My fear of flying


Get to your damn seat, or I’ll show you the exit.



Flying used to be fun. You can go a long way in a short period of time. As Louis CK says, it’s amazing. We are flying across country in five hours. Again, it used to be fun. It may still be amazing, but generally, now it sucks. We can blame 9/11, but that’s only part of the story. I blame a few other things as well, like the cost, which involves the airlines themselves, and the general degradation of a polite society.


I’m sorry, TSA people. I know you’re doing an important job and don’t get paid a lot. Get in line behind the military, teachers, cops, firemen, etc. I do my best to follow directions and get through the line. Try to do your best not to be miserable douche-bags.


Yes, I said stewardesses. If you’re a flight attendant, sue me. If you’re a dude stewardess, I’m sorry, but sometimes I like to use the old words of my forefathers, so show some cultural respect.  Stewardesses used to be polite, with a few that were rude. Somehow that ratio has flipped. Now, most seem to be rude with a few that are polite. For the most part they act like they can’t wait to get off the plane. Here’s my deal to you. I always try to be polite. If you’re not, that deals off, because here’s something you should remember. I’m paying to fly, you’re getting paid. I’m the customer, even though the industry seems to have forgotten that. If you don’t like it, get another job. Here’s another tidbit. If you’re rude to me, I’ll be rude back, and while I might not make it to the sarcastic smart-ass hall of fame, I’m pretty sure I could be a finalist. I probably won’t ruin your day, but you’ll spend at least of little of it wishing you were smarter than that smart-ass in 12B. Just show me how to work the seat belt and when the plane gets in the air, get my thimble of diet coke, please.

People- your fellow passengers are the worst of all

Speaking of 12B, let’s talk about our fellow passengers a little, because they really screw things up. No more polite society it seems. First of all, the overhead goes with the seat. If you’re heading back to 22A, don’t throw your luggage over 12B because you’re afraid there’s nothing left or you’re trying to be slick. It’s like putting something under the seat, the part under the seat in front of me is mine. So is the overhead for 12B. While we’re on overheads, if you fly, you know about how big one is. Bring something that will fit. If it’s too big, take something out. We’re all trying to get to our seats.

And while we’re on that subject, if the airlines really cared about getting flights into the air in an efficient manner, they’d seat people by rows in reverse order. Last row goes in first. Screw this nonsensical zone bullshit. You don’t care about passengers in any other way, why this? Last row goes in first. That way, I don’t have to wait for grandma from Omaha to stow her bag, drop her phone, pick up her phone, drop her phone, realize she’s in the wrong row, stop to talk to the baby…sit down, grandma.

When the plane lands and it’s time to get off, get your junk and move it. We all want to get to wherever we’re going. Even today, there just comes a time when you should put your phone away for a few minutes. One of them is getting off the plane. Put your phone in your pocket, pay attention, grab your junk and get off. One of these days I’m going to punch someone that’s holding everyone up (because they are on the phone and not paying attention) in the phone. Which means in the ear.

Ok,  I know this makes me sound like a bad guy. If you can’t fly without taking a dog, maybe you shouldn’t fly. Stay at home. Yes, I’m talking about those ‘anxiety’ dogs.

Did you hear about the German shepherd anxiety dog that took not one, but two dumps ON THE PLANE? I owned a German shepherd once, and that had to be horrendous. The only thing that makes it remotely funny is that I wasn’t there. I’ll bet the anxiety caused by that event far outweighed the effect of having the dog.

I myself have developed quite a bit of anxiety on the take-off. Once we’re in the air, or landing, no problem. Just the take-off. It would really relieve my anxiety to have Salma Hayek sitting next to me holding my hand, stroking my forehead and telling me everything will be alright. But they don’t have that yet, so I do what everyone else does these days, which is get to the airport soon enough to have two double gin and tonics. Just do that. It’s a lot less hassle than a dog.


My favorite T-shirt. I wouldn’t wear it in public…for obvious reasons

Apparel – we don’t all wear suits and ties anymore, but c’mon.


I have a favorite T-shirt. I don’t know exactly why it’s my favorite, but it is. It was given to me by the 142nd EOD in Portland, Oregon, when I taught there about sixteen years ago. It’s perfect to wear when I’m lounging on the couch watching Aragorn hacking heads off of Orcs. But there’s this…I WOULDN’T WEAR IT IN PUBLIC. I don’t even wear it to mow the lawn anymore, I’m trying to extend it’s longevity. Occasionally, I have to fly in a suit and tie. On personal trips, I go “casual.” I understand we don’t dress up too much anymore, we’re a casual society, and mostly, I like it. But there’s limits. Casual, for me, does not mean “house clothes.” Just yesterday, while waiting for a flight, two young ladies sat across from me in the terminal wearing shorts (meaning ‘cut-offs’) that should not be worn in public. And the one young lady had on a halter top. They were both 15-20 pounds over wearing anything like that in the first place, and I resisted the urge to tell them this wasn’t Wal-Mart. If someone came to my house that way I would tell them to go get dressed first.

I won’t even get started on guys. They are worse. I’ll just offer this suggestion. Buy stuff that fits, because that shirt didn’t fit 20 pounds ago. If it has stains on it, throw it away.


Speaking of guys and shirts that don’t fit, here’s another thing. Although, really, this applies to both men and women. If you can’t fit in your seat, you should have to spring for two. This may be offensive for some, but if you’re so big that people are looking at you walking down the aisle thinking “Oh God, no, not next to me please” then you should have to buy two seats. I recently had to fly cross country next to a ‘big ol-feller’ who was in the middle seat. I’m an aisle guy. Thank goodness. If I’d have had the window seat it would have been 3 ½ hours of sweaty claustrophobia.

Here’s one more message for the airlines. See, I hate going through drive-thrus. Maybe I’m a little hard of hearing, but I have a hard time understanding people through those speakers. That’s why airlines just need to hire people doing the flight announcing that speak good English. I’m sitting in Reagan National in DC, waiting down by gate 35, a, b, c, where all the those flights are jammed in going to all the little places like Knoxville, and I can’t understand a damn word they’re saying. Accents combined with bad speakers wind up sounding like “eef you gone to ba-buck-ville, you fite been du-lay-ud buh 4-I’ve meenute.” What? Is that me? Is that Jacksonville or Knoxville? Or Babuckville? Are we delayed 45 minutes or I have 5 minutes? Then I panic when I hear “Fee-nuh cow-ell to benuck-ville, gate-uh tree-five-uh see-yu, boading. Fenn-uh caw-uh.” What?! Damn did I miss my feenuh caw-uh? I’m getting pre-flight anxiety relief, and you just ruined it.

2 comments on “My fear of flying

  1. Yeah, flying can be tough. If so, take a look a the book, “SOAR: The Breakthrough Treatment for Fear of Flying.”

  2. JETSR says:

    You hit the nail on the head for the social suckiness of flying! Sadly, you will meet most of these same type knuckleheads next flight too!

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