Thursday, December 27, 2007

On Air Travel and Why It's...Well, Crappy

I’ve got a trip scheduled to San Antonio in about three weeks, as my son is graduating from army medic school.

One of my pals has told me about an incident of an adult behaving badly in airplanes that's reinforced further what you read here. You can read all about crapmeister Gerald Finneran here.

That’s about 1,500 miles from here. I’ve just told the rest of the world why there is not a chance in hell that I’m spending any of that time on an airplane, even if it means that I spend two days more or less in my pickup.

As a matter of fact, I went to Rochester New York by way of Canada a couple years ago in my pickup, a two day trip, in my truck, with the cell phone and the radio turned off, and nothing but me, my gear, my camera, my wireless laptop for the occasional email when I stopped at a hot spot, a thermos full of coffee and a bag of Twizzlers.

I’d go when I wanted, stop when I wanted or when something looked interesting enough, sack out for an hour or so in perfect calm and quiet, and in all respects I had a dignified and civilized experience.

I mean, don’t get me wrong-I like airplanes, and airplanes in general put a lot of meals on the table at the Dougloid Towers and a lot of checks in the hands of the ex wife.

But what has been sketched out is the kind of experience I had on my last commercial flight back in the summer of 2001, squared.

There weren’t nearly as many people equipped with cell phones, blackberries, kids with cretinous video games, screaming infants and smelly diaper bags and so on all the while those not otherwise occupied are frying their brains with iPods…imagine, a little screen displaying more inane videos at mind numbing volumes that of course leak out all over the cabin.

In fact, the next time that moronic broad Leslie Feist comes on the tube promoting iPods, I might just be like Gerry there only it’ll be my television that gets the treatment.

On second thought the smartest thing that the average air traveler of reasonable intelligence and prudence could do when faced with an imminent commercial flight these days would be to invest in dark glasses, a few packs of those yellow roll up ear plugs that are sold at shooting ranges, and maybe knock back the odd oxycontin before boarding.

Of course, none of this applies to small aircraft. I had the occasion of riding the right seat in a Beech Bonanza from here to Fargo and back a couple years ago, and it was an eminently civilized mode of travel with a witty and urbane companion-an Austrian fellow as a matter of fact-and not a smelly diaper bag or an iPod in sight, either-just me, my briefcase and my sling, having recently crashed my bicycle and broken my shoulderblade, but that's a story for another time.

My pal commutes back and forth between here and San Francisco in his Bonanza and I know the invite’s always on. Perhaps I shall take him up on it soon. I could use a change of scene.


Post a Comment

<< Home