High-flying tales from a flight attendant Book: Humor and a helpful attitude help Marilyn Tritt get through her first quarter-century aloft.

December 08, 1996|By Margaret DeBord Ansley | Margaret DeBord Ansley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

After boarding a flight to Indianapolis, a passenger approached veteran flight attendant Marilyn Tritt and told her in one expletive what she thought of the airline that Tritt worked for.

Unintimidated, quick-witted Tritt laughed and retorted, "Wait till you see the service."

This kind of in-your-face humor is the cornerstone of Tritt's self-published paperback, "Long Legs & Short Nights: A Flight Attendant Story" (Airtime Publishing, $9.95).

Go-go boots to pumps

Tritt chronicles the first 25 years of her airline career (from orange go-go boots to her more conservative navy pumps) through flight attendant characters Marlee and Christa.

Marlee (a pseudonym for Tritt) falls asleep during a flight and dreams of her life's escapades -- both professional and personal -- most of which she shares with her comrade, Christa. Marlee sorts through their foibles and dilemmas with a little evaluation and a lot of satire before waking.

Marlee's dramatic antics -- such as locking herself out of her Las Vegas hotel room and then sashaying across the casino lobby scantily dressed in a red, semi-transparent nightie to retrieve a second key -- are entertaining but may be hard to believe. Tritt claims, however, that all is true.

And, so, she says, was surviving with her newborn son's and her horse's colic -- simultaneously walking them both through the night.

Admits her faults

Tritt admits that her occasional improper use of punctuation weakens her credibility as an author and quickly adds that she doesn't claim to be a professional writer but rather someone who wants to share stories and make people laugh. With the latter, she does well.

But don't let Tritt's modesty and sense of humor fool you. Although she considers herself a fledgling writer, Tritt demonstrates in "Long Legs" that she uses humor to pull readers in and to survive her turbulent moments.

Tritt introduces readers to her world with an immediate, light, funny quality. Then, after imbuing readers with dramatic humor, she slams them with traumas: first, a plane crash that kills many of Tritt's cohorts and, second, a battle with breast cancer that takes the life of her sister.

Tritt wrote "Long Legs" during a six-month hiatus while recovering from a back injury.

"One day I turned on the computer and began to write," Tritt says, "and the memories started coming back." Tritt adds that she doesn't keep a journal but with the encouragement of her colleagues, decided it was time to tell her stories. "There have been so many years that I sat on jump seats and entertained bTC flight attendants," recalls Tritt.

To order a copy of "Long Legs & Short Nights: A Flight Attendant Story," call (800) 481-1815, access code 55. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to research on breast cancer and AIDS.

Pub Date: 12/08/96

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