Flying began thousands of years ago, when Icarus and his father flew around on wax wings. But Icarus wasn’t satisfied with his altitude, and flew higher and higher, closer and closer to the sun. Eventually, his wings melted, and Icarus crashed to the ground. He awoke on an island, where he and several others bonded to form a community, and lived in fear of the mysterious smoke monster. Of course, today’s airplanes work slightly different than the wax wings did, and are kept aloft by a combination of praying, witchcraft, and Bernoulli’s Principle. But this post isn’t to teach about airplanes, it is to dissect the social situation of flying in general. We’ll start at the beginning.
Going through security:
Going through security is like being on the set of a soft-core porn film. Everywhere you look, there are people stripping down, being felt up, and told to spread their legs. It’s disturbing. And then you throw your stuff on that conveyor belt that goes through the x-ray machine. I always put a frozen burrito on the machine with my luggage, hoping it’ll get cooked. Apparently, that’s not how x-rays work.
Waiting at the terminal:
Getting to the airport early seems like a great idea until you find yourself waiting at the gate for an hour and a half. You’ve already eaten your greasy airport lunch, decided against buying a bean bag neck pillow, and faced the conundrum of waking up the guy who’s fallen asleep at the gate. I always sit patiently in my seat, maybe reading a book, and then desperately have to use the bathroom three minutes before boarding. It’s tradition.
The in-flight safety lecture:
I’ve always found this to be more for show than anything. Don’t be fooled by calm terms like “water landing,” and “change in cabin pressure.” These things are NOT normal, and are definitely not good. But they probably won’t happen, so relax. If you really want to feel safe, find someone on the plane who has led a life free of sin. Now you know that God won’t let the flight go down.
The flight itself is never that bad; all you need is a few things to keep busy. Here’s a fun check-list: Which of the following can you spot on your flight? They get harder to find as you go.
• A crying baby
• A man trying to cram a bag way to big into a space way too small
• A sleeping person
• A person on a tiny computer
• A kid about to puke
• An anxious flyer in the fetal position
• A person enjoying the in-flight movie
• A person content with the middle seat