Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Flying the Red Eye

Brain is tired.

First plane left 30 minutes after midnight. Fell asleep while the plane was still at the gate. Woke up at 20K feet and a stewardess offering bitter coffee. Drank half the cup before falling back asleep. Woke up again, preparing to land, half cup of cold bitter coffee still in hand.

Seems every time I fly, the seats are smaller, and closer together. At least the airlines offset this by calling it "improved" customer service.

I am beginning to think the role of the flight attendant is simply to keep the passengers just a little occupied. Little cups of soda, over-salted peanuts. Little baggies and napkins in a tight space. The passengers get to be mildly occupied with this rather than confront the boredom of sitting in cramped seats with little ability to move for several hours.

Once upon a time, I think the occupation was meant to distract people from fear. Now, air travel is so common and mundane, it's probably meant to keep us all from going nuts.

Some folks like to occupy their time visiting the bathroom on the plane. Judging from the number going just after take off, I'd say many were saving it. These folks unfortunately annoy the other passengers. Especially, the poor schmucks stuck with seats in the rear. If you've had that seat, you know what I mean.

There are the gadgeteers, these are probably the least annoying (maybe I say that because I fit in the class). They tend to stay to themselves, and don't engage you in conversation. Whether it's a laptop, video games, or just music, they always use headphones.

Near the gadgeteer, is the middle management explorer. These poor souls travel often. They apparently spend most of their flights reading and responding to the emails that have collected in Outlook. When you wonder why you inbox is so full from that guy or gal who's out of town. Well, they are bored, tired, sitting on a plane, and trying to stay busy rather than contemplate the meaninglessness of it all.

And here I am, composing a blog message, sitting at 25K feet, on a connecting flight....

I'm just too tired to contemplate the meaninglessness of it all.

Is there anymore bitter coffee?
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