flightmum











{June 15, 2013}   Zombie Passengers

In this day and age, there are very few places that you come across that forces you to be unplugged.  “Do you have Wi-Fi on this aircraft?”, they always ask. The answer is NO.

So, people get on board and mentally try to prepare themselves  to be wireless for the next few hours.  But, it does not stop people from typing away e-mails on their BlackBerry or IPad so they can send them as soon as we land.

The flight passes uneventfully. But, as soon as we touch down safely on the ground, I make the obligatory safety announcements and then inform people that they can now use their cell phones. But, they do not hear me because they have already powered on without my blessing.

I look upon the sea of passengers in my cabin and they all look like they are sleeping. I look more carefully and see that their eyes are not closed but open ever so slightly, looking down at their mobile device. At first glance,  it looks like not a muscle is moving.  But then I zone in on their little thumbs moving a mile a minute typing away their ever important texts and emails. The cell phone zombies have awoken.

Looking into the zombie faces of the ‘phoners’ on the aircraft, reminds me of a Stephen King book called ‘Cell’ that I read many years ago about a mysterious signal that passes over the cell phone network and turns everyone into mindless zombie-like killers. In the book, there is a scene where all the phoners lie down in a soccer field at night and ‘switch off’ until morning while listening to weird music.  The next day,  they forage for food and kill whatever non-phoners they encounter. 

I think the phoners have won the battle. I rarely encounter non-phoners anymore while the plane is taxiing to the airport. The plane is filled with my zombie passengers who are at last reunited with their 3G network. 



{June 10, 2013}   Twins

A passenger boards the aircraft and asks when will we be landing because he has a tight connection.  I reply that we should be on time. He starts explaining how he HAS TO make his connecting flight. Meanwhile,  as he is explaining his predicament,  he is holding up the boarding process; risking delaying the flight!

After we finish boarding,  I seek out this passenger and he tells me that his connecting flight leaves exactly five minutes after we land. I give him a ‘You gotta be kidding!’ look. He tells me that he is a police officer and he was supposed to be on the earlier flight that would have given him plenty of time to make his connecting flight. Normally he could check-in his service revolver at the check-in counter, but this time, they made him go to the special services counter which made him miss his flight.  I sympathized with him and told him I’d look into his next flight after take-off…perhaps it was delayed.

I asked the pilots about the guy’s  flight and then I went to inform the passenger that unfortunately, his flight was on time and he would misconnect.  Also, since it was eleven o’clock at night, there wouldn’t be any more flights tonight and he’d have to overnight.  He asked me what I would do in his shoes. He said that his wife had called and told him she was in labour with their twins and on the way to the hospital. He NEEDS to get home as soon as possible. I told him that that changed everything and I’d go speak to the pilots again. 

I called the guys up front and said,” Do you want to be a hero tonight?”. I quickly explained them the story and they told me that they would do everything in their power to try and hold the other flight to wait for that passenger.

I envisioned being in the newspaper in the feel good section. Perhaps the passenger would name his son Jett. Boy, do I LOVE a happy ending!

I have to admit that the thought did cross my mind that the passenger was full of shit and making up the ‘pregnant wife’ story to better his chance of making the flight. I mean, why did he wait until our third interaction to bring it up? But, I decided that I’d believe him for now.

I moved his seat to the front of the aircraft so he could be the first person to deplane…just in case it all worked out.

After we landed and while we were taxiing, the captain called me to tell me that unfortunately the other aircraft pushed from the gate five minutes early. Since, it was not us, but our feeder airline, there was nothing they could do. 

I reluctantly gave my passenger the bad news while trying to suss out if he was telling the truth or not. I asked him a few pertinent questions about his situation. He seemed to say the right things.  He said that he was going to rent a car, drive the four hours and hope for the best. At least he didn’t have to worry about getting a speeding ticket, chuckled Mr. Police Officer.

I’ll never know what happened or whether he was telling the truth. I’d like to think that he made it to the birthing room in the nick of time… 

 

 

 



{June 6, 2013}   THE PHONE CALL

Last week,  I was at home, minding my own business and trying to keep busy (yes, it is extremely  difficult  to keep busy with three young  kids!). 

I was on the phone with my bank when lo and behold,  my other line rang. I asked the nice banking woman to hold on a minute while I answered call waiting:

Hello?

Hi. This is your son’s teacher.  Do you have a minute?

Yes, hang on. I’ll just get off the other line.

I swiftly hung up on the banking person. My mind was racing with different scenarios of why my younger son’s teacher was calling me during the school day.  What did he do this time? I started sweating and hyperventilating a little.  I was forming apologies in my head to extend to the teacher or the latest victim. I was crafting firm punishments to force upon my son as soon as he walked through the front door. I imagined saying in a Ricky Ricardo voice: Lucy, you have some ‘splainin to do.

I took a few deep breathes and a couple of swigs of booze (conveniently kept close for JUST these occasions) and used up all my courage to breathe:

Hello? I’m back.

Yes. I am just calling about something that happened today at school.  I tested all the children’s reading levels today and your son scored a 28 out of 30. Even though he is in grade two, his reading level is two thirds through grade three.

Wow! That was not the phone call I expected to get.

Well, I thought it would be nice to get a feel good phone call for a change.

Thanks!  I really appreciate it!

Both your son’s are great readers. You are very lucky that they enjoy reading. In fact,  I think your middle son might even be a higher achiever reader than your oldest son was at the same age.

Thank you but I think I had something to do with their love of reading!

Oh yes. Of course.

Thanks for the phone call.  Bye.

And that was that. I worried for nothing. I drank in the middle of the day (gasp. BEFORE noon) and all by my lonesome for no good or valid reason. Something to think about, indeed.

When my son came home from school, I gave him a great big hug and told him how proud I was of him.

When my husband got home, I told him that our son got a call from his teacher today.

Instantly, he started sweating and shaking with anticipation of the news from today’s PHONE CALL.

I silently chuckled and sat back to enjoy the show.



et cetera