Monday, October 18, 2010

A bad flyer

Warning: If you do not like flying or vomiting, or have a fear of death and injury, then click here. You have been warned.

I am a bad flyer. And I don't mean this...

I mean that when I fly, I have an urge to talk about all the possible things that could go wrong on a plane. For example, some friends and I were flying to Spain. As our plane was taxi-ing on the runway, my friend turned to me and asked me whether we would be in greater mortal peril if we crashed onto the land or the sea.

'Well,' I replied, 'it depends on the angle the plane hits the water.' You see, if the plane hits the water at too shallow of an angle...

Then the plane skims like a stone, bouncing repeatedly. But if the plane hits the water at too steep of an angle, the wings are ripped off and water rushes into the plane at hundreds of miles an hour.

This was seconds before our plane was about to take off, cross the Bay of Biscay and then land at Alicante airport. I'm quite sure the other passengers weren't too happy.

(Un)fortunately, I am not alone in this affliction. I was once flying home from Leipzig in Germany. After a busy week visiting friends, and getting very little sleep, as soon as the plane went above the clouds, I started to drift off.

The lady next to me had different ideas however. Once I had entered that half-asleep half-awake stage, she decided to lean over me and ask the passing air steward, 'What is wrong with the plane?'

I bolted awake, imagining a fiery scream-filled death, hurtling towards earth like a ball-point pen dropped off the Empire State Building.

The air steward however, seemed nonplussed, and asked the lady passenger next to me what she meant.

'Aren't we flying too high?' she replied.

I certainly know that I'd rather be flying too high than too low. She then spent the rest of the flight in the foetal position.

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