Mr. Wow Blog
Come Fly With Me: Mr. wOw Travels Again
4:37 am | November 5, 2011

Author: Mr. Wow | Category: Point of View | Comments: 69

Our own Mr. W takes us with him as he heads West

Now, don’t get excited. This is not one of those real horror tales — like the people just recently trapped in a JetBlue plane, parked on the tarmac for seven hours. (It’s kidnapping and torture, as far as I’m concerned. There’s no excuse. Although aside from physically assaulting a crew member or one of the pilots, the public can’t do a damn thing about it.)

No, this was fairly normal journey, made stressful by Mr. wOw’s anxiety. You have no reason to be interested, but … what the hell.

I attended an event in Los Angeles. I had vacillated back and forth for several weeks over this trip, which was not essential, but personally important, and might even be useful and amusing professionally, I thought. However, it had been eight years since I’d flown alone. Earlier this year I had accompanied my boss someplace, and that had its own tension — though much good came of it. But on a plane, and dealing with airport security, etc. all by myself? Eight years. Ugh.

Of course, I waited so long to make my reservation I couldn’t manage a really cheap flight. My event was on a Sunday and I decided to fly out Friday, and give myself two nights in L.A. to decompress and calm my nerves about the gathering — what would I wear? Was I going to sweat through my clothes? Would my nervousness cause me to break out? Would my fresh new, short haircut still look okay? Would I have a sudden heart attack and die alone in my hotel room? If there’s a way to make a potentially good thing a disaster in my head, Mr. wOw knows how.

So, since I wasn’t getting much of a break on my airfare, I decided to go whole hog and stay at the deluxe little hotel I’d frequented so often back in the good old days of the 1980’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. It is tucked away near West Hollywood, two blocks down from Sunset Strip, dotted with famous spots such as The Whiskey a Go-Go, The Viper Club, The Chateau Marmont, Hamburger Hamlet, Book Soup, and Gil Turner’s Wine and Spirit Store, where many a star can be spotted picking up some wine or spirits. (My girl Marilyn had quite an account there!)

I made that hotel reservation — “We’re so pleased you’re returning” the man at the desk said smoothly, as if I’d been there only last month.

Then came the packing. Now, seriously. Two nights in L.A. (I had booked a red-eye to return to work Monday morning.) How much does one Mr. wOw need? Well, I needed my meds. I needed my mineral makeup. I needed my dress shoes and a pair of sneakers. I needed two jackets, because I couldn’t decide which was more appropriate or would feel better in the L.A. heat. I was traveling in my grubby but very comfortable gym pants, a loose tee and a hoodie, but I still needed several other tee-shirts to sleep in, a pair of shorts to hang around the room. Two pairs of jeans. I also couldn’t decide on a “good” shirt to wear, so I brought four. I decided not to travel with toothpaste, mouthwash, or shaving cream, fearing they might be mistaken for bombs. I would buy those in L.A., at the big Rite Aid. I managed to stuff everything into one carry-on bag. Although it was a rather big carry-on. I could not sling it comfortably over my shoulder or on my back.

No sleep Friday night, natch. B. has already made the reservations for me online. I have my confirmation, flight numbers, etc, but no ticket — you know how it goes these days. Now you have to approach those panels, sweep your ID (in my case, my passport) through some slot and then go through one hundred pushings and pressings to get your boarding pass. I’ve never done this before at an airport. And this particular technology challenges me. It challenges me in the subway. (I miss tokens!) It challenges me at the Port Authority if I am going home late, and don’t have a little paper ticket. Mr. wOw has been cursed and manhandled by those waiting behind him as he pushes the wrong thing endlessly, has to start over, and is clearly a person of limited intelligence — who lets me out on my own?

I was no better at the airport. Quite a bit worse in fact. I began to panic — I’d miss my plane because I’d be stuck here forever, in some Twilight Zone of ticket-gathering (never mind my flight was at 1:00 p.m. and it was only 10:35 a.m.) I must have looked especially pathetic and middle-aged because somebody who worked at Continental, came over and did it for me, before I started crying.

Finally I am through security, putting my shoes on again, and looking for the bookstore. I pick up a shit-load of crappy magazines, also copies of Antonia Fraser’s Mary, Queen of Scots (I leant out my copy years ago and never got it back) … David Carter’s book on the Stonewall riots of 1969 (leant it out, never got it back) … and Madame Bovary, because I’d actually never read it, although I’d always intended to, being such a great fan of Vincent Minnelli’s film of Flaubert’s masterpiece, which starred the ravishing Jennifer Jones.

Then I looked for a bar/restaurant. I had a big Cobb salad and two stiff Bloody Marys. The bartender did his bartender thing (flirting), and I pretended I believed he was really flirting with somebody old enough to be his grandfather. He was properly rewarded for his strenuous effort.

On the plane finally. Did not get the aisle seat I requested. Stuck in the middle between a man and a woman who were … not Victoria Beckham if you get my meaning. The flight was jam-packed and by the time I reached my unpleasant seat there was no room above for my bag. So it kinda went under the seat. We took off, I was terrified as usual, relaxed in time, and then realized, happily, I could get free movies! I popped my iPod buds into the seat handle and watched “The Bourne Supremacy” (we adore Matt Damon, even if we hate the jittery hand-held camera work of this “Bourne” film.) And then I watched “Captain America,” which I really loved until the end, which was so disappointing I actually yelped “WTF?!” startling my beefy companions on either side of me. There was also time to see part of “Bad Teacher.” Terrible beyond redemption. But I was totally into the ineptitude and crudity of it — not to mention the shocking ruin of Cameron Diaz’s face — and hated to turn it off as we made our descent to foggy, steamy L.A.

I was happy to be back in my cozy hideaway with the surprise sunken living room (an excellent incentive to stay sober!), two big flat screen TVs, a fireplace and a full kitchenette. I didn’t touch the mini-bar. Please — a bag of peanuts is, like ten dollars!

Spent most of my time sprawled on the huge bed with all the pillows and comforters, reading of La Bovary’s dissatisfaction with her life and her men. (I called my man, B. and missed him terribly. Although I did not miss the chaos of our small, cat-inhabited house.) Walked up and down Sunset. I could live there. But no other place in L.A. I can’t drive. (And surely you know Mr. W. is too nervous and crazy to get behind the wheel of a car.)

Had drinks with my friend Charles, who is not taking that good job in Honolulu, then dinner the next night with Charles again and my friend Bill, who was out in L.A. for the same reason I was. We went to the seductive dimly-lit Aroma on Sunset. The food was good. But it was better that we all looked 30 under that wattage. We admired each others false youth — “you look fabulous!” I avoided buying any more high-priced photo books on Marilyn at Book Soup, though I was sorely tempted. (The one I really wanted was $200. Even I have to draw a line in the MM sand.)

On Sunday I dressed with the air conditioning full blast, freezing, to keep me from sweating even as I changed clothes three times. Bill and I shared a cab to the event, arrived much too early, I bitched about that, I bitched pointlessly about the blinding sun and having forgotten to apply sunscreen — would the sun set just because I wanted it to? — I bitched that the whole thing was going to be a disaster. But in the end, it all turned out quite well, as things generally do for Mr. W.

Sunday night I was back at LAX, once again panicked by “the ticket panel.” Once again helped by a kind stranger — this one didn’t even work there. Just took pity on me. LAX is a wreck, undergoing renovation. Only one bar/restaurant. I ordered two double Bloody Marys, kept my shades on and my hoodie up. Nobody even pretended to flirt. Another packed flight. I got the aisle seat but it was at the very back of the plane. Hate the back of the plane! And this time, no free movies — the flight was too short for such amenities. I iPod-ed and didn’t sleep because I never can on a plane. I played a lot of 1960’s girl group songs — tough stuff to keep me alert. Was back in my office at 9:10 a.m. I looked like crap, felt worse, but managed to work reasonably well.

At five I got back to Hoboken, fell into my messy house, and was never so glad to see B. Our oldest cat, Doll, was finally roused, B. said, from her depressed state — B. insists she was pining for me — and toddled over to purr extravagantly right away.

I’m thinking a train next time. But only because I want to jump into the aisle with my ukulele and belt out “Running Wild.” You movie fans know what I mean.

  • Jon T

    Running Wild…lost control…Running Wild… Mighty Bold…Feeling gay, reckless too
    Carefree mind, all the time, never blue! (And I was only born in 1971!) Let us know what train you’re on, Mr. Wow. I’d pay to see that. :-)

    5:51 am | November 1, 2011
  • LandofLove

    As always, a fabulous story, Mr. wOw. Air travel has become positively pitiful although it sounds like you really made the best of it with mags, movies, and Bloody Marys. You could arrange a cross-country train trip with all your wOw friends; I’d go for sure!

    7:55 am | November 1, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Jon and Land of Love…

      Hmmmm…a cross country train trip with all the people I have come to know and love on wOw.  Cool.  Of course not everybody on wOw loves one another.  So instead of making Manhattans in the upper berth, we might have more of a “Murder on the Orient Express” thing going.  I’m cool with that too.  As long as I am not the victim!

      9:54 am | November 1, 2011
      • Baby Snooks

        I suspect I would have to have a private car and guards…

        12:06 pm | November 1, 2011
        • Mr. Wow

          Dear Baby…

          Stop that!  You’d be fine.  I bet everybody would get  on like a house afire.  Though I have always found that a rather ominous analogy. 

          I would personally see to it you to came to no harm.   We’d all drink and eat and have a hell of  a time.

          12:20 pm | November 1, 2011
          • Baby Snooks

            I suspect as well that “The Orient Express” would quickly be renamed “The Schadenfreude Express” once Liz Smith and I sat down with you. After we checked for bugs and made sure no one had a tape recorder…

            12:58 pm | November 1, 2011
      • lsmyers

        I would like to be on that trip! I took two of my grandsons on a train trip a few years ago, just for the sake of giving them the opportunity of knowing the train. They absolutely loved it, dining car and all. Seeing age old train stations along the way filled the historic niche in it for myself. The day was cold and rainy which also gave the trip a bit of a strange feeling also.

        Totally out of context – where did all the headliners and WOW go? You, Liz and Margo have done great for months, though everyone else seems to have vanished?

        12:57 pm | November 1, 2011
  • I have always loved the manner in which you write Mr. Wow! :o ) This particular trip is one I wish I would have been on with you. It sounds like it was a hoot.

    10:38 am | November 1, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Belinda–

      OMG.  I would have loved some company!   My favorite part is when the announcement comes on–”The pilot has switched off the seat belt sign–please feel free to circulate in the cabin.”   Circulate where?  There’s not an inch of space.  The aisles are terrifyingly narrow. 

      But I was spoiled by the my early years of flying–a lot of it overseas, in bigger planes, with much more room even in economy.   There really was space to circulate and have a great time chatting with other passengers.    I even flew the Concorde once.  That was smallish, but the thrill–and speed–made up for it. 

      My most utterly luxurious flight was to L.A. and back on the short-lived MGM Grand.  They could have put the Rockettes in, there was so much leg room. 

      11:51 am | November 1, 2011
      • Oh, Mr. Wow. Those were the days, and I remember them too. Now we just have flying sardine tins. Did you see the news a year or so ago, about the “SkyRider” saddle seat? Check out the pics in the articles, just do a search for “skyrider airline seat.” Soon the flight attendants will need shoehorns and crowbars to get people into their seats….

        12:27 pm | November 1, 2011
  • Daniel Sugar

    Travel writing! You’re terrific at it. (Who knew?) Hilarious.

    11:55 am | November 1, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Daniel…

      Hmmmm…I guess it is travel writing.  I never thought of that.  New career potential? 

      12:28 pm | November 1, 2011
  • Mr. Wow, you are not alone in your aversion to air travel these days. I will only fly if there is no other reasonable option. Cost is not the deciding factor… it’s the way all passengers are treated like some kind of cross between ax murderers and cattle from the moment they arrive at the airport, to the moment they make their escape from the destination terminal.

    In one assignment, I did quite a bit of travel to Asia and racked up a lot of frequent-flyer miles. There were enough to cash in for two business-class Caribbean tickets, or two economy-class Europe tickets; I briefly considered taking a friend on a vacation… but… decided it just wasn’t worth it. Cashed the miles in for merchandise instead, and gave a lot of it away as gifts. Next time I fly overseas… I will probably choose a foreign carrier. Sadly, we get better service and better attitudes that way (though we will still be treated like ax-murdering cattle at the airport).

    12:20 pm | November 1, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Lila…

      Korean Air is supposed to be quite nice.  Though I have little desire to see Korea.   But they must other places?

      12:32 pm | November 1, 2011
      • I’m sure! When flying on government business we have to fly US carriers unless they are unavailable, but I have had some interesting flights in some strange places.

        Scariest flight: on a Tajik Air AN-24 which very nearly crashed. We got into the air but were unable to gain altitude and the engines were straining more and more. I just kept looking down at the rather rocky and vertical landscape, and thinking about what I could use for a tourniquet. Finally the pilot did an about-face (losing a disconcerting amount of altitude in the process) and returned to the airport. Never happier to see Khujand.

        Best flight: on Sri Lankan Airlines from Sri Lanka to Europe. Great aircraft, spacious and clean, friendly crew, great service. Although South Asians perhaps don’t share our concept of personal space… so there were some claustrophobic moments…

        2:21 pm | November 1, 2011
        • Mr. Wow

          Dear Lila—

          Scariest flight–coming back from L.A. in 2003.  Turbulence so bad I called B. on the phones they used to have on the backs of seats.  Left him a weepy “goodbye” message.  (He wasn’t in.)  Naturally, moments after my Garbo turn, the ride was smooth as glass. 

          Also, arriving in London sometime in the 1990′s.  The descent seemed endless and wobbly and there was nothing outside the widows except clouds.  Suddenly–and I mean suddenly!–we were on the ground with a huge bump! And there was Heathrow. 

          2:50 pm | November 1, 2011
  • Joan Larsen

    Mr. WOW . . . perhaps the anxiety would lessen if you too realized that after writer this “tell it all” article that you ARE a published travel writer.  Consider yourself crowned – but I think you know it.
    Even on flights from hell, you can turn them around, making a story that keeps your audience trying to read and nod at the same time.

    However:  now that you are crowned, I will tell you a few things I have learned in writing travel all over the globe.  To get that upgrade to business class to me is a game.  I don’t wear hoodies.  I dress reasonably well when asking for that little more service.  I act like I know what i am doing and probably am successful about half the time or more.  It’s a whole other story that can be found from a flight in business class — and another world.

    I choose several hotels that I might like to stay in at the other end, calling right to the top long before I go, telling them I will be writing about their hotel for a publication with a decent circulation – so would they consider “comp”ing me.  Things do work if you try but deal with the higher ups. 

    LA — I would have gone a day earlier at the very least as I have found less well known places that always warrant a return visit.  But I never pass up Warners VIP tour as I have walked into situations on that lengthy tour that have remained unforgettable memories that certainly surpass “meetings”.  But there are more, hidden, and yet so close to Hollywood.

    Something to remember — well, two things.  One is that planes to Chile are uncrowded on New Years Eve — as their people don’t travel then.  Chile happens to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world and they speak English with a European accent.  But on the New Years Eve flight to Santiago, we stepped on to a plane completely decorated for the New Year.  Chanpagne and horns and more and more were passed out before we took off.  There were 18 of us on an otherwise empty plane.  We knew what we were doing – obviously.  Once in the air, the flight attendants to kill for formed a conga line that everyone joined and we paraded down the aisle many many times, glasses in hand. 

    Let’s say that the passengers got to know each other well.  There were seats to spare, a large bathroom with the most gorgeous lighting that you never looked so good (it was difficult
    to leave after finding that you actually DID look like a movie star!!).  Most of us ate, drank, talked all night.  And lo and behold, over a week later I was hiking in a remote national park at the tip of South America with little traffic, and a woman called out “Joan, I can’t believe it is you!”
    Sure enough it was my new best friend from the flight down, greeting me in a dense forest on the Andes.  Not to be forgotten. 

    Mr. WOW, look what you have in store for you . . . if you have a few hints and go to the less travelled places for a start.  Travel articles are hard to come by — and a whole new world will be at your feet, hanging on your words. 

    I know you wouldn’t mind that — a great confidence builder.  And long ago I have found that if there is a will, there is a way. 

    1:18 pm | November 1, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Joan…

      Thank you! 

      If I was traveling as a travel writer, for sure i wouldn’t go around looking like the Una-Bomber.  (And I only did that on the way back)   But I was traveling as little old me, paying my own way with no chance of an upgrade unless I paid plenty for it.   This was essentially a personal trip with some professional asides.   I have flown business class in years past and yes, it is a different experience.  Although these days, not that different on a domestic flight.  As for flying out to L.A. earlier, my boss was already unhappy I was leaving early on Friday. 

      I chose my hotel out of nostalgic familiarity and a what-the-hell-this-is-going-to-cost-me-plenty-anyway attitude. 

      I appreciate all your tips.  Chile?   I’ll take your word for it, but I think my anxiety levels have reached a point that I will probably never travel so far again.  Although, oddly enough—I would like to see China.  Wonder how I’ll get there?

      2:38 pm | November 1, 2011
      • Baby Snooks

        I always stayed at the Chateau Marmont simply because of the kitchens and what I saved on being able to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner in own kitchen, and when I went “nuts” or they didn’t have anything else available in my own dining room, made up the difference between the Chateau Marmont and the Chateau Without-The Kitchen.  But I learned not to fry chicken.  People would call my room asking for room service.  Wonderful memories.  I used to stop at the Gayway as everyone called the Safeway on Santa Monica which I suspect you remember since it’s in the same neighborhood on my way to the hotel. And then after I got the dogs settled in I was off to Greenblatt’s down the street to stock up on snacks like a pound or two, or three, of pastrami and a pound or two, or three, of Swiss cheese. And some bread. And some this. And some that. I miss Greenblatt’s along with the night-blooming jasmine. Everything else, not so much. Or not at all. 

        I fortunately do not fly anymore. Something tells me TSA is glad I don’t.  A TSA agent getting “touchy feely” with me would probably get me 5-10.  If I got that far. The machines would probably get me locked up for 72 hours for observation.  Thank god for claustrophobia!

        6:36 pm | November 1, 2011
        • Mr. Wow

          Dear Baby…

          During my strolls up and down the Strip I lingered a bit near the Chateau driveway, hoping somebody might roll Miss Lohan down the hill.  I want to give that girl a good talking to!

          Frying chicken  in your hotel room?   No wonder you liked “just call me Elizabeth” so much.

          11:11 pm | November 1, 2011
          • Baby Snooks

            The 70s and 80s at the Chateau Marmont. Back in the good old days when it was, well, a dump. Which is why it was so nice. The tourists, pardon the expression given what happened to John Belushi, wouldn’t be caught dead there. It was like, well, like one big happy family. Particularly during the 80s.  Ah, life with Richard Gere. Lots of stories. In the book I will never write. I went down for a paper one morning and the “concierge” as they are called now introduced me to a very famous actress who I then introduced myself to. “I know” she replied. I was a little infamous at that point. But maybe she was referring to the fried chicken. Not because I was part of “The Burtons” as we were referred to. Others could write a book.  But, well, we were one big happy family. So no “kissy, telly” thank you all!  Raymond Sarlot sold it, the new owner “redid” the rooms to make them less “dumpy” and more “retro” although, well, some of the furniture is the same, doubled the prices, and invited one and all into the family. Somehow I never felt “family-oriented” towards Lindsay Lohan. Although I probably would have “reoriented” her family had I run into them at any point.  And then “reoriented” her as well. And then sent her some fried chicken. Fried chicken works just like chicken soup. Good for the soul.  I could never be a vegetarian, really, simply because fried tofu just doesn’t do it, you know?  But I always feel guilty whenever I look at a chicken.

            10:20 am | November 2, 2011
          • Snooks, Mmmm! Fried chicken! I hated going on exercises to Grafenwoehr but once things were set up and people were ragged from several days of too little sleep, too much cold and wet, and too many things going wrong (isn’t it always so?), one or another of us would go get several boxes of Popeye’s fried chicken and bring it back to the Ops Center. It DOES restore the soul!!

            As for a book – well, you could always pull a Mark Twain and instruct your estate not to publish it for 100 years…

            3:13 pm | November 2, 2011
          • Baby Snooks

            I never did master the “secret recipe” of the “buckets” but if I may so myself came close.  Hard to get the batter right and know just when the oil is hot enough without being too hot.  And what a mess. Shaking it in the paper bag to let it get a coat of flour and the “secret recipe” we all have and letting it dry but not too much and then dipping it in the batter and then shaking it in the paper bag again and then letting it dry a little but not too much  before dipping it in the batter again and then shaking it in in the bag once more and then testing the oil with a little drop of the batter and then into the skillet it goes letting each side brown and then dry while the other side browns. Sometimes it is magnificent. Sometimes, well, it still smells wonderful.  And then the mess. Oy. The colonel could have had the worst recipe and people would still buy it simply to avoid the mess.

            The book. Half the peole I would write about are dead and it’s really not nice to gosspi about the dead.  Unless it’s at the dinner table. Or anonymnously on wowOwow. And half the people who might find it all interesting and buy the book are also dead. And if it only sold 1,000 copies instead of 1,000,000 copies I would just not handle it well.  I have an ego like everyone else. The ones who aren’t dead, well, not long ago I had to explain to someone in their 40s who Ann Miller was which elicited a “gawwwwwwwwd you are really old” and really did not handle that well either.  I know I’m old but I really don’t need to be reminded of it. And of course if I wrote a book I wouldn’t have anythiing to gossip about at the dinner table. “Oh, yes, I knew him/her. It’s all in my book. You can buy it on Amazon.”  Even if it had sold 1,000,00 copies, well why give it away if they’re willing to buy it, you know?  Or worse, you go ahead and tell a story and then someone interjects a “We read the book…” which is the same as no one buying the book. Bad enough if no one buys the book. Horrid if someone then tells you that you are boring because they’ve already bought the book.  So, well, there will be no book.  Plus, well, no one told on me and so I would never tell on them. Not even at the dinner table. But a book. Well, some things you don’t share. Unless you write a book. Then you really sort of have to. So someone doesn’t go “I heard this already at the dinner table why did I pay $24.99 for this?” And then they get mad and never invite you back to dinner. And that is a fate worse than death.

            8:16 pm | November 2, 2011
          • Jerry

            You want to give Lindsay Lohan a good talking to? Her mother and father pushed her into the entertainmmenmt business before she was ten, and you want to have a good talking to her.

            You should have a “good talk” with Dakota Fannings parents for allowing her to participate in a rape scene at the age of TWELVE.

            4:51 pm | November 6, 2011
  • Daniel Sugar

    Yes, new career potential!

    Possible column title: “The Incidental Tourist” (as in, meals, taxis and other incidentals…)

    4:00 pm | November 1, 2011
    • Joan Larsen

      Daniel . . .  I like it.  And the title for Mr. WOW’s new venture is perfection.  I hope that he knows that to have a full life, each of us has to reinvent ourselves at intervals.  It makes us more interesting, more outward going, and obervant to the goings-on of the larger world than our apartments or homes. 

      Mr. WOW could begin with short escapades – places in and around the City that he has left uncovered.  If life is indeed in the details, he could regale us with all he has unearthed — and who he has unearthed in his research.  We — who are sitting home twiddling our thumbs — can “see” New York City as a start with all new eyes.  Yes, I think we agree that The Incidental Tourist is a “go” . . . with Mr. WOW as our leader.

      5:13 pm | November 1, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Daniel…

      That is quite brilliant, and I will use it. Great title.

      Now…you must die.  Or at least  be lobotomized.  Come, let’s sit in Sebastian’s garden.

      10:47 pm | November 1, 2011
  • Daniel Sugar

    Thanks, Joan!

    6:52 pm | November 1, 2011
  • Haunted Lady

    You have my complete sympathy. The first time I flew commercial, I was a 17-year-old college freshman and had no idea what to expect. In later years, my job required quite a bit of travel and I certainly had an idea of what to expect, especially flying on the company dime which, considering the seats we got, must have been literally a dime. Still, air travel has deteriorated significantly in recent years, even if you pay more than the alleged 10 cents. I have a trip out to the coast coming up next spring and I dread it. I checked Amtrak but it’s 2 days each way. Though, one of my uncles, a retired pilot, says, “If you have time to spare, go by air. If you have more time yet, go by jet.” Now, if you get that party going on the train …

    7:39 pm | November 1, 2011
  • mary burdt

    Hi Mr. wOw, You are a TRIP all by yourself. I laughed so hard while I was reading about your adventure. I am a terrible traveler, afraid to fly; can’t decide what to pack, or where to stay. So, why not just stay home? and I do. It has been several years since my last flight and now that I have the time to travel I don’t have the money to.
    Joan is the one person I would love to travel with and when you book the party train, remember me. Mary

    9:28 pm | November 1, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Mary B…

      The party train is for everyone.

      10:48 pm | November 1, 2011
  • Mary

    It is always a great pleasure to read your adventures and disadventures.  Last time I flew I was coming home from my mom’s funeral.  To be sure I was  a wreck from no sleep, taking care of family business, taking care of dad’s immediate needs, and all the other emotions a trip like this deals with.  Soon however my emotions went to another dimension all together and I just wanted to be ON  THE GROUND!

    I so wanted a window seat, relaxation and a quiet trip, but, that is not how it was. Strong Turbulance almost immediately, and a seat in the middle with a young lady who had never flown and was shaking with fright.  Within 10 minutes of takeoff this seat row mate was hanging on to my arm as if it was a lifejacket and her fingernails were LONG!    I didn’t want her to go completely nutso on the plane up in the air, there was no place to escape too and I was just tooo tired so I did my best to distract her, calm her down and get us both on the ground.  It was a very long trip and happily we did make it to the destination of home, but I don’t think I will repeat that for a long long time.

    BTW, I know you use the same makeup as I ( the mineral kind) .  Make sure you invest just a little bit more and a little goes a long long way,   get the Mineral Veil!  You won’t have to worry about refreshing all day long.  Just brush a little of the veil over everything.  YOu would be surprised how much this little step helps and kind of gives a healthy glow as well.    At the end of the day if you are going out again, just put a little more veil over the other and it will all look fresh and clean…………………….I swear by it.        

    10:40 pm | November 1, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Mary…

      The first time I ever flew, it  was to Denmark, of all places, visiting B. who was there doing Important Doctor Work.  (He’s kind of like Arthur Miller to my MM.  Except he is not mean and condescending, and I am not blonde.  Anymore.)

      Anyway, I was that girl you met, minus the long fingernails, on my maiden voyage.   I had already tried getting drunk at the airport, but Nooooooo…I was too terrified.  I just burned off the booze with fear.  Everyone was very kind to me, though I eventually felt  they were all going to line up with weapons –like that scene in “Airplane.”    But it was a big plane and I did calm down enough to have some fun.

      Oh, honey.  Of course I use Mineral Veil!    I had to go out tonight and that’s just what I did.

      11:02 pm | November 1, 2011
      • Mary

        I am so glad you like the veil.  I highly reccomend the mineral products to everyone of all types, shades and sizes. 

        I think it would be a blast to take the train esp if it was filled with folks like you and most people here.  So, where shall we go?  Just don’t think about cold places though, let’s head for some sunshine on a skyline train, party up on the second floor and eat on the main.    

        11:52 pm | November 1, 2011
        • Mr. Wow

          Dear Mary…

          Nothing has helped my skin as much as the mineral makeups.  Applied correctly–with the lightest touch–it is undetectable and lasts all day. 

          This acne-prone guy is mighty happy.

          2:22 pm | November 2, 2011
          • mary burdt

            Mr. wOw, please, what is the name of the mineral cream and where do I buy it. Please post the answer. Many of us could use this stuff you love so much.

            8:21 pm | November 3, 2011
          • Mr. Wow

            Dear Mary…

            It’s not a cream.  It is Bare Minerals makeup. Applied with a brush.  It’s like a powder but NOT like a powder at all.  It used to be available only online but now you can find at Sephora cosmetics stores.  Or, you can still order online. 

            I have oily, acne prone skin.  Very fair with a good deal of ruddiness. (rosecea)   This Bare Minerals gives me terrific coverage that is ideal not just for my skin type but because I am, after all, a guy–It doesn’t look like I’m wearing makeup at all.    That’s my personal recommendation.  I don’t have stock in the company or anything.

            11:07 am | November 4, 2011
  • Jerry

    You sound like a broad. Gay?

    10:54 pm | November 1, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Jerry…

      You sound like a pig.  Man? 

      But seriously Jerry, you are new here.  Yes, I’m “that way” as my dear mum used to say.

      Hope this okay with you.

      11:06 pm | November 1, 2011
    • Sadie BB

      Jerry – here in the 21st century it’s no longer proper to say ‘broad’

      The correct term is ‘chick’ or ‘babe’

      11:00 pm | November 2, 2011
  • Deirdre Cerasa

    Mr. WoW!
    Train trip is genius thought! I’m in whenever and hope the whole gang can ride along!!

    10:37 am | November 2, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Deirdre…

      I’m loving the idea more and more.  I wouldn’t know how to swing it but I am buying a lottery ticket tonight.  It’s up to $250 million. 

      If I win, this trip is ON.

      11:48 am | November 2, 2011
      • I am crossing my fingers for you!

        Seriously, I like the party train idea too.

        3:34 pm | November 2, 2011
        • Mr. Wow

          Dear Lila…

          I did not become a millionaire.  But I live in hope. Our train will come!

           I play the lottery as soon as it gets to $50 million.  I figure after taxes and if I took it all in one big bundle, it be about 20 mil.  That’s a life-transforming amount of money.  And it would last me.  I’m not much for expensive clothes or cars–can’t drive–or jewelry or even travel.

          I’d get out of Hoboken for sure, with B. and the cats.  But not to another house.  A large apartment in Manhattan, and a different life.  I might even still work.  But on my own terms for once. 

          10:36 am | November 4, 2011
          • LandofLove

            And you could afford any of those $200 Marilyn books. Sounds dreamy!

            11:27 am | November 4, 2011
          • Mr. Wow

            Oh, Land of Love…

            You know me well, at this point.  Yes, I would buy those expensive, silly books!

            2:28 pm | November 4, 2011
          • Jerry

            Why not play the lottery when its $50 or $10 million. Is that not enough for you?

            4:57 pm | November 6, 2011
          • Mr. Wow

            Dear Jerry…

            Ten million?  After taxes and in a big lump?  That’s not a lot of money these days. 

            I did say that I begin to play when it gets to $50 mil.  Then maybe I’ll have 20.  That’s enough to change my life.  Meaning…I retire quietly and live modestly.  And always pick up the check. 

            All silly dreaming.  But what the hell.

            3:35 pm | November 9, 2011
  • Daniel Sugar

    “Mrs. Venable, loving your neice as you do, you must know there’s great risk in this operation. Whenever you enter the brain with a foreign object…”

    12:32 pm | November 2, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      “But she’ll be…peaceful, doctor?”

      2:03 pm | November 2, 2011
  • Daniel Sugar

    “Well it will be years before we know if the immediate benefits of the operation are lasting or maybe just passing or perhaps… there’s a strong possibility that the patient will always be limited. Relieved of acute anxiety yes, but limited.”

    2:29 pm | November 2, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      “Such a pretty name for a disease.  Sounds like a rare flower, doesn’t it?  ‘Night Blooming Dementia Praecox.’”

      3:13 pm | November 2, 2011
  • Daniel Sugar

    “Oh, Sebastian, what a lovely summer it’s been. Just the two of us. Sebastian and Violet. Violet and Sebastian. Just the way it’s always going to be. Oh, we are lucky, my darling, to have one another and need no one else ever.”

    4:57 pm | November 2, 2011
    • Daniel Sugar

      “What form does her disturbance take?”

      “Madness. Obsession, memory. She lacerates herself with memory.”

      “Memory of what?”

      “Visions, hallucinations. It all started last summer.”

      5:00 pm | November 2, 2011
      • Mr. Wow

        Okay Dr. Sugar…

        We have moved on from my silly travels.  “Don’t be such a bully!”

        8:14 pm | November 2, 2011
  • Daniel Sugar

    “Disobedience has to be paid for.”

    8:40 pm | November 2, 2011
  • Mr. Wow

    _”what lLitttle operation?   There”s,n only  one” little operation” they peform here. It’s called a lobotomy’

    “hey bore holes into the skulls  in cases s of HOPELESS |LUNACY!!”

    She seems distured doctor.

    11:09 pm | November 2, 2011
  • Daniel Sugar

    “Aunt Violet! I am disturbed.”

    11:48 pm | November 2, 2011
  • ‘…not to mention the shocking ruin of Cameron Diaz’s face’

    How very déclassé. I just watched the movie trailer for Bad Teacher on Youtube . She looked great.

    3:16 am | November 3, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear French Heart…

      Maybe she just looked bad in the airplane version?

      9:55 am | November 3, 2011

    MR. WOW
    Was it for ET you went to L.A.?   going on a plane today is something you have to go through instead of an
    adventure and pleasure it used to be.
    Wish I had my own private plane and pilot,imagine how often you would want to travel then

    3:20 pm | November 3, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Small Town Girl…

      I have to keep kind of on the down-low about certain aspects of my “career” (as I refer to it laughingly.)  Suffice to say my visit to Los Angeles was both personal and profesisonal and left me with a tremendous, comforting sense of closure.

      As to flying–even on a private plane I am a a wreck.  Just nervous up there.  In fact, whenever I see people asleep on a flight it takes all my self control to resist screaming: “How can you sleep?!!  We’re in the air!  It’s just not natural!  Wake up and be terrified with me!” 

      10:28 am | November 4, 2011
  • Rho

    Mr. Wow, I hate flying these days.  I hope all is going well, got to this thread just today.

    4:18 pm | November 3, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Rho…

      I’m not on a plane today.  So, everything is going well!

      10:06 am | November 4, 2011
  • Vintagemom

    Mr. Wow, I look forward to reading your columns so much and wish that you wrote one every day.  You are truly a ray of sunshine and laughter.

    9:56 am | November 4, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Vintagemom…

      Thank you!  Those who know me best would agree that I am a ray of sunshine and laughter at my best.  But when I’m not, I can bring down an entire room, a whole country!

      10:05 am | November 4, 2011
      • Deirdre Cerasa

        Mr. Wow,
        Your essays make me smile, laugh and sometimes cry but you have never been anything but a ray of sunshine. Just like so many of you fans, I look forward to whatever gems you have to share. Even though you didn’t win the lottery this time, there is always another chance and so the dream of the train trip goes on!!

        6:56 pm | November 7, 2011
        • Deirdre Cerasa

          darn, I meant your fans.

          6:57 pm | November 7, 2011
          • Mr. Wow

            Dear Deirdre…

            The dream continues…

            We are gonna be on that train!  Honest–I just love the idea.  I want to meet all of you.

            8:26 pm | November 8, 2011
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