Thursday, January 05, 2006


posted by Michael Piwonka 8:32 PM
I just remembered a cute anecdotal story from our flight back to Charlotte this past Monday.

When we left Dallas, the weather was sunny and warm, so our take-off and flight was very smooth. However, the pilot warned the passengers that Charlotte was having cool, rainy weather (or yucky, as he put it), so we could probably expect some turbulence as we got closer to home.

Our flight took us over Atlanta, where we noticed that clouds were getting increasingly thick. By the time we were over South Carolina, we were in the middle of the rain and clouds, and the pilot turned back on the Fasten Seat Belt sign, advising everyone to prepare for a bumpy ride into Charlotte.

While the turbulence wasn't very bad (in my opinion), you could sense the normal anxiety that comes over the passengers when the plane starts bouncing around. The plane grew quieter; conversations were replaced by occasional gasps and whispers whenever we hit an air pocket. Everyone seems to hold their breath, waiting for the moment to pass.

Except in our row.

Mason thought the turbulence was the coolest thing he'd experienced since, well, the last time we were at the amusement park. He held his hands high in the air, as if he were on a roller coaster, and would squeal with joy whenever the plane bucked him around.

Allie soon joined in, and both were laughing and smiling, hands high in the air. The more violent the plane pitched, the louder they squealed.

I was sitting between them, thinking to myself about how most people on the plane were probably having panic attacks at that moment, while these two couldn't get enough. They waited in anticipation for the next lurch, and groaned in dismay if there were only a second or two of weightlessness.

We were never in any real danger of crashing, but I thought to myself that if we did, it was probably better that Allie and Mason were oblivious, smiling and laughing to the end.

Once we were on the ground, sighs of relief could be heard in the cabin. That is, if you could hear anything over Mason's constant chattering about whatever caught his attention. I kept telling him to keep his voice down out of respect for other passengers, just like I had been telling him the entire flight, and well, for the entire trip to Texas, for that matter.

As we waited to disembark, Mason continued to talk loudly, and I continued to admonish him. As we started to walk away, I heard the man in the row behind us whisper to his wife, "That one's going to be a handful," in reference to Mason. He has no idea how right he is.

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random. arbitrary. completely unnecessary. yet refreshingly therapeutic.

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