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The ups and downs of trans-Atlantic flight

By Celia Rivenbark

If you were paying attention last week, you will recall that our first European vacation got off to a shaky start after I was given a thorough, and thoroughly embarrassing, pat-down after setting off the bomb detector thingy at my hometown airport. Here’s what happened next:

Finally on board, I decided the eight-hour flight to London was a little like being in the hospital. You drift off, finally, and, well, looky here, here’s the flight attendant/nurse waking you up for something random. Like an ice cream bar. What do I look like? A 2-year-old? And, yes, I would LOVE an ice cream bar presented “just because.” This is the bestest plane ride ever!

This sleeping/wake-up routine continued through a procession of head phones, blankets, sleep masks, warm towelettes, drinks, dinner, more towelettes, more drinks, and finally, breakfast. As I sat trapped in the sweaty confines of the dreaded middle seat, flanked by a dozing Duh Hubby and the Princess, I couldn’t help resenting The Chosen in Business Class, whom we had slammed in the heads with our carry-ons just for fun during the Bataan death march to our seats in coach. To me, every single person in business class (they have BEDS!fif) looked like the mean guy in Titanic. You know, the one who scooped up a random poor kid just so he could get on a lifeboat (“I’m all she’s got!”)

To be fair, which I just hate, The Chosen paid a fortune for those seats and they deserve their perks. Besides, I believe anyone can put up with anything for eight hours, especially if there’s free beer and ice cream. Which, now that I think of it, is exactly what I said at the Princess’s fifth birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese.

I enjoy air travel, but I’m not very good at it because my ears stop up completely somewhere around take-off. Can’t hear a thing. Which is why one day, I will be the one with a stupid smile on my face when the pilot announces an emergency landing. Everyone will marvel at my calm acceptance, but really I’m just wondering what’s keeping the pretzels.

I was fascinated with the video channel that lets you watch your flight the whole way. When the screen read: “Time left: 2 hours, 6 minutes,” I suddenly remembered Aunt Verlie’s much-repeated reminder to get up and walk around or I’d almost certainly “get a blood clot like that good-looking reporter on the TV news did and die.”

I jumped up, realized my seat belt was securely fastened and sat back down hard. Finally, I just sat there and did calf Kegels, which I think I just invented. You’re welcome.

Being in the back of the plane meant we were nearly the last ones off, and I was desperate to stand up. I briefly considered racing toward Business Class and grabbing a kid. “I’m all she’s got!” I would say.

Next week: Royals are wicked inbreds and other fun facts.

rivenbark.com

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