Thursday, May 17, 2007

Airplane Flashbacks: Hulk Hogan Bubblebath

In the good ole' days of aviation, before blogs, cellphones and a flight attendant's need to be an adept Kung Fu Fighter, I was boarding a flight from PHL to LAX. It was a 767 and I was the greeter and it was my job to create a welcoming impression and direct passengers to their seats. Life was much simpler then. There may have been a few problems to diffuse or an occasional medical issue to deal with but it was a more carefree time. It may have been March or thereabouts.

That holiday season (before Xmas was politically incorrect), I found the coolest present to give my girlfriends at Sav-on Drug Store in SoCal. On a display shelf with bronzed biceps and Wrestlemania belt was a plastic replica of Hulk Hogan containing bubble bath. Wouldn't have been happier with a gold Oscar! Swooped up several and kept one for myself.

Back to Philadelphia and the agent is almost ready to shut the door. A final passenger is sprinting up the jetway. My mouth falls open. Can it be? Hulk Hogan?
Yes! Clad in Snakeskin pants, a headband, and straight from Wrestlemania.

Let's get something straight here. I have met a lot of celebrities and most of the time, to respect their right to have some normalcy in their life, I treat them with no special deference except to protect their privacy and keep them from unwanted attention.

I open my mouth and say "Hulk!!! I just gave your bubblebath to all my girlfriends!
He replied, "Bubblebath? I didn't know I had bubblebath. I have sheets and underwear but I didn't know about the bubblebath."

We take off and I'm working first class aisle. Services are finished. It is a late night flight. I had just perfected a practical joke I call "the cup trick". I would place a plastic glass under my armpit and crunch it while twisting my neck. Kids loved it but it wouldn't work in today's environment! Anyway, Hulk enters the lavatory and I don't know what possessed me but...when he comes out, I am poised with my cup and ask him "You're an athlete. Do you know any good exercises for stiff necks? I crunch the cup while twisting my neck and then bust out laughing. He calmly says in his deep voice "You are too much" and takes his seat. He is definitely a good sport and made my plastic bubblebath even more valuable to me!