From a Distance
From a distance, we see things more clearly, don't we? Today I re-read these few lines from "Seating Arrangements" by Maggie Shipstead. One of the funniest books I've ever had the pleasure to read.
"An airplane crossed the sky and she imagined its interior - people packed in rows like eggs in a carton, the chemical smell of the toilets, pretzels in foil pouches, cans hiss-popping open, black ovals of night sky embedded in the rattling walls."
How a few short lines can encapsulate the current awfulness of air travel! But only from a distance. When we're on board other anxieties intrude - in my own case smoke from the dollhouse kitchen, non-stop crying babies - their wee ears affected by the air pressure, and those drunks, you know the kind, my tribe calls them "messers". Twice we overshot runways, another time the sudden turbulence was so violent our breakfasts hit the ceiling. Not to mention the odd nasty flight attendant who keeps one cowering, well-behaved, in one's seat, crunching one's legs together, not wishing to incur his/her wrath by going to the toilet.
This geezer remembers the times when air travel was a joy. Playpens for the children. Hammocks for babies and free assistance at plane changing airports. China! Real glasses and cutlery! Table linens! And oh yeah, smoking!
I'm sure you fliers out there have your own stories to share.