Thursday, July 30, 2009

1001 Things I Hate: No. 3

After a man in an elevator told me to smile, I decided to start a series on Dan’s blog called 1001 Things I Hate. 1001 things? Well, yeah. I hate 1000 and 1 things, and I have a list.

Flying

Man, I hate flying. Dan already wrote about the time we taxied for an hour: I woke up from my Klonopin-induced nap right as we took off and shouted “We’re all going to die!” terrifying a young girl next to me. My phobia was jumpstarted in the late 90s by a haunting flight aboard Tower Air (anyone remember Tower Air?). Basically, we were in such bad turbulence that people were in the aisle praying. (Then again, Tower Air went from L.A. to N.Y. to Israel, so maybe the flight wasn’t even that bad.) Since then I’ve required two airport Bloody Marys and a Klonopin to not feel, despite rationally knowing better, that I was surely going to plummet to my death.

I don’t know if you’ve ever felt that level of irrational fear. But it’s basically like your stomach is trying to climb out of your throat and your skin tingles and you get hot and sweaty and then you cry. I’ve tried to find ways to calm myself. But truth be told, my pill/vodka mixture doesn’t actually help. (And here I thought substance abuse was the answer to all my problems. Turns out, it only works on depression and loneliness.) Anyhow, the Rx combo only made me tired. So instead of feeling like I was surely going to plummet to my death, I felt like I was surely going to plummet to my death and I was sleepy. But I’ve since discovered a new anxiety-relieving system: talking to the pilots. See I don’t particularly like being in a car either, but it’s helpful when I can see what’s going on. I know Dan won’t pummel into the divider because I can see the divider and shout instructions if necessary. (He loves that.) So before I fly, I go into the cockpit (hehe) and ask what to expect. The pilot, without fail, makes the same joke: “It’s my first time flying.” (Not funny, dude.) Anyhow, it makes the turbulence less scary when I know it’s coming.

So the last few times I flew I didn’t cry or shake or anything. But whatever, flying still sucks. The recycled air, the teeny bottles of alcohol, the total body dehydration, and how if for just one second you relapse and get scared and perhaps grab the muscular bicep of the man next to you, his girlfriend acts all weird.

#3a: Bitchy flight attendants

Look, I like flight attendants. I like anyone who will bring me booze really. And I respect that it can’t be an easy job, and most people don’t follow instructions. But why is it that there’s always that one super nasty flight attendant? Look, Bitch, my seat back was all the way up. I do not need you to press the button for me and force it up further. And I am turning off my computer. What does it look like I’m doing? They’re like the assistant principals of the sky – drunk with power.

#3b: Long announcements

Wouldn’t it be weird if at a restaurant your waiter read the menu out loud and then introduced you to his fellow waiters? I don’t need you to go through the roster of food and drinks or introduce me to your pals. And pilots, I don’t care what our cruising altitude is, where the crew is based, or the current temperature in New York. Just get me there safely and shut up so I can sink into my drug-induced happy place.

#3c: People who clap when you land

Assholes.

Thing I love: Freshly laundered towels.

14 Comments:

Anonymous [older] sister said...

I agree about the long announcements - the only thing worse is when they're in another language, and my imagination is running wild while I'm trying to translate.

July 30, 2009 at 1:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dana said...

Heh. I love it when people clap upon landing. Those guys are only making about $12 an hour. They need our support.

July 30, 2009 at 1:45:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous The Maiden Metallurgist said...

I hate people who calp when you land. Also people who clap at the end of movies.

July 30, 2009 at 1:55:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Faith said...

Ok, clapping upon landing should be saved for those specific, somewhat harrowing flights during which turbulence was an issue, flying through a storm might have occurred, or the landing was particularly dicey for some reason. Otherwise, I want people clapping as I leave the building at the end of an uneventful day of work. It'd be only fair, dammit.

I dated a pilot once for a very short period of time. He managed to calm my fears about turbulence by telling me that they don't have a feeling of non-control during it. It's more like they're driving without shocks, and they hate it as much as the passengers do, so getting out of it, if possible, is generally their aim. (I say "generally" because I'm convinced that many pilots will sacrifice the comfort of the passengers for their precious schedule, and will remain at an altitude that allows them to shave 2 minutes off their route, regardless of how bumpy it is. I rode with an asshole like that from LA to Boston once, and I wanted to punch him in the face when we landed. I guess he forgot we were able to listen in to the chatter through our earphones at our seats, and I was able to hear that there were several other elevations offered to the planes going through the moderate chop, but he refused all of them. Either that, or he was just a giant asswipe that simply didn't give a fuck.)

July 30, 2009 at 2:28:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Laney said...

I, too, am a fearful flier (yet I picked a job where I fly all the time for work. Am genius).

It definitely helps to meet the pilots. I especially like when one or both of them has gray hair. Gray hair = seasoned = Sully = will safely land the plane in any situation.

July 30, 2009 at 2:48:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lexi said...

I absolutely HATE when people clap. Because no one claps when I do my job at work. No one claps when I finish a project smoothly or when it's slightly rough. So why should I clap when the plane lands? That's the pilots job. He/she chose his/her profession.

I also hate people who think they should have both armrests without even a lengthy discussion about it, or even a rock/paper/scissors for it.

July 30, 2009 at 3:00:00 PM EDT  
Blogger May-B said...

Dammit woman, you are funny. "Only works on depression and loneliness." Holy hell.

July 30, 2009 at 10:22:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Raz said...

There's this really shitty budget airline based in Ireland called Ryanair that flies throughout the UK, and they play their own TRUMPET SOUND when a plane lands on time. FUCK YOU, RYANAIR. I do not NEED a reason to be more shit-scared of take-off and landing than an actual TRUMPET SOUND played BY THE PILOT.

July 31, 2009 at 9:06:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Red said...

Who needs junior comedians holding them captive? Because that's what we are when we fly to these douch bags: a captive audience. I'm with you. Just shut up so I can a) make peace with God and b) get to my drug-induced happy place without further delay.

July 31, 2009 at 10:49:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not afraid of flying, but I do dislike it intensely. Last time I flew was Northwest Airlines, and they have gone to general boarding (after first class and people with disabilities) because it's "faster" so everyone is elbowing each other out of the way and trampling each other in the aisle, and they flight attendants keep telling us to "please take your seats" but no one can because it's such a complete clusterf%*&^.

July 31, 2009 at 3:30:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous ScottsdaleGirl said...

Arm rests fights. And people who are clearly not small enough to fit comfortably into the middle seat, which is pretty much A) anyone taller than a munchkin B) anyone heavier than an Olson twin C) me. HOWEVER if you are in the middle seat you should scrunch up forfuckssake, don't sprawl and make me cram into the left side of MY SEAT. I paid for this seat you don't get any!
Wow that felt kind of good.

July 31, 2009 at 6:57:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Allison Hatfield said...

yeah, i clap upon landing. i can't think of a better way to express my relief. and i thank the pilot on the way out.

July 31, 2009 at 10:38:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous anne said...

You're very humorous - I only found your blog due to googling the word "redacted" (it was on penny arcade and i didn't know what it meant).
I will definitely internet-stalk you for a while and see what other amusement you come out with.

August 5, 2009 at 11:58:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i actually like flying, and the long announcements (especially in german! which i don't understand) AND i like turbulence! (i somehow find it relaxing... it sounds weird, i'm aware.) And i will clap at the end of the landing if others are doing it, it's kind of like this only friendly communal thing people do on a plane before they start shoving each other trying to get their bags from the overhead compartments and they shoving each other some more trying to get off the plane, then down the escalator and around the baggage claim carousel... there's a lot of shoving going on after the the landing, so the clapping isn't so bad.

-LV

August 10, 2009 at 2:54:00 AM EDT  

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