Air(head) travel

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    Did you know that dolphins are so intelligent that within only a few weeks of captivity, they can train humans to stand at the very edge of the pool and throw them fish. I happened to be commuting by Zuma Travel located in the Point Dume Shopping Center when I noted the dolphin emblem in the window. Zuma travel is owned and operated by Marjorie Hollinrake. I met Marjorie and her husband, Jerry, shortly after my arrival in Malibu in 1970; they have resided in Malibu since 1961. I was president of the Malibu Soccer League for several years (later merged into the AYSO) and coached their son Mike, then a young teen-ager, in the fine grace of not being embarrassed when routed by a successful defensive soccer action by Kimmy Flood. Mike was tall, quick and strong so the girls in the league (yes, girls and boys played on the same teams) delighted when they could garrison against his onslaught towards the soccer goal. Kimmy Flood is now 26 and about to be married in September, so I thought I’d drop in to visit with Marjorie and see how her son Mike, 28, was doing and gossip about the “old days”.

    Marjorie and other travel agents in the office, Lynda Marsolek, and Helen Algreen follow my Malibu Times letters to my neighbors and provided me the following actual stories told to them and other Zuma Travel agents over the years. Marjorie received a call from a client inquiring about a package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost information, the customer asked if it would it be cheaper to fly to San Francisco and then take the train to Hawaii? (glug glug)

    Helen received a telephone call from a Malibuite who wanted to go to Capetown. Helen started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information when the Malibuite interrupted her with, “I’m not trying to make you look foolish, but Capetown is in Massachusetts.” Without trying to make the Malibuite look like the stupid one, Helen calmly explained, “Cape Cod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in Africa.” Her response — click.

    A secretary for a jet setter from New York called Zuma Travel looking for hotel reservations in Los Angeles. She gave Lynda various names off a list, none of which she could find. Lynda finally had her fax Zuma Travel the list of hotels. To her surprise, it was a list of hotels in New Orleans, Louisiana. The secretary thought the LA stood for Los Angeles and that New Orleans was a suburb of L.A. Worst of all, when Lynda called her back, the secretary was not even embarrassed.

    Marjorie recalls that a woman called and asked, “Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to who?” Marjorie said, “No, why do you ask?” She replied, “Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said FAT, and I’m overweight, is there any connection?” Marjorie fighting to hold back her laughter explained the city code for Fresno is FAT, and that the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.

    A young Malibu starlet called and said, “I need to fly to Pepsi-cola on one of those red-eye specials.” Marjorie asked if she meant to fly to Pensacola on a late night flight. The response, “Yea, whatever.”

    Maybe now I understand why the Zuma Travel logo is a dolphin. Dolphins sleep at night with one eye open.

    Tom Fakehany