Aeroplanes: A Beginner's Rant

Allow me to begin with, I absolutely despise planes.

No, not flying. In fact, I find flying to be an exhilarating experience... this being a real plus, being emitted from a person who frequently becomes gripped by vertigo in such situations. No, the flying part itself is never the problem.

The problem, to be honest, is flying in a vaguely cylindrical object, packed into a small space among dozens of other rather unpleasant characters, all whom have apparently forgotten the niceties of human nature. For example, the man who needs to speak loudly and vulgarly about nothing in particular; the woman sitting in front of me who, despite her obscene amount of leg room compared to my cramped position, insists on leaning backwards in her seat to further deny me my usually lanky freedom; my best friend who, even if he is, for the most part, a chipper lad to have around, loves to chat louder than necessary due to the iPod plugged forcefully into his rather large ears (the music to which he enjoys dancing around in his seat) whilst flailing furiously due to the fact that he has temporarily misplaced the script to his upcoming Drama production. Although I heartily approve of the occasional angry dance now and then, it becomes almost scary when said angry dance becomes a danger to my being, which I would like to keep unmolested on this trip, thank you very much.

Places like these make me wonder who could invent such a deadly, not to mention uncomfortable, piece of metal. Of course, the Wright brothers had a simple dream in mind, but even they would succumb to my opinion if they would have to sit in such a position as mine. "Why", they would wonder accusingly, "did man twist our noble ambition into becoming such a sardine box? Who", they would curse angrily, "made our brainchild into such a monstrosity of the skies?"

Since I am currently on an airplane sans Internet at the moment, and therefore have no means to look up the real inventor of the Boeing 737, I offer this humble suggestion: it was us. Us, the hungry consumers who no matter the circumstance, demand more! more! more! to quench our greediness, if only for an instant. Someone complained, this chair is too upright! Another called, there is never enough room to fit all my family and friends on one plane ride! A third struggled to his feet because of his considerable girth and garbled, flight attendant, I've run dry of gin and cookies! Because of the need to feel important, people began to solve the sloth discrepancies that the consumer ordered to achieve worldwide praise. The customer is always right, even if they are pudgy, slobbering fools. Maybe those who demanded perfection will learnt he error of their ways when they cannot squeeze into row 5B. Since I've offered no positive outlooks on the subject, I find that the greatest accomplishment of the airplane other than the timely convenience is the view. Sure, we may boast about the time it saves us to reach our foreign company brach in Beijing in considerably less time than a boat of any kind, but what small child has not peered quizzically out of a hatch such as this and experienced the kaleidoscope of hues reflecting off the nimbus' silver lining in wonder, or watched passing cars like small insects, mistaking the lights below for a hundred thousand stars, brilliant in the evening sky? Of course, to most, this exhilarating feeling is shed over time like a reptile's second skin, but such a sight will never lose its power to amaze and inspire. Ground control to Major Tom, you've really made the grade.

At this, I believe I've found my feelings expressed in song, but from an odd companion: Weird Al Yankovich. He says this an Albuquerque: "You know, I've never been in a real airplane before, and I've gotta tell ya, it was pretty great... except for the fact that I sat between two large Albanian women with excruciatingly severe body odour, the little kid behind me kept throwing up the whole time, the flight attendants ran out of Dr. Pepper and salted peanuts, the in-flight movie was [a film] with Polly Shore... oh yeah, and three of the engines burned out, and we went into a tailspin, and crashed into a hillside, and the plane exploded into a giant fireball and everybody died." Go figure, eh?

I'm assuming that Weird Al was trying to convey that even though most of the elements may be terrible, the overall effect may not be all that bad. I'll bet he even glanced out of a window and was dazzled by such a simply beautiful point of view.

I still hate planes, though.

The End

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