“Big deal you get to fly. You ain’t nothing but a waitress in the sky.”
Sure, there are great flight attendants. The kind of men and women who do the job effortlessly, not panicking at the$10 bill you just handed them for a $5 bottle of wine. Winkers who toss you a second bag of Doritos, on the house. We all love and appreciate them, especially when they can miraculously stop a baby from crying, throwing up or any combination thereof.
Paul Westerberg sings the song in 2002 at the Warsaw Room, NYC
Then there are the son-of-a-B’s. This song tackles them. You can easily imagine Westerberg writing the lyrics on the back of a napkin, seeking revenge against the stewardess (it was 1985) who became the lightening rod for every woman who’d ever turned her back to him.
Throughout the song, you get the sense that she sort of deserved it. It was the decade when the shine wore off of air travel, yet a good ten years before budget travel that didn’t crash regularly (when it became completely appropriate to be rude to customers).
Having flown some of Europe’s gnarliest cheapos, I too have thought evil about the people who are supposed to keep me alive, in the event of a water landing. “A sanitation expert and a maintenance engineer. A garbage man, a janitor and you, my dear.”
Sit back, relax, drink a nipper and toss it back to The Replacements (as I am, right now, at Singapore Airport), and to all of the son-of-a-B’s.
Feature Photo by Giorgio Montersino