So, this morning on the news, when they were rehashing that Alec Baldwin getting kicked off the plane story for the BILLIONTH time, the newscaster said that he got kicked off for playing a video game. Words with Friends is NOT a video game. He also said that it was an ADDICTIVE video game. Okay, again, it’s NOT a video game. As far as being addictive. Hmmmm, well, I got bored with it. You can’t spell dirty words. That’s no fun.

Anyway, I hate when those newscaster are so overly-dramatic. They take an extremely sublunary story and try to turn it into some big deal. STOP DOING THAT!

I should have taken a plane instead of a bath.

I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to fly. My friends tell me I’m silly. They say air travel is much safer than riding in a car. They say that you are more likely to be killed from a fall in the bathtub. Really? Then how come those people that die in airplane crashes haven’t already died from a car accident or a fall in the bathtub?

It’s not just the plane crashing that bothers me. It’s the tight quarters. It’s the people. It’s the crying babies. It’s the having to wait to use the toilet.  It’s pretty much everything.

I’m kind of claustrophobic. Also, I don’t like to be stuck someplace without an escape route. For me, being a passenger in an airplane is like being held hostage. You have no control. Your safety is in the hands of people that you don’t even know. I’ve heard all of those horror stories about the drunk pilots. I mean, where else besides being handcuffed in the back of a police car or shackled to the wall of some psycho killer’s basement do you have less control? Nowhere!

Pull that cord you little brat and I am going to Alec Baldwin your ass!

I’m pretty sure that all of my fears regarding air travel stem from childhood trauma.When I was 7, my dad, who was in the Air Force, got stationed in Guam. As we were flying over the Pacific Ocean to get there the plane developed some kind of problem. They made us put on our life vests and people were freaking out. I remember the stewardess (that’s what they called them back then) saying, “Whatever you do, don’t pull the cord on the life vest”. I was like, “Which cord? This one”? YANK!

NO BOBBY! Don't pull that cord!

NO BOBBY! Don't pull the cord!

Well Hell’s Bells Loretta, you woulda thought that the world was coming to an end. The stewardess started screaming at me. My parents started yelling at me. My sister started crying (of course now she laughs hysterically). People were glaring at me. It was like the plane was going to crash and it was all my fault. This was one of those horrid instances when the potential was there for me to do that disassociative thing that would later develop into Multiple Personality Disorder. I didn’t experience that trauma. Velma, the 50 year old biker chick who smokes crack did. As far as I know, that didn’t happen.

OMG! He pulled the cord!

Needless to say, the plane didn’t crash. We made it to Guam and lived there for 2 years. Sand, surf and coconuts. Oh yeah, and typhoons.

I’m not 100% positive – because ya know, I’m not a shrink – that a vast majority of my fear and loathing of flying stems from that one incident. An incident that is as vivid in my mind as the Kennedy assassination or Baby Jessica getting stuck in the well. Every time I get on a plane I relive it. I survey the flight Attendants (that’s what they call them now) and try to determine which one is going to severely admonish me for not listening to instructions or following the rules. Whenever I unbuckle my seatbelt I think, “Am I allowed to do this”? Whenever I go to the bathroom I ask myself, “Will I get in trouble for doing this”?

I can’t exactly recall how many times I have flown since the ‘Oh My God, we’re going to crash over the Pacific Ocean because that twirpy little kid inflated his life vest when he was specifically instructed NOT TO’ incident, but it can’t be more than 15. On more than half of those trips I was extremely intoxicated when I got on the plane. On one trip I was completed drugged out on tranquilizers that my Aunt had given me. This was the same flight that had a high school girl’s basketball team. I remember thinking “Those tranquilizers were all for naught. God wouldn’t let this plane crash with them on board”. Then I remembered those cannibal soccers guys and those U.S. Olympic skaters and changed my mind.

So yeah, I have planeophobia or whatever you call it.

P.S. I wonder if Alec Baldwin will develop a similar phobia?

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