coffee, tea, or me?-donald bain et al.

“the uninhibited memoirs of two airline stewardesses”

(called trudy baker and rachel jones)

i was pleasantly surprised by this one, though i should never doubt bust magazine, as this came out of the big list that i made last year from back issues. originally published in ’67, it has shows staying power, but perhaps the lifestyle is just that compelling. to go back to bust for a moment, i remember reading something about the blechdel test, or the screening of movies with all-female casts that do not centre around action and conversations about men. that’s the only thing that i wish was different here, but i suppose that’s what you get when their stories are told to and filtered by a fella.


“I suppose he doffs the ring when his mind begins to reflect back on all those stewardess stories he’s heard. He remembers hearing from Joe, a guy in his office, how he made a stewardess in the backseat of the airplane on his last business trip. He recalls the office boy telling how he is pulled into strange stewardesses’ apartments and raped nightly. He pictures the stewardesses who will be working his flight as busy, lusty, quivering mounds of flesh just waiting for him to come aboard so the bacchanal can begin. He figures he’ll have a better chance if these sexpots of the sky don’t know about his wife and seven kids. So, off comes the ring, exposing maybe a year of lily-white skin. He might as well wear a sign.” (128)

“The stewardess consensus is that doctors usually make their pitch via a note placed on their tray after dinner. Usually, it will contain something terribly clever like, ‘I am a doctor. I’m staying at the Mark Hopkins. My room number is 2030. Nine o’clock.’

If you’re pregnant, getting one of these notes could be construed as a good deal. If you’re not, but maybe have a headache, it might also make sense to trudge up to his room. But remember-all doctors are married. You must have this firmly in mind before making any decisions. And if you do decide to go, be on time. Doctors hate to be kept waiting.” (250)



3 thoughts on “coffee, tea, or me?-donald bain et al.

  1. manscapes:

    “It’s just that some guys need this kind of relationship with clean-cut girls. Maybe it’s his personal retribution for always sleeping with prostitutes. But one thing is for sure. Every stewardess who’s given him a chance to hang around has found him to be a charming and delightful guy. No strain, no fuss. No passes after every date. Just good company. Funny.” (65)

    “New York landlords just don’t want stewardesses living in their buildings. We rank only behind racial minority groups in feeling the vise of housing prejudice.” (69)

    “You can always recognize a captain from the calluses on his finger from pushing the call button for coffee. Sometimes we think that’s all the captain does up there-summon us for coffee.” (89)

    “We find admen make more pitches to us than any other group of men. They all have a strange attraction to stewardesses, which is part of their insecurity. An adman never dates just /a girl/. She has to have a handle, an image for him to date. That’s why admen, when recounting past dates, will always say she was a stewardess, a model, an artist, a bunny, a writer, an actress, a director, or an heiress. It’s kind of sad, really. A /girl/ just won’t do.” (254)

  2. ladies and hipsters:

    “Once they won their Flash Gordon from the other gal, they were put in her shoes. And they didn’t like it. So, using the power they had, they convinced their airline that crews should not be allowed to fly together for any extended period of time. They won. Their victory spread to other airlines and pretty soon you couldn’t fly with that great crew any longer. The silly thing is that this manuever didn’t really accomplish a thing. If a husband is going to stray, he’ll do it no matter how new his crew is to him. But the girls feel more certain in their own hearts that they’ve ensured a long and happy marriage. Maybe we’ll react the same way when we’re married, grounded, and scared of losing our hero. We hope not.” (95)

    “Instead I told her about handcuffed prisoners we’ve had on board, political bigwigs, Don Juans, men who say funny things. There was the Catholic priest and the Seventh-Day Adventist minister sitting together on one flight. The priest ordered a Scotch and water. The minister said, “I’d rather commit adultery than drink.”
    The priest looked up at me and said, ‘I didn’t know I had a choice today.’ That was a fun trip.” (112)

    “I can’t remember the name of the coffeehouse, but it was that I supposed such a place should be. All around were dirty-looking young men and women, each trying very hard to conform to the nonconformist image.” (115)

    “The early 747 jumbo jests had a pianist and a singer in the upstairs lounge (Frank Sinatra Jr. headlined one of the inaugural flights). It was all first class no matter where you sat, baby, primo, top-notch, top-drawer, and topflight.” (xii)

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