Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I am now back in Texas for a precious few ten days. I am here to enjoy the Christmas season, but also to (hopefully) relax as much as humanly possible.

This relaxation, however, has always been stymied by a little something I like to call "Airplanes". Are you ready for, as Peter Griffin would say, what 'grinds my gears'?

You know what really grinds my gears? Airplanes. Oh, it's not the service, or the astonishingly handsome pilots, or the extremely quick time it takes to get from one place to the next. It's really not any of those. They're fine.

It's just a small thing, really.

It's the fact that these mothers are 5 miles high in the sky and going at 600 miles an hour. That's really it. I look out my window and am nothing short of in awe with my view. Spectacular sunsets, the opportunity to see the gridshaped pattern of the world beneath us -- all this is yours for a comfy coach window seat. That's wonderful.

But then my curious gaze floats over to the wing. And I say, softly under my breath, alarming no one, "holy shit." It scares the absolute bejesus out of me. How on God's green earth are we staying up in the air. Somebody must be playing a really sick joke on me. Well, time's up. It's not funny anymore. Let's go ahead and get back to reality.

It's even worse when I have to sit anywhere else BESIDES the window. I'm mainly referring to the dreaded middle seat. This is far worse than the so-called 'bitch' position in the back of the car. This is a spot that denies you from directing your eyes from the claustrophic cabin to the sky outside, and it prevents you from getting up and going to the bathroom. Someone is always sitting in the manageable aisle seat, and you never want to bother them. So, you brood.

But what takes the cake is sitting in the aisle next to a guy who is telling his girlfriend the 'finer' points of flying, as if the pilot has just croaked and appointed this douchebag as the uncontested supreme intellectual asshat of all things aerial. "Look there, honey, that's the wing. If just one small thing goes wrong with it, we go crashing down to the earth at 32 feet/second squared..."

I'm already running to the bathroom, looking for some sort of blunt object.

But, you know, it's a lot faster than driving, and they give you hot tea for free. Snacks now cost a dollar, but at least it's very tasty trail mix.

Exact change please. And thank you for flying.


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