This one’s all over the place because I wrote it during turbulence.

16 Aug

[This was written on my way to Australia, but I’m just getting around to posting it. More on Australia itself soon.]

I’m not a fan of flying. I’m always about 50% convinced I’ll end up on the wrong side of the statistics. I know, I know. You’re going to tell me that flying is safer than driving a car, and that the odds of being in a plane that crashes are almost as great as winning the MegaBucks Lottery.

Thanks, Mr. Statistician. I’d like to tell you a few reasons I’m convinced the normal laws of probability don’t apply to me.

First: I got hit by a car earlier this year. (You’re probably tired of hearing about it, but you try hitting someone’s windshield and flying off their roof and tell me if you don’t feel compelled to work it into conversation occasionally.)

I’d wager that the odds of getting hit by a car are pretty slim. And surviving it with only a concussion and bruising? Even slimmer. Which is to say: I don’t mistake probabilities for assurance.

And then there’s the time when I was in sixth grade and our family vacationed at Jeckyll Island, Georgia. My dad and I were out in the waves, swimming, and I kept grabbing onto him because I wouldn’t let my feet touch the bottom. A clingy kid isn’t a ton of fun, so it’s no surprise that he started to give me a somewhat stern lecture.

“Babe, you really need to stop grabbing onto me. Just put your feet on the bottom. It’s sandy. There’s nothing here that – ARRRGH!”

His lecture was cut short as he hollered, scowled and began jumping up and down. When he finally lifted his foot above the water line, there was a large crab claw pinching his heel. The body was gone (apparently it had been shaken off) but the claw hung there, precisely summarizing why I wouldn’t touch bottom.

So back to flying. I love traveling, but hate being suspended above the Earth in a pressurized death trap. Oddly, I’m somewhat sanguine about the whole thing – despite hating it, I’m just resigned to the fact that one trip my number will be up, so I hesitate to call it a phobia. It’s not crippling.

When I booked my trip to Australia, I was understandably horrified by the thought of 20+ hours in the air. So horrified, in fact, that I went to the doctor and asked for prescription sleeping pills. Instead (unbeknownst to me), he wrote a prescription for Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication with sleepy side effects.

I’m actually writing this post from 32,000 miles up, somewhere above Missouri, en route to Los Angeles. I haven’t yet taken a Xanax because I don’t want to be sleepwalking when it’s time to make my transfer in LA. But I swear, the pilots are testing my patience.

They warned us before we left DC that the skies were “bumpy.” What they should’ve said was, “Please take this opportunity to layer a sports bra under your clothing if you brought one.”

There have been minutes on this flight that I’ve been tempted to pull out my phone and film my chest jiggling to illustrate how bad it is. In fact, if I weren’t seated next to a nice guy in his late 20s, I might consider it.

I imagine them reviewing the wreckage, finding my phone and hitting play.

An FAA crash investigator being interviewed on the Today Show would say, “Well Matt, we remain convinced that this passenger video will reveal the real key to this accident. We’ll just need to review it a few thousand more times. The black box is helpful, but the black bra is priceless.”

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4 Responses to “This one’s all over the place because I wrote it during turbulence.”

  1. Kim Pugliano August 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Hahaha!! I wish I knew your layover was here. I totally would have taken a drive to LAX!! 🙂

    • pithypants August 16, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

      Well, if I miss my early connection on the way back through, I’ll send a shout-out your way next Wednesday in case you’re around to grab drinks! 🙂

  2. Lucas August 16, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    There are 2 things that helped me with multiple trips between Oz and LA – red wine and ambien. It’s almost like I was a muse for John Mayer’s Heartbreak Warfare. 2 glasses of red and 1 Ambien = 12 hours of bliss.

    • pithypants August 16, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

      Lucas — I didn’t even touch the wine, if you can believe that. Xanax is my new God.

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