Thursday, June 3, 2010

Oh the Joy of Flying!

Well well well, howdy-do bloggers and blogettes! Yup, it's me. I am the Dan my Mother spoke of earlier. When she reluctantly asked if I'd keep her blog friends updated on her Chinese journey I was giddy with anticipation. You see, my Mom is a real trooper when it comes to me entertaining myself on her blog, and I formed a number of delicious yarns to spin for you. This morning however, to my dismay, I woke to a unexpected email from her.

This trip has apparently caused her to become much less of a "trooper". She's discovered technology and has now realized how she can write up her own updates and have me simply be the post-it-kid.  To those of you who were looking forward to my refreshing insights on life, I'm sorry. To those who are grateful for her awareness and situation-prevention skills... sit back and soak in the monotony.  The following is her long-winded email in it's entirety, currently no pictures, but plenty of excitement.

Danny boy! hey you were not kidding about the excitement of flying! Maybe the excitement is more in the airport itself but goodness me is it fun! I should have done this years ago! So many interesting people to gawk at from behind my sunglasses.
I know we talked about you updating my blog and adding your own spin on my stories and pictures but you don't have to anymore. I what you're thinking "Oh sure, she doesn't trust me." It's not that I don't trust you, it's just that I don't like you. HA! Oh man am I funny today! Anyhow, if you don't mind I'll just scribble my thoughts down on this thing and zip it off to you. Would you please post it for me? Thank you so much.

So, as you know I was extremely nervous to be in flight for so long. I mean, I always get a little nervous with any flight, but 12 hours!? Yikes!  We heard an announcement stating that the airport was currently under Orange alert! We asked some people about it, and it's the second highest threat of terrorism. We were supposed to keep our eyes peeled for suspicious activity. That sure didn't help my nerves. While we were all milling around preparing to board, we noticed that we weren't assigned seats next to each other. I explained our dilemma to the angry little man scanning our tickets, and he said he was sorry but the flight was full. I was upset, but truthfully it just added to my fright. As I walked down the jetway, I bid Lauri adieu and tried not to wet my pants in fear.

Once in the plane, I began making my way down the aisle, trying to figure out where I was to sit. In my head I'm saying "Please don't be some mammoth, hairy guy who's going to sleep on me"  The numbers grew, and I continued further and further to the rear of the large plane. I paused for a moment as the woman in front of me struggled to jam her over sized travel bag and a megaphone she'd brought, into the overhead compartment. While waiting I glanced past her to see what might be awaiting me. For one brief moment, it seemed an icy hand reached in and stopped my heart cold! There, almost at the very back of the aircraft, was a middle-eastern man with a long black beard and a "towel" on his head!! My mind fluttered between thoughts of Orange alert, the do-not-fly-list, and whether or not my khakis were still dry!

I corrected myself, and realized it was simply his culture and who was I to stereotype him? I cleared the mean and terrible thoughts and continued the search for my seat. Wouldn't you know it, yes, my seat was right next to him!

My knees were shaking! With all my might I attempted to appear calm and undisturbed as I scooted past his knees to sit. I fumbled with the buckle as I tried to watch him from the corner of my eye. He was watching the flight attendants very closely. He watched their every move. After a few moments,  the safety instruction song and dance was complete. The captain was wrapping up his boring info over the PA system stating  how high we plan to fly, (as though we cared). Pressing back tight against my chair, I watched my new neighbor with obvious curiosity. He didn't even notice me.  The longer we sat on the runway before take-off, the more impatient he became! This man fidgeted with his seat belt while glaring forward, his eyes darting around rapidly, then he'd swiftly turned his to head scan behind him with an air of frustration. The only attempt I have to truly explain his strange behavior is to compare it to watching a child (with a beard) with extreme A.D.D. who has recently injected a can of RedBull to his veins, strapped into a seat during church!

Deciding to break the ice, I leaned over and asked "How's it going?" Nothing. He must not have heard me. I nudged his elbow and leaned closer. "Hi, how's it going? You want some of my cold air up here? (pointing to the little adjustable dome shooting the stream of AC from the ceiling)  It must be hot under that towel right?"  He turned and looked directly at me with a disgusted, and unamused glare. He was silent. Not one word. He simply turned back and continued his dance of panic. Looking ahead, then back, then ahead, over and over. It seemed to me that he was waiting for the perfect time. Perfect time for WHAT?!

The following few minutes were a blur of activity and emotions. I concluded it was perfectly plausible that this man was a terrorist. He had some sort of exploding device that he had to plant somewhere on the plane but only at a very specific time. This realization cast me instantaneously into a silent fit of terror. Pictures of my husband, my kids, my grandkids and all my family and friends flooded my mind. I will never see them again, I will never hold them again. Do they each know how much I love and appreciate them? Why is this happening? What gives this man the right to cause me so much anguish?! He is only a man!  As quickly as the terror overcame me, it vanished. Traces of confidence and anger wafted near, tickling my heart with hope and desire. I raised my chin and grasped the feelings full until they stood firm in my soul, replacing any lingering inklings of weakness. Mustering this courage, I began a  pep talk to myself, "Connie, pull yourself together, you can stop this,  you need a weapon.  A weapon... a weapon, let's see. Hand sanitizer, no... too clean. Tissues, I certainly have plenty of tissues. C'mon Connie, get a clue, what are you going to to wipe his nose? Paper cuts with dollar bills, yes! Paper cuts certainly hurt right? Are you insane! His hands are obviously far too leathery,otherwise it'd be perfect. The seat belt buckle! Yes! Oh it's so simple.... yet... so brilliant.  Oh Connie. you devil you!... you're like a female, silver haired Jack Bauer!"  The perfect plan, the perfect attitude! I quickly but calmly bent to reach my purse under the seat in front of me, locating my nail file. With the file I began the slow "sawing" of the blue canvas strap to which the buckle was attached. It was working! Amazing! A surge of power filled my chest like an electric current, I was going to be a hero! Maybe there was even some sort of reward! Yes, I could use some reward money.

With a new sense of cool and disregard for his feelings I leaned over yet again to converse with the hateful murderer. "Hey buddy, you happen to catch the finale of Lost the other night? Wasn't that some bull?! I mean, c'mon they all....."  No sooner did I begin my rant about Kate, Sawyer, Jack and the rest of the gang being dead, when this mini Osama  flung off his seatbelt,  bolted up from his chair and raced to the back of the plane. I nearly jumped out of my seat from shock! "Is this it? Is it happening now? Yes, this IS it Connie!" "Holy Mother may I, you gotta be kidding me this is really gonna to happen!" I quickened the pace of my Macgyver saw blade and finally broke through the last remaining threads. I was left with roughly 9 inches of canvas strap as a hand-hold and the heavy metal buckle dangled dangerously off the end. I gripped it tight, made a few practice swipes at the food tray which was still in its upright and locked position.
Not two minutes later he rushed back to his seat, dropped down with a FLUMP! His face was flush and his eyes wide with concern. He bent over close to me. I held my breath expecting doom. Then with a breathless voice, like that of an athsmatic, he managed to stammer out a very excited but worried, "Do you tink dey saw me?"

I stared for a moment in disbelief. Then, it all made sense. The "keep your seatbelts fastened" light had been on this entire time. This big, scary, dangerous man was afraid of getting in trouble but he desperately had to pee!

I looked at him, stunned. Then I just laughed. A loud, belly shaking laugh was all I could manage in response to his inquiry. I wasn't going to die after all. I would most definitely have to see my children again. I was not going to have to save the world. I would simply be forced to pay a hefty fine for the seat belt, and I would certainly not have that large cash reward.

Also, it appears I'll have to get some new pants.

See? Didn't I tell you it was long winded!

I have just received a few pictures from the Mother. They have no explainations attached. I can certainly come up with a few, but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to improvise.  So until I hear otherwise, stare lovingly at these fantastic photos, the stories of which I do not know.


Valerie said...

Great!!! Now I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight, because I can't stop laughing!!!
What a tale mean Connie!
My daughter is flying to AZ tomorrow, hope her flight is much less eventful...Still, I'll tell her about the seatbelt trick! Ya never know when that info will come in handy.

Kazzy said...

WOw, what an adventure your mom is having! She really is like a silver-hair Jack Bauer! ;)

LKP said...

how hefty is that fine? =)

Mashell said...

this is better than any book I am reading. I can't to read the next chapter.

Darla said...

Boy Connie, what a different take from the "nice Church Ladies" email you sent to us :-). What a great bed time tale!

Kelly said...

What a great story Connie! I love those signs in Asia. Keep em coming!

Kerin said...

You crack me up!!!
Talk about an over active imagination !!:)
I can tell, we are long lost sisters :)
High adventures.....and some food for better get a couple more nail just might need them !!!!

Allison said...

Dan...I think since your mother has given you her password you have every right to make whatever comments you want on the photos she sends. Infact, I expect an unexpected post or 2 while she is gone! Do it! Do it!

Camille said...

Holy Mother may I! That's quite an adventure on your flight, Mom! Where I would normally be worried about not getting the full can of soda, you had a brush with death and wetting your pants! or, a brush with death

Yvonne said...

You had such an exciting first leg of your trip.

(I'm sure a boring traveller--I never worry about the terror level at the airport anymore. I don't think it's been anything but orange for ages.)

I was looking forward to whatever Dan would write, but Connie you have kept me laughing.

Love the picture of the child--too cute.

The Pettit Family said...

I'm not sure if it's Connie or Dan, but I love it. Awesome.

Garden of Egan said...

It sounds like it has been very exciting so far Mama-San (oops maybe that is the wrong language)

How fun for you.

I am sorta sorry that Dan didn't have free reign of the blog though.
He is rather entertaining.

Valerie said...

Thanks for the update and the tips on self defense. I had always planned on using hand sanitizer as a means of protecting myself when I travel. Thank you for calling my attention to the fact that it's too clean!!
I will remember to carry a spare seat belt with me at all times.

FabuLeslie said...

Ha! Good one. That's too long to be on a plane. Glad you made it safe and sound.

Tracy said...

I tell you, you should publish a book and Dan could by your co-author!!

What an "exciting" life you lead!! Enjoy your new pants! ;-)

Jenny said...

I am so looking forward to the next installment of this thrill seeking adventure that you are on Connie. What is going to happen next?

Natalie said...

Wow what a post. You kept me on the edge of my seat. I don't think I would have done as well as you did.
What an adventure.
Keep up your entertaining posts and have a wonderful time.
Love ya.

Ann Marie said...

So funny.. so thrilling.. and yes.. I believe that you can tag those pictures Dan.. :)

Anonymous said...

Connie - I can just see you feverishly trying to saw through your seat belt. Hal said it best a few weeks ago when he said your entire family was a bunch of comedians. Hope you are having a great time!

GT said...

What color was the towel?

Teachinfourth said...

Just come back alive, okay?

gigi said...

You are my new hero!

Cherie said...

Connie that was one of the most freakiishly funny things I have ever read! You crack me up!!