Archive for May 9th, 2013

“Any Of You Kids Got A Light?”

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Flying Is Getting Old

Thursday, May 9th, 2013


There are no trains from New York to Paris. Ships take 2 or 3 days – and then another 2 or 3 back. Hot air balloons are pretty much out of the question and swimming is not a choice.  So for over 80-years we’ve traveled over the oceans in airplanes.  It isn’t a good option, it’s the only option.

When I make long distance flights, I remember the origins of the word ‘travel.’  The word is from Old French ‘travailler’ which means to work hard and from Late Latin, ‘triplium’: instrument of torture.

Over the years my fear and discomfort have gotten worse.  I sit in the rear of the aircraft (the part of the plane that crashes last) next to the aisle so I can bolt if there’s a “controlled crash” (landing) that does not end well.  I just about weep when the flight attendant holds up the thin “flotation device” which the passengers are supposed to deploy if the plane crashes into the sea. Right.

I find it hard to sit in my seat and the crew discourages frequent walks in the aisles checking the wings to see if anything’s loose.  They say it makes other passengers nervous.  I make my seat feel more spacious by going into the restroom which is a real claustrophobic nightmare by comparison. Mostly I’m just bored.

On my transatlantic flight’s last supper, I was served steak and stupidly asked for a steak knife.  The flight attendant sadly shook his head and said something in English about them not being allowed for security.  When he walked away, I thought he said something in French which may have translated into “goat brain.

The only good part of traveling is getting there.