A traveler encounters one way to beat the boredom.
|It began as a typical business trip. Catch a plane to Detroit, rent a boring gray sedan, probably with dull red seats. Drive fifteen or twenty miles, and check into a Ramada. Grab some dinner in the hotel lounge, and try not to drink so much that the board hears the pounding in my head tomorrow.
The last time I was in Detroit, the inbound trip wasn't bad, but the return flight backed out of the gate and just sat there, for over two hours, while a thunderstorm passed by. Were the windows in the control tower dirty? Was everyone taking a coffee break at once? How the hell did they not see the black clouds rolling in? How did they miss the lightning? I certainly saw it, and I was on the opposite side of the plane from the storm.
This time, the weather was fine, if not a little too humid for my liking. So as soon as we lifted off, I reached up, aimed the little blower directly onto my face, and settled back for a nice two-hour snooze. But it turned out to be more of a twenty-minute snooze before a blast of frigid air jolted me awake. In retrospect, I probably should have left my seat belt fastened while I dozed, but twenty-twenty hindsight isn't all it's cracked up to be. And because I wasn't wearing my seat belt, and because the nearest door of the plane had just blown off into the ether, I found myself sucked through the gaping hole like a stray ant under a Hoover. And now, as I see the ground growing larger every millisecond, all I can think is that this is the last time I'll ever fly with that airline again.