I'm not scared of flying, it's the crashing and dying in a ball of flames that scares the crap out of me. We are going away next week so now I have to start coming to terms with the fact that I will be crammed into that metal box held together with a few rivets and the sweat of my fear then propelled unceremoniously into space.
It's not natural.
Don't get me wrong, I love to travel it's just the getting there that I don't like. It also doesn't like me. Let's forget about the travelling to the airport for the moment or the time at the terminal (great choice of name by the way) and concentrate on the flight.
Firstly you have to board the plane. Now this would seem a simple task as everybody has a designated seat, the boarding is done in blocks of seat numbers and the plane is not going to leave without you unless you are still in the bar next to the sock shop. So why, when the official looking person behind the boarding desk, starts to make an announcement on the tannoy do half the passengers run towards the gate? The plane won't leave any earlier if you are the first person in your seat, you won't get a sticker but you will be sat down longer than everyone else. That is unless you are one of the annoying twats who won't sit down until the very last moment and everybody else has to squeeze past you.
Next you have to stow your carry on. Now it can either go by your feet so your stuff is easily accessible and you won't have to get up seventy four times during the flight to get a tissue or a jelly baby. Or you can stow it precariously in the overhead compartment from where it can drip orange juice on my head all journey or fall out and break my toe when I open the door.
Now that you've found a way to annoy me with your carry on luggage you have to take your seat. Now I'm six feet three inches tall and weigh the wrong side of fifteen stones so fitting into one of those seats is a feat in itself, so being a fat magnet really doesn't help. What is a fat magnet you may be asking. Well as soon as I sit down the biggest, fattest person on the plane will sit directly in front of me then tip his fucking chair back.
I don't want to tip my chair back because I want to be ready when the plastic mask drops from the ceiling so I can put it on before I help younger children. Then be able to get my life jacket on the right way, know how to inflate it and how to blow the whistle. Also which emergancy exits are the most suitable for me and when I can unbuckle my seat belt. Most of you won't know what the hell I'm talking about now because as the flight attendant is going through his/her talk you are going through the seat compartment looking for boiled sweets or seeing if the duty free whisky you just bought would've been cheaper on the flight.
Not that I'm paranoid about it crashing but next time you get on the plane have a look at the exterior and see how much gaffer tape they use. Once someone told me that I had more chance of getting a deep vein thrombosis than the plane had of crashing. Great, now I can worry about crashing and/or getting a DVT.
So now we have stowed our bags, are strapped in the seat, have avoided the safety talk and are ready to take off. I put a boiled sweet in my mouth and grab hold of the hands of the passengers either side of me whether they want to hold hands or not and we taxi up to the runway then stop.
We always stop.
I finish my sweet and my hands are all clammy, I can't let go and put another sweet in so I sit and imagine why we have stopped. It's not always good thoughts.
Then we start again.
Are we starting because it's safe or because the pilot has a death wish? We start moving faster and I shut my eyes and there is a scream. I'm not really sure it's not me until it goes again and I realise it's the person next to me and I'm crushing their hand. Tough shit! The whole thing is vibrating and the gaffer tape is peeling off the wing and my ears are popping, then we are up. The seatbelt light goes out, the plane is levelling out and I let go of my neighbours.
To be cont...