Friday, February 11, 2011

Flying in the face of a nervous breakdown

I’ve been home a day and a half now, so the jangled nerves from my flying experience on Wednesday have all but settled. What was the source of my angst, you ask? No, it wasn't a rough flight. It was the people. It’s always about the people.

It was ok until I got to Toronto. Actually, it was more than ok. It was great! They have a body scanner in New Orleans which, if you’ve read this, you will know is a device I detest. However, the airport there is not using their body scanner. Not sure why, but I rejoiced in its (hopefully permanent) retirement.

That was the one good thing about Toronto, too. The body scanner there was not even to be seen this time! I was overjoyed!

I left all my liquids in the baggie in my computer case, and no one asked to see them, or detected them on the x-ray machine.

I had to remove my shoes in New Orleans, but not in Toronto.

No one in either city threatened me with a pat down.

Yet, with all these lapses in security, I still managed to get home without being blown to smithereens. Imagine that!!

But, none of these things were the reason for my jangled nerves. It was the people. To be precise, it was one person, the guy sitting next to me from Toronto to St. John’s.

I’ve never knowingly come into contact with a meth addict before. I believe I have now.

From the moment he sat down, until the moment he rose to leave the plane in this fairest of cities, he twitched, he shifted, he sniffed, he tapped, he bobbed, he weaved. He put his ball cap on, then took his ball cap off. He stuffed it in the seat pocket, then ripped it out and turned it over and over and over. And of course, he farted. And while he did all that, he cracked his gum, incessantly.

He literally did not sit still for 3 consecutive minutes.

He sniffed, and sneezed, and coughed, never covering his mouth. I never wanted a medical face mask more in my life.

I’m there trying to read my eBook, stuck in between him and another, less strung-out gentleman. I kept thinking that at some point, he would probably fall asleep, but no, that was not to be.

I was only wishing that I hadn’t put my Sudafed in my checked luggage. If I’d had it at hand, I could have tried to cook him some meth and give him a fix.

Let’s assume for a moment that he was not a meth addict…

Is it really too much to expect people to give even the most basic consideration to those they’re going to be sat next to for the next 4 or 5 hours?

Why does ANYONE believe that ANYONE ELSE wants to listen to them cracking gum? Is there ANYONE out there who actually enjoys it? “Oh honey! Let’s stand in THAT checkout line instead!! There’s a lip-smacking gum cracker there and it sounds so nice!!”

There should be a law that if someone is cracking gum in a crowd of people, especially captive people such as in a movie theater or on a plane, it should be legal to punch them in the mouth or use whatever means available to get the friggin’ racket to stop.

So, yes. My nerves have now returned to their pre-Toronto / St. John’s flight status. Couldn’t you tell???


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