A New York state of mind
Okay, I’m on a plane. Again. Why I do this to myself is beyond understanding. I can only blame Kristyn and Dawn for forcing me to go to BookExpo as I would never voluntarily stick needles in my eyes if I didn’t have to.
I’m sick to my stomach. And no one even seems concerned about the grinding noise coming from the belly of this beast as we limp down the runway.
It’s only minutes into the flight and I’ve already had a few “misunderstandings” with my fellow companions. First, the sadist who doubles as a flight attendant informed me I can’t use my ipod during takeoff. Something about the possibility of messing up the flight signals.
This makes no sense to me as every plan crash disaster movie I’ve ever seen has people using their cell phones to make their last call. Didn’t affect that flight, did it? I can’t speak for anyone else, but drugs and loud music help dull the panic and terror that frazzle my brain during take-off and landings. I’m not happy that I can’t lean on the Bee Gees in my time of need.
Second, the check-in dude didn’t buy my argument that I should be moved to first class because, psychologically speaking, I believe I’m safer there. Seriously. So, I’m stuck in the high mortality section of this death trap where if I want a snack I have to sell a kidney to come up with the cash.
Then, the woman in front of me, who is of the French persuasion by the way, (not that there’s anything wrong with that) threw her seat back and forced the tray table into my chest, where it figuratively, knocked the wind out of me.
“Really?” I say loudly enough to cause her to lean around her seat and say, “un petite?” and give the universal hand sign for ‘just a little.’
Well, I held back from giving her another universal hand signal, but that didn’t stop me from groaning loudly, “Whatever,” in my best Valley Girl voice and kicking her chair every time I crossed my legs. The nerve of some people.
The good news is I am sitting next to a very nice woman who has been overly polite and accommodating – as if she’s also afraid of something. I guess I’m not I the only nervous Nelly flyer.
(By the way, when you accidently drop a pen in one of the toilets on the plane, it takes an extra flush to get it to go down. Just a helpful hint.)
It gets worse. When I questioned the sadist, who has continually tried to ignore me, about the noise I heard during take-off, she claimed to have not noticed it. I don’ know how anyone could have missed the sonic boom that rocked the plane and rattled the windows. But what she told me next was so ridiculous I can only imagine it’s true.
“When we land at LaGuardia,” and she looked me straight in the eye as she spoke, “you’re going to hear dogs barking.”
It took me a second to even think about what to say. All I could come up with was, “Are you high?”
“No, seriously. When the landing gear comes down it sounds like dogs barking.” She didn’t smile or follow up with a, “Just kidding, I am high.” She just continued making her coffee. I figured her for the kind of person who makes fun of the handicapped. Not cool.
So now the pilot tells me we’re only one hundred miles from NYC and the very spot that my personal hero, Sully Sullinberger, took out a gaggle of geese. Although when Matt Damon was a guest-star on Thirty Rock, he said that a really good pilot wouldn’t have hit those birds in the first place. Good point.
I’m being told it’s time to turn off my device and start praying to whatever god will spare us. The sadists don’t use those exact words, but I know that’s what they mean. The craziest of them looks at me and mouths “listen for the dogs” as she cheerfully picks up the paper I have nervously shredded and tossed on the floor. I am certain I am headed for a fiery death.
As we barrel through the clouds I do have a parting thought. If this should be my last blog, let me go on record by saying, “I told you so.”