Unfortunately some people love flying. They love it so much they tell you all the reasons you shouldn’t be afraid. They also give you tips on how to relax. They are idiots. They mean well but so does the guy who sticks his face over the Roman candle during the 4th of July to see if it’s still lit. Spoiler alert: It is…it always is.
For my response to their well-intentioned but idiotic statements, please see below.
Take a nap.
Oh sure thing! It’s pretty easy to sleep when your heart rate is approaching 10,000 bpm ([That’s beats per minute for all you dummies out there). I have a hard time falling asleep in my perfectly comfortable bed — Thanks, Sleepy’s! — never mind sitting upright in this #2 pencil in the sky. Not to mention the fact I’m likely sandwiched between a woman wearing a surgical mask who keeps asking what time it is and a guy with a bladder problem who wrestles in Vince Wilfork’s weight class.
I love you, Vince, but I'm not trying to sit next to you on a plane.
Turbulence is normal.
Everything is normal until it isn’t. If you’re already hesitant about the idea of riding a rocket in the sky, feeling like you’re falling out of the clouds is as good of a mind-fuck as you can get. Sensing that you’re plummeting to your death is normal? Well what does it feel like when you’re actually going down? Probably pretty similar. Uhh see where I’m going with this?
This is me the second turbulence hits.
This is their job. Do you think they’d do it if it were dangerous?
Another terrible argument. Lots of people work dangerous jobs. I’m pretty sure every window washer suspended 500 feet in the air mutters “This is my job, I know what I’m doing” just as he’s falling to his death. (Note:I have no clue if window washing is dangerous but it sure seems like it is!) Also saying ‘they are at work’ just reminds me that these pilots are getting paid roughly the same as bus drivers so apologies if I’m not looking to put my life in the hands of the guy who drives the Bolt Bus.
Thousands of planes fly everyday.
You’re right! Now I’m not worried at all! Psych! (Do people still say psych as a burn? I’m pretty sure they don’t but I’m bringing that shit back.)
Have a beer.
Oh I never thought of that! Just kidding, I’ve already had 3 Advil PMs and I’m on to my 4th Gin and Ginger. But yeah maybe I’ll try and sip on a Bud Light.
I spend most of my life avoiding conversation. Why do you think I’m a writer? (I use this term very loosely) I don’t even want to talk to my family, forget about a complete stranger. That’s psycho-land. So the last thing I’m going to do is ask the flight attendant what every bump and sound is. (Although I wouldn’t be mad if Vince wanted to do it for me.)
Take your cue from the flight attendants.
I have no proof but I’m pretty sure most flight attendants wouldn’t be upset if the plane did go down. They never look too happy and I don’t blame them. They are always getting yelled at for things out of their control. Plus, who do you think has to refill the blue flushing liquid in the toilet after Mr. 17C uses it all following his 4th cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee? You guessed it. Kind of like a POW, they’ve just seen too much. I swear one time in the midst of severe turbulence I looked at a flight attendant and she had a slight smirk on her face. Maybe it was the horse tranquilizers I just inhaled in the bathroom but she had the face of someone who just changed her will so her shitty kids wouldn’t see a dime. Wild card indeed!
You’re more likely to die on the way to the airport.
And this is the conversation ender. I understand that flying, per mile, is safer than driving. But when you hate flying, you hate it. You hate every jolt, every sink of your stomach, every sound emanating from the bowels of the plane. Cars are old hats. They’re familiar. They’re comfortable. Yes you’ll probably die in one but dammit at least you’ll be feeling great right before you do. (Note: Whenever I’m riding in a car with a few friends and the windows are down, I like to tempt fate by yelling out “We’re young and invincible!” What a great way to die!)
Goodbye, my love!
So that’s it. I could write a whole book on why flying is scary and why traveling in light-colored underwear is for fools but this is the Internet and you’ve already stopped reading. So next time you want to convince someone that flying is great and they should relax, remember, shut your face instead.
Follow Mike on Twitter @MCamerlengo