Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fear of Flying

I used to be a "good flier." That was before I moved to Alaska, flew constantly, and had kids whose lives would be forever changed (for the worse, I like to think) by my untimely demise.

The potential causes of an Alaskan aviation accident are as varied as they are gruesome to contemplate: a missed approach; a water landing; a blizzard; wind shear; a "mechanical" (Alaska Airlines for "broken shit on plane"); loss of "instruments"; low "ceiling"; low "vis"; downed engine that leaves you stranded in a remote mountain range eating your deceased fellow passengers' frozen asscheeks for sustenance until rescue arrives. Yes, Alaskans all become amateur aviation experts and NTSB investigators by necessity.

As I write this, I'm sitting in the Anchorage airport with a better than 50% chance of taking off and NOT landing at my destination due to 60 mph winds in Juneau. Thus, the best I can hope for is to land on solid ground in "some" airport, sometime between tonight and Friday. Otherwise, what will be my epitaph? Since I'm traveling for work, will it be: "she died doing what she tolerated?"

All is generally OK until the last 20 minutes of the flight, which I'm almost always convinced will also be the last 20 minutes of my life. "Please find love again," I say silently to Geoff as I imagine him continuing to do all the cooking, cleaning, and soccer practices he already does 95% of anyway. "Be good to your father, each other, and the world," I whisper quietly to my children while scrutinizing the safety card, wondering why the clip art is so bad, and picturing that Jet Blue flight attendant who quit his job in epic fashion by sliding down the evacuation slide. Will the person sitting next to me be a comforting companion with whom to cross over to the other side, or is it an obese, snoring, elderly man who's almost dead anyway?

No sooner do I complete these macabre thoughts, than the plane lands with a gigantic thud, and they're forgotten and quickly replaced with trying to recall where the fuck I parked my car and dreams of eating Honey Nut Cheerios while watching Tosh.0 a half hour from now. Keeping my fingers crossed for Tosh tonight...




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