Sunday, March 20, 2005

Living in a safer world and a teenager high on Red Bull

In the post 9/11 world, airline passengers practically have to disrobe to get on a commercial airplane anymore. The latest things the federal watchers have banned from possessing in the cabin of an airliner is cigarette lighters. And all sharp objects, like a fingernail file, are expressly forbidden.

So consequently I was surprise and amused several hours ago when flying on an Alaska Airlines MD-80 from Palm Springs to Portland when I saw this little gem in the lavatory of the aircraft. They had a little slot in there marked specifically for the purpose of disposing razor blades.

Maybe it for those panicked folks who realized they had inadvertently gone past the TSA checkpoint with a "weapon" and go into the in-flight john to quell their panic attack. Maybe the slot is an attempt at last-minute amnesty for people who mistakenly violate federal safety procedures.

Or perhaps it is intended for perspective hijackers who get cold feet prior to attempting to take over the plane.

Nervous hijacker: If only there was a way I could back out of this fiendish plan to hijack this plane. But I've gone to all this trouble to smuggle an old-fashion double sided razor blade on board. Which was no small trick. I mean I have to find a pickle just the right size and firmness so when I inserted the blade in there the sharp edges didn't stick out. And then there was the added stress and discomfort of inserting the pickle shank up my rectum. It's not easy to walk with a pickle up the pooper! And then, there was the whole removal process in the can. But, I don't want to hurt these nice people. If only I could get rid of my weapon somehow... Oh, look, a sharps disposal slot for blades. Now, isn't that handy.

So, I went back to my seat in the nearly empty plane and had a little quiet chuckle about the razor disposal slot. But by the time the plane touched down at PDX I was wishing I had a razor blade. I'd rather slit my wrists than go through another landing like that.

Portland, which has shipped all of its rain and storm weather south to Palm Springs most of the winter, was in the midst of a squall. The wind was obviously kicking up pretty good, because that MD-80 was tossed around like a vibrator during multiple orgasms. We were bucking and bouncing and slipping and banging all the way through the final approach.

The passengers seemed to handle it pretty well, but you know the turbulence is bad when you are sitting in the back of the plane and you can see the front of the cabin bouncing and gyrating around.

After we reached the terminal, when everyone was in the rush to hurry up and wait in the aisle, I asked one of the flight attendants one of those stupid "Here's your sign" sort of questions.

Me: So, is it windy here?

Blonde flight attendant: Yea, there's quite a storm out there. It's been like that all day.

Me: I thought that landing seemed a little rougher than normal.

Flight attendant: Yea, it thought I was going to get sick there for a minute.

It does not bode well when your flight attendant admits queasiness on landing.

But, obviously, my fellow passengers and I made it, safe and sound, and fortunately no one left their lunch on the cabin upholstery. Although, I was seriously questioning the wisdom of the two beers I had at the airport bar in Palm Springs. The 11 o'clock news was reporting wind gusts on the nearby Oregon Coast ranging from 50-plus to nearly 80 mph. I think they were all aimed at our plane. But we got here, and life goes on.

After getting to Portland and picking up a rental car, I met up with my daughter's mom, and we went together to pick up our daughter from a party she was attending with some of her friends from school. Apparently that party was designed to end at 10 p.m., because as we got there, a parade of cars started pulling up at the same house. They were sure a punctual bunch of parents, I'll give them that.

Apparently the drink of choice at this party was the energy drink Red Bull. My daughter admitted to having two of them. And a Coke. Apparently caffeine getter her motor revving and she gets quite chatty. I've been told I can be the same way when I've had a few beers. I don't, however, thing those two things are related, nor do I think there is an inherited connection. And I choose not to believe the Red Bull was a chaser for something else. Anyway, the last visit when I was here, I felt light an inquisitor trying to get her to say anything in a complete sentence. Tonight she was rambling on about her boyfriend, and her friends hooking up with each other, and freak dancing at Catholic school dances, and, on and on. And yes, I had to have her define freak dancing, and GOD I hope I never witness her doing such a thing.

I'm not sure which is worse, having a teenage daughter who doesn't talk, or one that tells you about all the drama of 8th grade in a metropolitan city. I guess it is cool that she felt comfortable enough to say those things to me and fill me in on her life, but it was verging on too much information for my aging ticker.

I'm leaning toward the silence is golden thing at the moment.




1 comment:

Brat said...

We are never happy! The grass is always greener. Well if she shut ups again you might want to make a trip to the local 7-Eleven.

Good thing we didn't have drinks like this when we were her age. Our parents would of known so much more about our lives.

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