Jean was a sweet, older flight attendant with a fun-loving personality and many wonderful stories to tell. Her doctor had discovered the previous year that she had had diabetes for most of her life, a condition she had been unaware of. Once treated, Jean lost the weight that had always plagued her. The engagement ring her late husband had given her now no longer fit, as her fingers had become slim, and the generously sized diamond was constantly making its way toward her palm. Jean chose to live with the problem instead of fixing it or leaving the ring at home.

One day, on a flight to London, Jean rolled the breakfast cart down the aisle, quietly offering coffee and drinks to the few passengers who were awake. At one point, she swung her arm over a seat and reached for something on the drinks cart. Her diamond hooked onto a passenger’s toupee and plucked it straight off. Jean was horrified. She thought she had a rat-like creature crawling up her hand. She started to scream and wave her hand frantically, but the creature did not let go. All the passengers awoke and watched in fear as Jean went screaming down the aisle, waving her hand hysterically. The other flight attendants and I stood in shock as we watched the drama unfold.

Jean made it to the back of the economy section and started to bang her hand against the wall in an attempt to subdue the attacking creature. She eventually stepped on the hairpiece, pulled her hand free, and then disappeared into the nearest lavatory. The cabin fell silent, as all eyes turned to the extremely embarrassed scalpee. He looked like a convertible caught in a rainstorm.

Although many tried to hold back their laughter, few were able to do so. The man reached into his carry-on bag and pulled out a baseball cap, and then waved to the crowd good-naturedly.

Jean emerged from the restroom about 30 minutes later, gave an apologetic hug to her victim, and received a round of applause from the cabin. She spoke to the gentleman for a while, attempting to explain, and surreptitiously handed him a sick bag containing the hairpiece. Before landing, she presented him with a bottle of champagne for being such a good sport.

The man left the sick bag with the hairpiece behind, saying he could never look at it in the same way again. Fearing the cabin cleaner’s reaction when finding it, Jean kept the toupee as a souvenir of her most embarrassing episode. She eventually got her ring resized, but never lived down her new nickname: Little Running Hair.

What is the funniest thing ever to happen to you on a flight or at the airport? E-mail your story to me. I have prizes for the top three.