Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Return of Terror Flight 101

You may remember that I am not entirely comfortable with flying.

I was at the airport Monday evening, ready for my return flight, having just made it through security (MAN ALIVE, I managed to skip that machine where they do the whole-body x-ray. God probably knew I couldn't handle anything other than getting on the plane and buckling my seat belt).

I decided to use the ladies room in case we really did crash. I didn't want to wet my pants in addition to blowing up all over my seatmate.

I waited patiently in line, as the airport was pretty busy that evening. Eventually my patience wore thin as the minutes ticked by.

What in the CRAP are these people doing in there?! Oh. Wait.

One stall opened up right next to me and I shifted from foot to foot while a girl, probably about eleven or twelve years old, exited the stall. I had to haul my bag in with me, so I was trying to hold the door and wheel my suitcase in at the same time when I noticed that there was urine ALL OVER THE FLOOR. Fresh urine. I wrinkled my nose and looked up just as the door was swinging shut and made eye contact with the kid who had just vacated the stall.

Peeps, I wish I had a camera, because I'm not sure that I can properly convey with plain old words the look that girl was giving me.

She was standing at the sink with her arms at her side. Just staring at me. Her expression was neutral enough, but I got the feeling that she was speaking to me with her mind.

Step in it. I want you to. That's why I put it there.

Holy mother. I ran out of the stall and around the corner before the girl could light my hair on fire with her eyes.

You can bet that later, while exiting the stall, I poked my head around the corner to make sure the kid was gone before I came all the way out.

After I found my gate, I dumped my bags and sat down.

I love people watching. But you have to make sure your eyes don't linger for long because if you're not careful, everyone will think you are a freak. I noticed that about 99% of passengers had their faces shoved in their cell phones. Something that I absolutely despise.

I listened to a man in his mid-forties try to chat up a cute twenty-something blonde. He was asking her if she ever played Scrabble on her phone. In fact, that girl and I were the only ones without cell phones glued to our hands so I found his question a bit odd. The man was trying to get her to join The Resistance Against Social Atmosphere, but she wasn't buying. She and I shared a funny look. Her eyes said said "Way too old, dude" and I was trying to convey my hatred of technology with my eyes but I'm pretty sure it accidentally came across as I want to follow you home.

Thank goodness I ended up sitting next to her on the plane which was not at all awkward. She spent the entire flight flinching every time I moved. At one point, I tossed my hair over my shoulder and I thought she was going to throw herself from the plane.

Something I noticed while we were waiting for take-off on that ancient plane (oh yes. Same plane out, same plane back), the door to the flight deck was super flimsy and there was a two-inch gap between the roof and the door. How is THAT going to deter a would-be terrorist? A screen door would have been more effective.

Another thing that really helped my anxiety was the fact that my seat was level with the propeller. The same propeller that wasn't spinning as the pilot geared up for take-off.

Me: [nervous, high pitched, leaning over to look at window] Umm...

Blonde Chick who is scared of me: [flinch] GA! Oh. I thought--

Me: [eyeing her warily because it is now apparent that SHE is the creepy one] It's not moving.

Chick: We're backing up in a circle. Look.

[propeller begins to spin]

Me: [sulks] Maybe they should tell you that during the safety speech.

After about 3 minutes of moving around the tarmac, I figured the pilot had thrown caution to the wind and was driving us north. Around that same time he flipped the switch and I was slammed back into my seat as we shot off into the night sky.

I really hate flying.

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