I have been reading about “Snakes on a Plane” on the Tome of Communism site all week. This morning while I was having a cup of coffee and looking at “news stories” on MSN, I came across the one about the woman who had a panic attack on the airplane. I have had panic attacks, and I think this was just a bit more than that.(I hope so...) The article said that 2 male passengers and the flight attendant finally subdued her after she decided to “drop her knickers” and take a tinkle in the middle of the cabin isle.
I remember with great clarity my first airplane flight. I was 5 years old and I was flying with my mother, brother and sister from Denver to Casper, WY. The flight takes you through the mountains and it was really bumpy. I sat in a seat next to my mother, my brother and sister sat directly behind us. At the height of the dips and bounces my brother who was about 9 and my sister who was 12 could not stand it anymore. Mark leaned his head with Catherine cramming hers right next to his over the seat and stared at my mother. “Mom are we going to die?” “Mom I feel sick!” I remember there was an eruption of puke that not only hit my mom and me but the passengers in front of us. Too bad The Guinness people were not there, my siblings could have placed for puke projection.
Another memorable airplane incident was when we moved to Cairo. I have no idea why my parents chose to fly a local airline but there you go, all part of the learning process. I was around 11 and had a seat on my own. The person next to me was carrying a chicken. The person behind me had a goat. I am not lying. Because I had not yet learned what tact is I kept saying to my mother and Father who were sitting in the adjacent 2 seats – Why do they have animals on the Plane? DADDY the goat made a poop. DADDY!!!!! The goat's trying to eat my shoe. When the guy I was sitting next to decided to use the toilet he kindly placed his chicken on my lap. What can I say, there was a language barrier, there was definitely a cultural barrier and I still am not fond of goats or chickens.
When we landed at the airport in Cairo the customs people started to randomly pull people out of line. I remember my mother looking at my dad and saying: “Jim, what are they doing?” When they pulled her she got hysterical and said “Jim no matter what they are doing, tell them not to do it to me”. There was a fenced in pen in the corner of the custom clearing area where they were doing full body searches. Not in private I may add. Needless to say I think my mother’s experience was far more memorable than mine. This happened a long time ago but to this day it is the one thing she can bring up and win any argument with my father.
I was traveling back from Art Expo in New York. It was 3 months after 911, so security was really tight. Mardi Gras was in full swing in New Orleans and I sat next to a young guy – 15 or so who must have had a fake ID as the flight attendant kept serving him and his friends drinks. Well the guy I was sitting next to kept drinking and drinking and becoming louder and louder. The flight attendant finally stopped serving him. All the alcohol got the guy thinking that he must have a cigarette. This was his first time on an airplane. He kept up his rant about I have to have a cigarette or I am going to go insane. His friends kept saying Dude just calm down you can’t smoke on the plane –
Like I said I am sitting next to the guy, chewing my little piece of nicorette. I thought about offering him a piece, but then thought the better of it. The guy announced to me and everyone else around that he was going to take a leak. Good go was my thought. He hadn’t shut up since he got on board. 2 minutes after he gets into the bathroom the alarm goes off on the plane. The Lights dim and all the little red lights go on. If it had not been right after 911 I probably would not have been so startled. It was kind of scary, at first. I then immediately realized that the little wise ass had gone into the toilet and lit his cigarette.
For the rest of the flight I had to sit next to the Air Marshal and this guy who would not stop crying. The air marshal said that he was going to be arrested as soon as the plane landed and be taken into custody by NOPD. Everyone on the plane kept making excuses to walk down the isle to take a look at the kid. By virtue of my close seating proximity the more gregarious passengers kept saying “you really should be a more responsible Guardian, Imagine letting that child drink and smoke on the plane – terrible”
I can be thankful that I have never encountered a snake or peeing panic attack victim on a flight, but my mind is definitely open to the possibilities!