M. Giant's
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Saturday, August 14, 2004  

Final Destination

[Written yesterday for later posting]

I realized something earlier. Before today, I don’t think I’ve never flown on a Friday the Thirteenth.

Of course, it’s not that I’m worried about the plane crashing or anything. That would be ridiculous. Friday the Thirteenths happen a few times every year, and we don’t hear about passenger airliner crashes on all of them (“It’s Friday the Thirteenth, and we start our broadcast tonight with the day’s plane crash reports.”) In fact, I’m not aware of any plane crashes ever happening on a Friday the Thirteenth, but then just because I have a computer here in the terminal doesn’t mean I have Internet access.

So, as I wait to board my flight home, writing this from Sully’s Pub in the terminal of Flint, Michigan’s Bishop International (!) Airport, glancing out the panoramic gate window at the Maxfield Parrish cloudscape that’ll soon be shaking vague memories clean out of my brain, I’m not concerned for my safety, but my convenience.

Nothing major has gone wrong yet. I got to the airport plenty early, and there was practically no line at security for any of the five-odd flights out of Flint today. I traversed the metal detector unscathed, despite the bored TSA workers’ allusions to having it cranked up to eleven. But there are trouble signs.

The first one was when I went to check in at an e-ticket terminal and discovered that no exit row seats are available. I find exit rows quite desirable because of a) the extra legroom and b) if a flight home comes in on runway 1-2, which means an approach from the northwest, I can simply parachute directly into my backyard from a few thousand feet. I chose a front row aisle seat instead.

Later, I went to a Northwest agent at another gate (not the gate I’m leaving from, which doesn’t have an agent—or a plane—fifteen minutes before my scheduled departure time) to see if maybe she could hook me up. Sadly, she could not, because my plane home doesn’t have an exit row (“In the event of an emergency landing, please proceed immediately to the nearest spot where the skin of the aircraft is flayed open like a flaming bag of microwave popcorn”). My front row seat will just have to do.

I’ve also realized the importance of a piece of flying equipment I’ve always taken for granted, i.e., a shirt pocket. In place of a pocket, the shirt I’m wearing today instead features a tiny, embroidered warthog. I miss my shirt pocket. My trousers have pockets, of course, but the ones I’m wearing today aren’t exactly “fat pants.” So I’m now quietly bemoaning (to several readers, but still quietly) the lack of a convenient place to drop my cell phone and boarding pass where I can look down and reassure myself of their presence at any time. My boarding pass is getting (I hope) all crumpled up in my pants pocket (okay, it’s still there) and my cell phone is getting its last gasps of fresh air before I Sandy Berger it for two hours. I can only hope that the close quarters won’t mash the combination of buttons that will activate it and make it start working through my speed dial numbers, jamming the aircraft’s navigational equipment and causing it to either plummet into Lake Michigan or inadvertently reroute to the Yukon, which would be equally sad because I don’t know anyone in the Yukon and my phone will not have called ahead to let them know I’m coming.

It’s now my departure time, and my plane has just pulled up to the jetway. So my F13 run of baddish luck remains encouragingly minor.

But the greatest challenge remains to be seen. I do not yet know the nature of my seatmate. Will it be a flatulent consumptive? A headphone-listening seat-bopper? A writhing thyroid case with no sense whatsoever of other people’s personal space? Abandoned infant triplets with howls like air-raid sirens? Or will it be the ideal plane-neighbor? I suppose it could be, but looking around the gate area, I’m not optimistic.

We’ll see, and I’ll post this sometime after I get home. Alternatively, if there’s no Friday or Saturday update, it just means I couldn’t find a phone jack at the bottom of Lake Michigan.

Today’s best search phrase: “Red hair berber carpet.” I say if you're going to spring for the red hair, you might as well get shag.

posted by M. Giant 10:06 AM 2 comments


Meaning you've arrived home safely. Good to know.

I'm sorry, but what in the mother of god is a hair carpet?

By Blogger DeAnn, at August 14, 2004 at 10:44 PM  

I'm pretty sure my immediate concern upon hearing my plane didn't have an exit row would be "Just how small is this plane? Will I be able to have a conversation with the pilot?" I'm guessing that Flint doesn't see too many 747s come through town, but still.

Small planes scare me.

By Blogger Sue, at August 15, 2004 at 7:25 AM  

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