Oh, you don’t KNOW how happy I am to be typing these words this morning. It may have something to do with waking up to the sound of my kids running down the hallway or drinking out of a 16 ounce coffee mug (note to hotels: people don’t drink out of 6 ounce cups anymore).
More than that, though, I think I’m just happy that I survived the plane ride back from Jamaica.
I may or may not be a nervous flyer.
Just ask the stranger on that flight from DC into Dallas in 1996. He and I got a little more than personal when we hit an unexpected air pocket. Like, “let’s pick out the furniture together” personal.
I blame the captain for my nervous condition. We had been parked at the gate in Montego Bay several minutes past departure time and I had noticed the attendants were passing looks back and forth and whispering to each other under their breath. To me, that meant there was an obvious malfunction that was going to cause major failure over shark infested waters.
Having worked for the government, I was also trying to go over the necessary diplomatic niceties that would need to occur should circumstances require us to land in Cuba, and I was hoping that fifty years were enough for Fidel to have gotten over that whole Bay of Pigs things.
The pilot finally came on and said that there were major storms over Cuba and that we couldn’t fly over the island on our way to Miami and we would need to fly the long way around the storms (AND OVER MORE OPEN WATER) to avoid the turbulence. I had not taken enough Valium wasn’t quite prepared for this change of events but Mr. CPQ assured me that we would be fine, so I practiced my deep breathing while we thundered down the runway and started to climb into the sky. I tried to remember that given enough rocket power, even cardboard boxes can fly, and I was just about to release my grip from the arm of the seat when I smelled something.
In great alarm, I turned to Mr. CPQ and said, “I smell electrical smoke.”
Now, Mr. CPQ can’t smell a darn thing. Expired milk? Bad ham? That tub of botulism otherwise known as our sour cream?
He was useless to me.
Until he pointed out that perhaps that odor I was smelling was the pot of coffee that the attendant had started brewing before we took off.
Which says a lot about the state of airline coffee these days.
ANYHOO, this story has a point, which I will get to before Friday.
THE POINT IS, as we were on approach to Miami, you know, that part of the trip where the airplane is slowly DESCENDING, we experienced a little something unexpected when the engines started groaning tremendously and the nose of the plane started to ASCEND.
As we have established, I may be a nervous flyer, and I was, naturally, freaked out concerned.
I turned to the love of my life and said (for the 10th time in the last hour), “I think something’s wrong.”
Mr. CPQ rolled his eyes patiently explained that when a plane is banking, the nose of the plane must remain elevated so that it doesn’t turn into a death spiral and crash into the ground.
If this was his attempt to soothe my jangled nerves, NEWS FLASH, it didn’t.
I told him that while my love for him was unparalleled in the course of human history, he was flat out wrong. Something was amiss.
Seconds later, the pilot came on and apologized for the sudden change in course, because it seems that ANOTHER PLANE WAS IN OUR PATH and he needed to take corrective action to avoid landing us, not on a runway, but on the breaking news segment of every major television station as they reported our demise.
I don’t know what gave me greater pleasure: avoiding a mid-air collision or proving Mr. CPQ wrong.
Have a nice day.
P.S. Pictures and travelogue tomorrow!