Coffee, Tea, or Me, Me, Me: Joel Stein Plays Flight Attendant

Mandatory luggage check-in fees. Canceled flights. Las Vegas party jets rerouted to Rochester. Can air travel get any worse?

In fact, it can. Joel Stein, Time‘s navel correspondent and lover of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, has become a flight attendant. Or at least he got to play one to get over his fear of flying for a stunt column.

Of course, he makes some hilarious xenophobic jokes ("My fellow future flight attendants weren’t at all what I expected, based on my experience with service-sector jobs—which is to say that none were illegal immigrants.") and the obligatory gay panic cracks ("Even more shocking, some of them were straight men."). Then Mr. Stein shows his sensitivity to what John Edwards would call "the two Americas" by making fun of a woman who used to work for Hooter’s: "She, I believe, just wanted to upgrade her wardrobe."

What else did Mr. Stein discover about life in the air?

I learned a lot throughout my training day. Specifically, I learned to wake people for meals but not beverage service; that people try to have sex in the bathroom all the time, and it’s your job to knock on the door and get them out for their own safety. Also, you can totally ask for the whole can of soda.

As is required now, there’s a video.

Coffee, Tea, or Me, Me, Me: Joel Stein Plays Flight Attendant