Monday, September 13, 2010

When pigs can fly....

Okay, so I was too busy to write today, but couldn't allow myself not to post anything.  I think I'm becoming addicted to listening to my own voice -- oh, wait, I'm not talking.  Must be the sound of my keyboard I'm addicted to.  Anyway, I remembered having written a short piece (well, short of me anyway) after a flight back to NC from Washington State and posting it on epinions about a million years ago.  But it's still as true today (if not even truer!) as it was back in 2002.  So I resurrected it, changing a few words here and there, just reliving the wonderful flight, and smells, that impressed me so much at the time. 

Oh, what about the title, you ask???  Well, I think there were a couple of little piggies up there on that flight.  Fasten your sealtbelts, we're about to take off:

I was on my way home from Seattle, and I can't remember which leg of the journey it was, the short or the long one, but one of those stinking planes had very skinny seats (you know how they're always trying to cram more people in than they should!) and along with the skinny, narrow seats came skinny, narrow seatbelts. I couldn't get the stupid thing across me!!!! I figured I wasn't the biggest person they'd ever had in there so they must have an extension, kind of like my friend has for her little Toyota, but I refused to allow myself to ask the attendant what one did in a case like this because I knew all eyes would be on me, the fat lady who couldn't fasten her belt.

For a few minutes before takeoff I wondered if I could just rest it across me so they wouldn't know. But then I thought, surely they must have a light panel to tell who's being naughty and who's being nice.  I mean, hey, if they've got one at DisneyWorld for the Star Tours ride, and that doesn't even go anywhere, surely they must have one in an aircraft that hurtles through the skies, overloaded with lugage and passengers and fat ladies who can't fit in their seatbelts! Or maybe their eyesight is better than mine (that's not hard to imagine) and they'll see it from all the way down the aisle and yell out, Hey, you, suck it up and fasten that belt! Or what if they were solicitous enough to actually come down and help me put it on.  Of course, the attendant would not waste the time I had; they'd simply shout over the sound of the jet engines, Oh, this belt is much to small for you; wait will I get you an extension,  at which point we're back to the scene I was trying to avoid to begin with!

So I squeezed and I sucked in air and I stretched that little belt to its last iota of stretchiness and I pulled and I jammed --- and I did that for a good ten minutes, unsuccessfully. Finally I got it! I would have been excitedly, noisily jubilant if I weren't so exhausted from struggling with that gosh-darn seatbelt. I think I must have pulled every muscle in my body trying to stretch it longer than it was created to go. But yet I was jubilant, if quietly so, to have achieved my objective without too much attraction.

So that's when I finally settled down to check out my fellow passengerts.  It was hard to tell if the lady next to me noticed my struggle since her face was covered by one of those cheap surgical masks covering her nose and mouth. But she didn't say anything, so I guess she didn't notice (at least that's what I told myself). I wanted to ask her why she had on the mask - you know, the kind I'm supposed to wear for allergies when I cut the grass but would rather spend a weekend in bed recovering rather than smothering and sweating under that stupid cloth - but I didn't have the nerve to ask. Yeah, I know that's hard to believe. But if she had turned around and belted me, it might have caused me to jump, thus breaking my seatbelt.  Then where would I be?  Still I couldn't help but sneak peeks at her every now and again to see if she lifted it for a breath of air.  She never did!  Amazing!  A flight from Seattle all the way to the East Coast wearing that mask, and I can't even stand having it on for a hour while mowing!  I handled two childbirths without anesthesia, but I cannot wear that mask!
Well, she obviously wasn't coming out any time soon, so there was no use peeking over at her anymore.

Now that I was finally settled down, securely fastened, and having made the conscious decision that bathroom breaks or anything that required removing myself from that seat were completely out of the question - with the obvious exception of leaving it forever, or course, hopefully at the end of the journey - I suddenly noticed an odd and equally unpleasant smell. Someone had gas!!

I sneaked a long, sideways glance at the woman with the mask next to me. Was that why she wore that mask, I wondered? Does she have gas and protects her nose from it? Nah, that's not likely, I thought. People are seldom bothered by their own gassy smells; they can sit in a crowded bus totally unaffected while bodies fall left and right for three aisles in all directions.

Next I turned my attention to the two gentlemen in front of me. I stared at them, waiting for one of them to sneak looks around him to see if anyone was passing out from his odiferous presence. But neither of them did. They were both deeply engrossed in reading and never lifted their heads. However, I really do believe I could see one shift ever so slightly in his seat every once in a while, perhaps letting one rip silently but leathally through the self-contained, regurgitated air that we would have to breathe over and over for the next several hours.

I peeked at the lady again, mask in place, and wondered what she'd say if I ripped it off her face and stuck it on mine.

After a while the smell dissipated, but then returned again. And again and again and again. Occassionally the man on the aisle got up (I presumed to visit the men's room) but the smell always came back, as did he. Hmmm, any connection? Having given up on the idea of snatching the mask, I thought perhaps I would very kindly stand in the aisle, lean over the two men and offer them a Gax-X or something, but that would have again required movement which my seatbelt would not allow. So I sucked it in, quite literally, and tried to think of past experiences that were far worse than this one.  Remember that day, I told myself, when I drove a school bus full of kids to the pig farm. Ah, yes, those cute little piglets! Who knew they stunk so badly!!! And the bus broke down there and we had to wait for over an hour while the battery charged so we could make out escape.  Surely that was worse!  Then the odor would waft my way again, and I wasn't so sure who would win the contest, the piglets or whoever was coloring my world stinky!

Well, thank goodness, like all things, good and bad, the flight finally came to an end, and the bustle of getting out of the plane, finishing my journey and getting on with life drove the memory far away from me as I busyed myself in preparing my escape, jockeying for position to exit that steel tube that hurtles throught the skies. I'm always glad when we land in one piece; that's usually my major concern. So I gave no further thought to the pesky seatbelt, which was probably as thrilled (if such is possible) to be released from containing my ample girth as I was to be extricated from its greedy, grabbing clutches. I could stand again -- heck, I could breathe again!! Jubilation big time!!!

And so here I am, reliving the nightmare and making this determination: I'm starting another diet TODAY!!! After all, the next trip I want to make should be to Greece. Enough said!
Well, hope you enjoyed.  Of course, I still here planning that trip to Greece, and I'm still dieting, and the seats have shrunk yet again.  Wonder how much a cruise to Greece from the US would cost. 

1 comment:

Johanna said...

I love it! Please keep posting. Your writings take me away from my crazy world and into yours! LOL!