Wednesday, March 20, 2013

You're Flying Smart

                               Flying Over the Alps, 2010

"Now You're Flying Smart."
~ Northwest Airline Slogan

When we left off the other day, you may recall, the Northwest plane I was on was suntanning on the McCarran tarmac while the pilots tried for two hours to close some valve by pushing on the gas pedal while the hot, humid air in the cabin steam-cooked us passengers.  A flight attendant had again apologized for the "inconvenience"the delay caused, and a frustrated (and hot) passenger had loudly insisted on being allowed to get off of the plane when the plane shuddered as a result of a huge bang.

"Ladies and gentlemen," the pilot broke the silence," Uh, don't let that scare you. The air in the brakes built up, and that tiny bang that you heard was the brake relieving itself."

"If that was the (Insert four-letter word of your choice here.) brake," I think it was the same man who had just been yelling, "WHY THE (Insert another four-letter word of your choice here.) DID FLAMES SHOOT OUT OF THE (Insert another, well, you get the drift.) RIGHT ENGINE???"

The pilot obviously couldn't hear the question and continued, "We'll be going back to the gate to get that valve looked at. We'll let you off so you can relax for a bit before we leave later this afternoon."

"It's about time," the lady next to me said.  "You think they could have figured that out 90 minutes ago."   She turned and looked at my pale, hyperventilating body.  "Are you okay?" 

"No."  I could barely hear myself above the drubbing of my heart.  I grabbed my purse from the floor and clutched it to my chest in an attempt to stop shaking. “No. I won’t be okay until I’m off of this thing.”

What happened next is the stuff of which stories are made . . . I think. Maybe. Well, probably not.  Except for me.  I tell the story all the time.  But I digress. . . . . 

Remember that I was sitting in the window seat of the third row in coach. Before the plane could come to a full stop, I was up and over the woman next me.  By the time the flight attendants got the front door open, I was third in line to get out of that metal tube of horror. And, once that door opened, I mowed over the two men in front of me.

To make this long story shorter, let me tell you that when I stumbled into the gate area, I saw Michael. Having seen the plane pull over, he stayed and watched the entire time.  He went over to the gate agents and advised them, “You’ll never get her on another plane today.  You might as well just re-book her for tomorrow.”  They did, and I trembled through the rest of that Sunday . . . and the two flights the next day. . . . and . . . Well, you get the picture.

Seriously, though, I'm a lot better now. . .Well, maybe I'm a little better now.

At least I don't cry anymore.  ;-)

By the way, next week at this time, we'll be on our way.  

Next post:  Quit Worrying!!

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