Fly The Friendly Skies …


Man-man, here it is the first of a brand new month, time for more verbal intercourse with the whore of the Internet.  Another indictment of public education from the Blond headed kid who sat in the back of the room, writing YOUR NAME on his notebook and you never even noticed.

So, what should we discuss this day? Good News – Bad News – Is “Double Jeopardy” really all that noteworthy?  

The gate slowly glides back towards the terminal.  The accordion like fixture slinks quietly almost as if it is a snake to the side of the building, and the plane slowly moves forward.  A soft gentle rain falls and the air has a clean fresh smell to it.

We make our way out onto the tarmac and head for the very end of the runway, all kinds of aircraft pass by the window, baggage handlers and their little carts scurrying as if to get out of our way.  The tower with all of its shiny glass and antenna fades from our view.

Briefly we sit on the end of the tarmac and another behemoth of the sky glides onto the concrete, tires putting up a white puff of smoke, and then swiftly disappears.  The engine RPM’s come up and we take our spot, all of a sudden there is a great vibration and we start to roll, slowly at first, and then quickly.  It always amazes me how something this big can move so fast.

My ears pop as we gain altitude and the cabin pressurizes. 

There is a soft ding, the little blue light comes on and the pilot makes an announcement.  At that time there is a stirring in the cabin, a hush of sorts comes over the passengers, some bow their heads and softly begin to cry.  Others huddle together and whisper in quiet tones to each other.  Others sit in their seats and just stare off into space.

The elderly lady from Des Moines, IA, who is traveling to LA to visit her grandchildren sitting next to me awakens.  She looks around, and then says to me, “What is going on?  Why are all these people acting like this?”

I say to her, “Pilot just made an announcement.”

She has a worried expression on her face, and inquires of me, “Is it serious?  Are we in trouble?  Are we returning to the airport, is there an EMERGENCY?” 

Her concern is genuine and I know that she is worried by all this.

Smiling, I say, “Oh it is no big deal Mom,” he just said, “LA was a balmy 74* and that we would be there in a little over three hours and everything was just swell, except for one thing.”

She sighed and said, “What is the one thing?” and I looked back and replied, “He said there was no toilet paper onboard.”