Thursday, May 26, 2005

"For your safety, and the safety of your fellow passengers, Death will come quickly."

I flew out to Calgary yesterday, arriving just as the Queen was trying to leave.

She took the bad weather with her back to England, where it most certainly belongs.

But flying made me nostalgic for a flight I took a few years ago during a snow storm.
I boarded a flight in Toronto on this little puddle-hopper bound for the East coast; a similar flight that was to leave from Ottawa had been canceled due to inclement weather. An Air Canada representative looked at our half-full plane and decided that the weather couldn't be so bad in Ottawa--so we were sent on a fence-mending mission to collect sad-sacks whose dreams of an East coast vacation had dried up like so many racks of dulce. Great.

What made it even better was the kid next to me.
Throughout his tens years he had likely seen it all. The food! The women! Years that he could look back on, from Heaven, and be proud that he had sucked the marrow out of Life.
At least I hoped so, since we were about to die in an ice-crusted plane on a snow-covered runway in Ottawa for the sake of some pain-in-the-ass East coast MP's crying for their salt air.

Turbulence would under-state the relentless hammering our plane took--a hammering of such bone-rattling intensity I could feel it in my prostate. As a result, an ugly, beautiful kind of terror came over me.
On our approach the boy's mother called from the seat behind, where she sat with her daughter (clearly the favoured child of the two) and assured him that all would be well. This did not quiet what had become very audible prayers to any God ready to listen.

A- (in a weak, shaking voice)"Oh God. . . Oh Jesus. . .Oh God. . .Oh Jesus. . .OhGodOhGodOhGodOhGod!"

The speed, intensity, and urgency of his pleading increased as our plane bent and bowed to the gusting winter pressures put upon our poor craft. I forgot about my worries, my life left un-lived, and began to wonder not IF but WHEN this kid was going to puke on me.
Or explode his head.

The Stewardess I could see had her eyes closed.

I had to pee.

A- "JesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesus!!"

. . .and we stopped. Crooked, but we stopped.

The rest of the flight isn't worth mentioning.
I will say that once the sun was visible that little bastard next to me stopped praying. I suppose he's also only really good close to Christmas and really nice to sis when he wants to play with her Barbie.

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