Open Thread



The best part of coming home from a trip is the happy reunions with the animals. As you can see from the pictures above, it isn’t just the dogs who are happy to see me, as Tunch was clearly overcome by GRAVITY emotion at my return.

I had the funniest flight crew last night on SouthWest airlines from BWI to Pittsburgh. They were on the last of a three day leg and were clearly a little giddy. There was a male flight attendant named Charles who was just cracking me up the whole flight. When he closed the door to the cockpit, he told the pilots “Alright guys, we’re behind you all the way.” Later, when dimming the cabin lights, he announced “The cabin lights are being dimmed so that your eyes can adjust. This also enhances the attractiveness of the male flight attendants.” When we landed, he announced “If you are continuing on on this plane, you need to get a better travel agent, because there are no more flights,” and then broke out in song thanking us for flying Southwest, and was just saying hysterical things the whole flight. He was just awesome. Prolly the best flight I’ve ever had.

79 replies
  1. 1
    danielx says:

    Alright, now THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about! TUUUUNNNNCH!

  2. 2
    squiregeek says:

    I’ve had a couple of flights like that. On one, the FA announced on landing, ‘Flight attendants prepare for arrival and cross dress.’

    On another the FA said after landing, ‘I’d like to say how much fun its been working with both of my ex-wives on this flight.’

  3. 3
    different-church-lady says:

    Tunch was clearly overcome by GRAVITY emotion carpeting at my return.

  4. 4
    Mackenna says:

    Tunch in Action. You can tell because the photos are blurry. Obviously he’s moving rolling.

  5. 5

    Seems like Southwest used to be known for that kind of fun atmosphere. I rarely fly SW but I’ve been on a couple where the flight attendants were real cut ups. Seems like that was part of the Southwest philosophy, you know, “we don’t have sticks up our asses like the other airlines do.”

  6. 6

    By the way, here’s my roundup of good news for the week. I didn’t even get into today’s unemployment numbers, I had so much stuff…

  7. 7
    The Golux says:

    We also had some stand-up comedians on a recent Southwest flight to San Antonio. They were doing it during the safety instructions before takeoff.

  8. 8
    Trollhattan says:

    Yup, SW does seem to attract employees with a little extra on the personality front. Once had a flight attendant emerge from an overhead bin during boarding.

    Am NOT sure how she fit up there, and will only add that Tunch would not.

    Welcome home.

  9. 9
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    I frequently fly between Denver and LA on Southwest. They’re all auditioning for their second careers. Lots of fun.

    And TUNNNNCCHH. Love how he’s ‘vibrating’ with love, as evidenced by the photo.

  10. 10
    Gex says:

    Today I am learning that even though our cars were jointly titled to both of us and that by law they should be mine now that Kate is dead, the DMV still requires I get her father’s signature before the title can be changed.

    ETA: Because what was the point of the marriage amendments and DOMA laws if not to torment gay people at times like these?

  11. 11
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    Welcome back to the US, Mr. Cole.

  12. 12
    Comrade Mary says:

    Yay! TUNCH!

    Westjet here in Canada has a culture a lot like Southwest’s.

    Attendants kidding around.

    Kargo Kids.

  13. 13
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Young love is so tender. In the night. On a flight.

  14. 14
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    In other news, after a crappy, stressful day at work, I am on the couch surrounded by love. 4 fluffy kitties seem to feel the need to be close, with my tuxedo every few minutes demanding that I pet him with his very distinctive mer-rouw.

  15. 15
    Face says:

    That Southworst’s baliwick. They’re supposed to be funneh. Sometimes they are, sometimes it comes off as crass and unprofessional.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    I absolutely love the way Tunch’s tail looks like an after market part.

  18. 18
    Gravenstone says:

    There’s that high quality Cole photography we’ve all come to know and love.

  19. 19
    Roger Moore says:


    ETA: Because what was the point of the marriage amendments and DOMA laws if not to torment gay people at times like these?

    It’s not just to torment you; it’s to screw you over by making you pay estate taxes that straight couples wouldn’t have to pay and deny you survivors benefits that straight couples would get. I’d actually bet that the screwing you over angle is the primary goal; the emotional torment is just a bonus.

  20. 20
    The Moar You Know says:

    How do you do it, Cole? You’re the worst photographer I’ve ever seen.

  21. 21
    lamh35 says:

    TGIF! So I’ve been cyber stalking Idris Elba (well not really, I’m just follow his fan page on FB and twitter…lol). So I guess he’s passed 1M “friends” on Facebook which I guess is a milestone or something. so he filmed a small lil video to thank all his fans.

    He’s acquired taste, but the accent still amazes me…lol.

    anyway, for the enjoyment of any Idris loving ladies on BJ (and dudes), here he is thanking fans for their support and seeming to promise more Luther episodes.

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Saw it earlier (because I long ago found your ideas intriguing and decided to subscribe to your newsletter) and if I had had time would have sent a comment then and there saying, “what about those job numbers, hey hey?”

    Never mind, some Republican somewhere is going to talk (probably on the Sunday gabfests) about how these numbers REALLY mean the economy is tanking and how Obama can’t do anything right and Benghazi! and then next week you’ll be able to fill blog after blog laughing and pointing.

  23. 23
    Redshirt says:

    My 1 year old niece takes better iPhone photos than you do Cole. In fact, I’m a bit at a loss how you take such terrible photos, since it’s an automated, point and click technology.

    What’s your secret?

  24. 24
    jl says:

    Thnx for pet pix, Cole.

    But, maybe you got Tunch hopped up on ‘nip for that pic?

    Edit: and yet, never seen a clear pic of Tunch. I think that is unpossible. The gravitational force of the Tunchmass distorts the lens and camera frame.

  25. 25
    bemused says:

    I want to know how Tunch and the new kitty are interacting, as in playing together. When we got a puppy, our older dog with a few too many pounds on her dropped to an ideal weight in just 3 or 4 months. Just saying.

  26. 26
    Roger Moore says:

    That looks like the classic feline “Rub my belly. Psych! I actually want to tear off your hand.” routine.

  27. 27
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    I just got off a Southwest flight from St Louis. Glad to be home!
    One thing I don’t like about SWA is the cattle call seating. It accomplishes nothing except making later passengers disturb people seated on aisles so they can occupy the ignored middle seats. Just assign seat numbers like everyone else so we can get on with it.
    We also had a very flamboyant male flight attendant, and he was a lot of fun.

  28. 28
    MAJeff says:

    As a relatively recent transplant to Pgh, I just have to say…

    …there are decent flights to/from Pgh?

  29. 29
    ruemara says:

    I love flying with them, they’re a lot of fun. Glad you’re safely home and that Lord High Majestic Tunch is amenable to your return.

  30. 30
    geg6 says:

    Welcome home, Cole!

    So…when and where is dinner? ;-P

    Maybe next Sunday for St. Paddy’s? I’ll hopefully be picking up a new friend at the airport. We could meet up near there before my new friend arrives, if she can get a flight.

  31. 31
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Redshirt: His technique? Hangover.

  32. 32
    the Conster says:


    Tunch distorts the local electromagnetic field.

  33. 33
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    I’m headed out to Alabama on Delta on Monday. Already scheming to get extra cookies. Delta has the best snacks but their luggage charges are double SWA’s: $150 versus $75 for the same two items.
    But COOKIES!!

  34. 34
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: Southwest is really a bus with wings. I have flown with them a lot, back and forth between the Bay Area and Ontario, CA, but these days I adore Jet Blue and will try to book with them over anyone else.

    I actually liked the unassigned seating gambit. I like to ride near the tail and at Ontario you used to walk across the tarmac and they always had both the front and the back doors open.

  35. 35
    Roger Moore says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    One thing I don’t like about SWA is the cattle call seating. It accomplishes nothing except making later passengers disturb people seated on aisles so they can occupy the ignored middle seats. Just assign seat numbers like everyone else so we can get on with it.

    That would be a more plausible counter-argument if other airlines managed their seating from window to aisle. Instead, they manage it from back to front (or vice versa if the plane loads from the back) and you have just as many later passengers disturbing people who are already sitting. In practice, I’ve found that Southwest seems to be able to load their planes faster than any other airline, which suggests their approach is more efficient. Or maybe it’s that they don’t mess up the theoretically better assigned-seating, board-by-sections approach by giving priority boarding to their first class and frequent flier passengers.

  36. 36
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Damn, that’s one huge tribble!

  37. 37
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:


    I don’t have much of a choice of airlines. I fly Delta a lot because my local airport is a hub.
    Absolutely the worst boarding experience I’ve had recently was with United. Full international flight and they didn’t gate check luggage until passengers had hauled all of their carryons onto and back off of the plane because overhead space was full. This delayed us by a half hour and I nearly missed my connection in Atlanta to Sonora, MX. Ever try to get from one end of ATL to the other in a hurry? It’s the world’s busiest airport, and one of the largest.

  38. 38
    Roger Moore says:


    I like to ride near the tail and at Ontario you used to walk across the tarmac and they always had both the front and the back doors open.

    They still do it that way at Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Bob Hope. It’s odd. There, the idea of walking across the tarmac to the plane seems charmingly quaint, but at any other airport it would seem crazy and primitive. You sure can load an unload a plane really fast when you’re filling from both ends, though.

  39. 39
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I was recently on a flight that boarded window seats first, then middle, then aisle. That’s really the only logical method if efficiency is the goal. I think it was a Mexican regional. I wish that would catch on but the US airlines are wedded to ‘priority’ seating as a perk.

  40. 40
    EEH says:

    @Gex: I don’t know about the state where you reside but in Colorado joint titles can be issued two different ways: Joint and Joint with Rights of Survivorship, something that I never knew until my husband passed away last August. His car title was issued with rights of survivorship and the title to my car was not thanks to the dealership not filing it properly (probably because my last name was different from his.) I had to jump through a bunch of hoops to get his name off the title, something I really did not need at the time, but no doubt easier than your situation since I was his legal next of kin.

  41. 41
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: Enjoy your $75 cookies. ;-)

    I haven’t flown Delta in 20 years. I’ll take Jet Blue or Alaska if I can.

    The one airline I absolutely hate is US Air. I have flown with them several times and been very annoyed every time. Last time, they had the only reasonably-priced flight to Connecticut from the LA area. I bought the tickets well in advance, when luggage was free. When I flew out of LA there was no charge, but when I got on my return flight they charged me $50. I pointed out how unfair this was but I was told the only option was to pay or lose my ticket.

  42. 42
    Gex says:

    @Roger Moore: And I got to pay taxes on her part of my employee benefits. Must not treat us as though we are married.

    Except when it comes time to collect the medical bills. Then I bet I’m sure as shit good enough to be legally linked to Kate.

    I have a realtor coming to give me an idea of what I can get for the house. I find it a fitting sign of our times that, if I end up just walking away, it will be the banking industry and the medical industry fighting over the remains of a relationship fundamentally weakened by DOMA. Banks, health care, culture wars. A perfect snapshot of our times.

  43. 43
    Gex says:

    @Gex: Funny, as a middle class liberal, I’ve spent so much time thinking about how others get abused by the system. This time it’s me getting chewed up and spit out.

  44. 44
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Roger Moore: They do it at Long Beach, too. Long Beach is adding an expanded and more modern gate area, but they’re leaving the original terminal alone. It’s one of the coolest little airports on the planet. LAX owns it but they can’t do much to expand the runway area, so it will never get too big.

    LAX also owns Ontario, but recently I heard rumblings that they want to sell it.

  45. 45
    JoyfulA says:

    I think the Tunch pix are fine. Of course, I’m the one who gave up photography because I could never get anyone’s head in the shot.

  46. 46
    RareSanity says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Or, could it be that because their entire fleet of planes are the smaller 737s, you never experience having to board a larger 757, 767, or 777 to compare times?

  47. 47
    SFAW says:

    I’m just worried that the next picture we get of Tunch, we’ll also see Cole lashed to him, but with one arm free, beckoning us to Hell.

  48. 48
    Just Some Fuckhead says:


    So…when and where is dinner? ;-P

    One word, John:


    Not telling you what to do. Just be prepared to cut off your own leg to escape.

  49. 49
    El Tiburon says:

    Ok Cole. You are obviously head-over-heels in love/lust or whatever. You sound like a jr. high kid who just felt his first boob on the girl he’s been crushing on since 5th grade.

    Nobody is as fucking happy as you for no reason.

    Also too this hurry up and get a new phone with a good camera because the blurry pics are killing me.

    And “male flight attendant”? Can’t we drop the sexism.

    Finally and this: glad you enjoyed your trip to our fair city of Austin. Sorry I couldn’t make the meet-up but kid duty and my anti-social tendencies won over.

  50. 50
    Lolis says:

    I love that feeling of sleeping in my own bed again.

  51. 51
    Roger Moore says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:
    I suspect that you could make it slightly more efficient by loading from window to aisle and deliberately boarding passengers from a range of places up and down the plane. So you might board in order 42A, 38F, 33A, 27F, 22A, 16F, 10A, 4F, 42F, 38A, etc. That way you wouldn’t have people bumping into each other while getting their stuff in the overhead bins or trying to use the same bin at the same time.

    In practice, though, I think all the boarding schemes are doomed to fail until airlines can guarantee there’s enough space for everyone’s carry-on luggage in the overhead bins. As long as there’s fighting for overhead space, frequent fliers will demand early luggage stowing boarding privileges so they can load their grossly oversized bags, and later passengers will slow things down wandering up and down the aisle looking in vain for available space.

  52. 52
    Darkrose says:

    And I got to pay taxes on her part of my employee benefits. Must not treat us as though we are married.

    I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this bullshit.

    I’m dreading doing my taxes this year for that very reason–especially since the IRS decided to add insult to injury by not allowing us to file jointly while still expecting each of us to file based on half of our joint income. In our case, it’s really screwed because Telesilla wouldn’t have to pay taxes at all if only her SSDI money is counted. Either recognize my marriage or don’t, but trying to have it both ways is bullshit.

  53. 53
    Calouste says:


    Tunch in Action. You can tell because the photos are blurry. Obviously he’s moving rolling there was an earthquake in West Virginia.

  54. 54
    Roger Moore says:


    LAX also owns Ontario, but recently I heard rumblings that they want to sell it.

    As I understand it, LAX doesn’t actually own Ontario, but they manage it. This dates back to the times when instrument landings were very uncertain, so they wanted an inland airport as a backup for when LAX got fogged in. LAX is abusing the system to prevent Ontario from being a viable competitor, and the system doesn’t make a lick of sense today. Ontario’s traffic volume has actually been declining for several years even as LAX is bursting at the seams. Lots of people want to take control of Ontario away from LAX; about the only people who don’t want to are TPTB at LAX.

  55. 55
    Citizen_X says:

    @SFAW: Hah. Nicely done, Ishmael.

  56. 56
    SFAW says:


    Is that what they call me?

  57. 57
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: assigned seating is no better these days. The order is based on money, not logistics.

  58. 58
    quannlace says:

    Seeing Tunch (pure white except for his tail) again, made me think of the ‘Cat Rescue Bleg’ a few posts down. Beautiful calico cat, but the tail was the most colorful. Are cat’s tails the most dramatic in their coloring?

  59. 59
    Roger Moore says:


    Obviously he’s moving rolling there was an earthquake in West Virginia.

    That’s not an earthquake; it’s the effect of Tunch rolling around.

  60. 60
    Gex says:

    @Darkrose: this. When it suits them, we can’t get married. When it doesn’t, we’re as good as married. Win-win for them, lose-lose for us. Anything else and the Baby Jesus will destroy America. At least, that’s what I understand the winning argument to be.

  61. 61
    dance around in your bones says:

    @lamh35: Oh gawd, that accent! And Luther was sofa king fantastic.

    Tunch is fat and floofy! And Cole’s picture taking skills are about on a par with my own – fuzzy, out of focus and etc. But the love is there.

    My grandkids regularly diss me for my lack of tech skills – like when I can’t figure out how to operate the zillion dollar TV with 80 buttons and a bazillion channels.

    Ok, guys – my mom is coming to visit me tonight after about 20 years of absence – there was a ‘spiritual therapist’ involved (i.e. a cultist) that encouraged her to cut off all ties with friends and family (and, not coincidentally, separate her from much of her money) and I am having a kind of anxiety attack about it.

    Before the separation, we got along just fine. But I am muy nerviosa about the whole visit. My best friend tells me to loosen up and go with the flow (she’s a Buddhist) so I think that’s what I will do but still…..

    oh fuck, I will just go with the flow.

  62. 62
    fuckwit says:

    Southwest used to bring the silly all the time.

    I remember flying on one where they thoroughly fucked with the safety announcements: “…if you’re seated next to a small child, or someone who’s acting like a small child…” etc.

  63. 63
    Jamey says:

    How much did it cost Tunch to upgrade to the tabby-edition tail?

  64. 64
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    I remember with fondness a late Friday afternoon flight from Long Island to BWI where the attendants started getting cutesy & the passengers (yerstruly included) were giving it back to them double. I recall one attendant literally rocked back after a particularly pointed comeback muttering with some trepidation, Wow, we’ve got a wild group tonight…@squiregeek, @The Golux: I take it the safety instructions shtick included the classic kids-&-oxygen-masks bit:

    If you’re traveling with a young child, make sure your mask is on & working before seeing to theirs.

    If you’re traveling with two young children, decide now which one you love more…

    Some of the other classics had the pilot in the midst of a hard-braking landing shouting over the intercom Whoooa, Nelly!…or the flight attendant after landing who closed her valedictory with We hope you’ve enjoyed giving us the business as much as we’ve enjoyed taking you for a ride…

    I was flying BA from BWI to London Gatwick a few years back when the attendant doing the safety narration started by saying Even if you’ve flown on a 767 before, please pay close attention, as each plane has its per– its par– (& after a couple more efforts to pronounce “peculiarities”)–they’re different!

    Some 8 hours later after the plane had settled into a fairly sedate landing roll, one of the attendants (perhaps the same one) got the complete attention of the mostly-asleep entourage with British Airways welcomes you to London Heathrow. After a couple seconds during which we all came bolt upright, a different voice came on: We are at London Gatwick. This is Gatwick. GATWICK. Good times…

  65. 65
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Hee Hee Hee Hee Hee Hee Hee.

    Why does Apple feel that Hee-Hee-hee’s should be capitalized? Are they trying to trademark giggling?

  66. 66
    lojasmo says:

    Ugh. Just boutght a ticket for the Prog to visit his aunties in LA for spring break.

    Buying a ticket for a direct flight, at reasonable hours, during spring break is spendy.

    But he gets to spend break with his aunties, and their wives/partners.

  67. 67
    mainmati says:

    @jl: Same thought I had. The Tunch has such a great mass that it distorts the local gravitational field, which affects light waves and hence photography. Amazing.

  68. 68
    JenJen says:

    Oh, the Kitty Happy Roll!! How I love the Happy Roll. Doesn’t happen often, only on special occasions.

    Tunch hearts Cole!

  69. 69
    Jackie says:

    I Have an 18.7 yrs cat. When I come home from work, Cinder reacts quite like Tunch. Enjoy, love, and enjoy. Glad Tunch loves you as much as you love him :)


  70. 70
    RoonieRoo says:

    I love Southwest. I’ve had more flights just get weird with the flight crew. One flight they had toilet paper races down the aisle during take off.

    I’m pretty sure that I can hear Tunch purring in those pictures. I’m glad you are home and glad you came to visit.

  71. 71
    opie jeanne says:

    @dance around in your bones: 20 years???!! That’s terrible. We have worried about friends and distant family who flirted with cults but luckily never succumbed, but your mom?

    I think your friend gave you good advice, but if it were me it would be difficult to relax at all. Maybe that’s just me, though.

    Good luck, and I hope your mom is good to you.

  72. 72
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Seems like that was part of the Southwest philosophy, you know, “we don’t have sticks up our asses like the other airlines do.”

    It’s been [mumble] years since I flew with Virgin Atlantic, but they have that reputation as well — the FAs are allowed to show off their own personalities, not cleave to the corporate template.

    Although I was on a Delta up-and-down last year with just the one FA, and she was wonderfully off-script (partly because there was a mess-up with rosters): “the coffee machine isn’t working, the bathroom is out of order, but it’s a thirty minute flight and it’s 11pm, so it’s probably best both ways.”

  73. 73
    dance around in your bones says:

    @opie jeanne: Gosh, thanks opie jeanne, Just taking off for the airport to meet the mom.

    It’s a long story. I’ma just gonna keep on keeping on!

  74. 74
    asiangrrlMN says:

    TUNCHIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! There’s my handsome boy. Many thanks to Yutsy for sending up the cat-signal so I didn’t miss this.

    @Gex: That really blows.

  75. 75
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @lamh35: That taste ain’t at all hard to acquire.

    @dance around in your bones: Eeps. Good advice, but hard to follow. Good luck!

    FYWP for not letting me do my patented triple-play.

  76. 76
    thalarctos says:

    @Gex: :(

  77. 77
    Dan says:

    Adding to the chorus of those who enjoy the wackiness of Southwest: One time, after a particularly smooth flight that arrived ahead of schedule, the FA came on and said, “If you enjoyed this flight, be sure and tell others…we both know that you would if you didn’t.”

  78. 78
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    John, may your next camera at least have an image stabilizer function.

  79. 79
    kelrian says:

    Flying from our local feeder airport out to McCarran on SW was probably the best flight I’ve ever had. Not very often you board and all the flight attendants are literally dancing in the vestibule.

    Plus, any airline that still does the whole “complimentary drink and snack” thing is on the side of the angels in my book. Funny how something like a glass of ginger ale helps.

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