it's Ralph Fiennes who wants to bang you.

I'm sure you've all heard by now of the former Qantas flight attendant that fell prey to Mr. Fiennes' charm while on board a flight to India recently. At first, the woman, Lisa Robertson, denied the episode despite, apparently, half the plane knowing something was going down inside that ocupado cubicle. Then, suddenly, she sang a different tune (probably when approached by tabloids bearing cash.) Yes, they had sex - unprotected - on board the plane, and then had a day of crazy lovemaking in a Mumbai hotel. Ralph, a UNICEF UK ambassador, was on his way to India on an HIV/AIDS awareness trip. (Nice going with the unprotected sex there, Mr. Ambassador!) Fiennes' publicist now says that Ralphie boy was the victim here, seduced by the feminine wiles of Ms. Robertson. Yeaaaah. Whatever.

Eh, who knows what really goes on behind closed doors when the bolt is pulled tight and the folding door is locked in place? Watch out for that smoke detector, baby, cuz this lavatory is smokin'!

Sure, if you can handle the "yuck factor", the potential injuries, the post-coital walk of shame back to your seat, the disgust and/or envious resentment of your fellow passengers, and the possibility of arrest (or diversion of the plane, if folks get a little overzealous), and you are a "nobody" on the flight, well, hell, I guess you should go for it. Just, when you're done, pleeeeeease wipe everything down for the next customer, okay?

But if you're WORKING the flight, why do it? And if you are a UNICEF ambassador, traveling on an HIV/AIDS project, why engage in unprotected sex with a stranger - one who might make this all public? Is a few minutes of uncomfortable intimacy worth your job and your reputation? I think that's pretty damn stupid.

In truth, Ralph Fiennes will come out of this relatively unscathed. After all, he's doing a film with Colin Farrell right now, so he's probably still looking good in comparison to his coworker! But Lisa Robertson - a former cop, suffering from depression, and struggling financially? She's been fired by Qantas, and any tabloid money she got will quickly run out. Robertson will be left a sad, broke joke, a punchline for a Hollywood actor's next Tonight Show appearance, a la Hugh Grant.

"Jeez, Ralph - what were you thinking?" Har har har har har!

I think it would be classy for Fiennes to announce that he's stepping down from his ambassadorial position. Or, at the very least, for him to say that he clearly has much yet to learn about the spread of HIV/AIDS himself. Then, he could actively participate in some of the seminars that are being offered to folks in rural India who haven't had the advantages and access to sex education that he has.

Not trying to sound high and mighty here. Just thinking that, rather than proclaiming himself to be a victim in this silly sex romp, Fiennes could do something positive and humble.

But I have a strong hunch I'll win Powerball before that happens. Hell, I'll be having sex in an airplane lavatory myself before that happens! (And yes, for the record, that will be never, thank you very much.)

Seriously, somebody, get me some Purell!


L.A.Borguss said...

I absolutely loved this article!
Wriiten in the best of style and manner! Kuddos to you and keep writing!!
P.S. - I read it twice,..good writing indeed!

Claire said...

You really just know all kinds of stuff, M. I had no idea there were all those options to buy a mile-high experience. I'm not surprised, mind you... nor can I say I'm tempted. Piper cubs are small. ;)

Chuck said...

Very well written, M. A true story from my former airline...once, the vice president of flight operations decided to play "virtual mile high club" in his office with his assistant. However, he left the shades to his office open, and the happy couple was visible to the airport ramp below...a mechanic saw the goings-on and reported it. His assistant got fired, and he didn't get fired completely, but he did have to go back to being a regular pilot, flying the line, instead of a company officer (and he also took a pretty big pay cut in the process.) Also, his wife kicked him out and he ended up moving in with the former assistant. You have to wonder in the case of smart, successful people when they do something like this...what the HELL were they thinking?

E :) said...

Fat Nazi Ralph Fiennes.


Merujo said...

The lovely E just made me laugh really hard! Good morning, Australia!

Becky C. said...

A amorous couple recently got busted over all this. They were smoochin' and what not under one of those wonderful airline blankets. Wouldn't you just luv to get it on with an arm rest jamming you in the butt?

Well, this made some of the passengers indignant and a flight attendant asked them to try and keep their pants on until they landed in Atlanta. They told her to keep her nose out of the whole thing.

Using the new flight attendant federal authoritarian powers, the FBI was contacted and awaiting the lovers in Atlanta. And they have subsequently been indicted in federal court on terrorism charges.

But maybe it was worth it--I don't know--not the sex--I know that wasn't--but perhaps just telling one of the attendants to take a flying leap.


Anonymous said...

I can barely ever fit in the bathrooms on a plane myself. And yes, there's the ick factor. Last flight I was on, the 5 year old boy in front of me goes in (Mom waits outside the door). A few desperate pleas later, he leaves and I enter. Good lord, this kid's urine was all over the lavatory. Best part is then I leave, and there's a woman behind me - 5 year old no where in sight. I'm sure she thought it was me (don't ask me why - I just tend to think the worst).