Monday, May 13, 2013

I should probably be on the no-fly list

In light of my much anticipated birthday trip to Miami coming up on Thursday, I thought I’d share a story that may or may not help encompass just how great my fear of flying is. Even as I write this I am already full of anxiety, so if I don’t finish it’s because I had to run to the bathroom and take a shit. In the meantime, flash back about, oh I don’t know, at least 10 years when I was dating some schmuck living in Baltimore. For all the stress I went through to see him we should have ended up together, but thank God we didn’t because he ended up having the personality of a rock. At any rate I had gone to see him for a weekend in December and on the way there was caught in a huge snowstorm so the flight was severely delayed. The turbulence was also extremely bad and as I was thrown around like a sack of potatoes a hand reached out from across the aisle and grabbed mine. It ended up being the manager from a group called Mannheim Steamroller, do you guys remember them? They have that awesome orchestra and they are famous for Christmas music. We ended up talking the whole way and he gave my boyfriend and I VIP tickets to a show, which was awesome. He was my saving grace, however I was not so lucky on the flight back. After an all in all mediocre weekend, I got myself to the airport with ample time to spare. Please note that this time to spare is pretty much spent either getting inebriated and/or looking for nuns/clergy in hopes of group prayer in case the plane is about to go down. The person at check-in, though, foiled my plan and instructed me to immediately get to the gate because my flight was going to take off. I told him that wasn’t possible as my flight wasn’t leaving for another 2 hours, but he barked at me to make my way to the gate because the flight had been bumped up. Imagine my anxiety level as I raced to the gate to make this flight, out of breath and sweating like a pig. Meanwhile, I’m also wondering who is going to get my shoe collection when I don’t make it out alive. I arrived at the gate, and it was nearly empty. I walked onto the plane and there were about 10 people on it. I sat down and asked a person behind me if they knew why the flight got bumped. “I think it’s cause of weather.” I turned around. By this time boarding was complete and they were locking up the plane, preparing to get in line for take-off. As I looked around the ghost flight around me, I decided that something just did not feel right. So I got up, and went to look for a stewardess. I found one, and she looked at me quizzically. “I’m going to have to get off and go back to the gate,” I said nonchalantly. She stared at me. “Excuse me?” “Yes, my flight got pushed up and I just don’t want to take this one. I’d like to be on my original flight please.” “Ma’am, we’re getting ready for take-off. You need to get in your seat.” At this point I’m seeing my life flashing before my eyes and the only appropriate thing that comes to mind is to burst into tears, which I do. Not only that, but a small group of stewardesses is now standing over me, and other passengers are starting to look worried. “Ma’am, are you on any kind of medication?” one of the attendants asks me. “No, I just don’t want to be on this plane. I need to get off.” Silence. “That’s not possible, we are next in line for take-off.” “Well I suggest you go talk to the pilot because he’s going to need to turn this plane around,” I said. More silence. One of the stewardesses walks up the aisle to the cockpit and by this time I’m rocking back and forth like a mental patient. About 20 minutes go by and I hear a voice over the loudspeaker “ladies and gentleman, due to a certain individual we will have to go back to the gate to drop her off so our flight will be delayed. We will take off immediately afterward.” And sure as sh-t, they dropped me off back at the gate where security was waiting for me. Mind you, this was before 9-11 so my answer as to why this whole scenario took place was good enough for them. “I just wanted to be on the plane I was supposed to be on.” With that said, my friend Liz Rinaldi is in for a real treat. Thankfully her gift to me has come in pill form, so hopefully that will at least keep me quiet. And if anyone asks what’s wrong with me, I already have the perfect response: I’m auditioning for a sexy remake of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

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