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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Idiots On The Plane

Idiots On A Plane...Or....

Continued Adventures of Flying Squirrely Girl 

Update: You should really read "All My Bags Are Packed, I 'm Ready To Go" before this to get the full impact of this little story. Only then will you understand the enormous amount of 'crazy' in my little life.

First off let me say this, I shouldn’t “drive” anywhere by myself much less “fly” anywhere by myself. I think I provided enough examples of that in Part I of this series. I should actually never be left alone with sharp objects or anything with movable parts at any time. I have the propensity to attract dangerous and abnormal events no matter where I am, even my own backyard where I once got bit by something the Hub said was an itsy bitsy bloodsucking black bug, the ER said was a ground hornet and a doctor later confirmed was a snake bite.(Yes, you may read that sentence again to make sure you really read what you think you read.) 

I also tripped over a puppy on some wood steps once and got a cut on my leg that ended up with gangrene/streptococcus/flu-like symptoms with overtones of a broke shin and second degree burns AND once broke my foot sitting at my desk.  So I am no stranger to the “freaky and unusual”. But to intentionally take a flight alone with more than one stop is inviting disaster of some sort and this trip was no exception.

Somehow I overcame my embarrassment of not having a valid ID, sitting in the wrong seat and stealing someone’s seat belt and finally made it to Atlanta. Then after nearly missing the flight because I took the Tram/Train thingy the wrong direction the first time, I made it on the “big” plane from Atlanta to Minneapolis, MN with one second to spare.  Before I barely had time to pat myself on the back, I hear the most God awful noise I have ever heard in my life. It was a cross between grinding metal and a motorcycle race. I have never heard a noise quite like it  much less on a big ‘ol airplane.  I waited for a few seconds and then I turned to the lady beside me and said, “Do you hear that?  You do hear that, right?”  She just sort of shrugged and kept reading her book that looked like an encyclopedia. (I was hoping it was the 'A' edition for AIRPLANE CRASH RESCUES)

At first I thought maybe the engines were just getting warmed up or were too warm from waiting on me, but the noise just got louder and shriller and the grinding sound was just overwhelming. So I looked behind me and said, “Have you guys ever heard anything like that on an airplane before?”  They sort of shook their heads and I could see a glimpse of concern, but still not the reaction I expected and was about to demand.  The plane started backing out and the noise just got louder. I rose up in my seat and looked around and NOBODY was doing anything, nothing, zilch, notta, not a thing.  Final Destination 1,2, 3, 4 and 5 was running through my head and a little Snakes on a Plane combined with every Airport movie made.  This was more like “Idiots on a Plane”.  So of course I could not contain myself and said rather loudly. “Am I the only person who hears this? What is wrong with you people?”  (What I really wanted to say was, “Everybody get off this plane! It is about to blow up!)  But I am not crazy you know.

The plane just kept taxiing down the runway, whirling and twirling and grinding and moaning. Everybody started fidgeting a bit but nobody said a word….except…me.  I couldn’t help myself and said, “Miss…oh Miss…yes, you Miss Flight Attendant, doesn’t something sound a tad bit amiss to you?”  Before she could answer the pilot came over the loud speaker and announced, “Ladies and Gentlemen, we are experiencing a “small” mechanical problem and we will update you as soon as possible.”   ~Huge sigh of relief~ 

Hey, I can hear a spark plug ping before it goes out, just ask my Hub. I don’t even know where a spark plug goes or really what one looks like, but I will hear a funny noise and sure enough that is what it will be. Some people play music by ear, that can’t read a single note but they know when it is right or when it is wrong. I am a mechanic by ear. I may not know ‘what’ is wrong, but I sure know when I hear something that is not right. I usually just say it is the ‘universal joint’ because that seems to cover just about everything. But, I digress.

I looked around at all the people who had been staring at me and gave them a smug little smile, then the pilot came back over the air and said this:  “Ladies and Gentlemen, we had a small problem with one of the engines but we are just going to not use that one so we will now be on our way.”

 WHAAAAAATTTTT???   Was it a spare engine? How many engines do you have? Do you have so many you can just ignore one? And if that one sounded that bad and you didn’t know it, what about the remaining engine or engines?  (I had a LOT of questions.) No one but me seemed concerned. “Ahhh, it was just an engine, blondie…now sit down and shut up.”   Whaaaaaattttt???  They do realize that we just heard the engine about to explode but apparently the PILOT did not hear it because he continued to taxi down the runway, right??? Are we gonna trust him from Atlanta to Minneapolis?  Apparently we are, because off we go into the wild blue yonder. Spitting, spurting, whirling, twirling, grinding, moaning, groaning, no good engine and all! I just bowed my head and said a little prayer. “Dear Lord, I know I am not the brightest bulb on the tree, but I know a spitting, spurting, whirling, twirling, grinding, moaning, groaning, no good engine when I hear one and I just pray that however many other engines (if any) are left on this airplane will hold out to get this Meme to her grand babies. Amen”

The poor flight attendant, feeling a little sorry for me, said, “Ma’am could I get you something to drink?” I said, “Well...if you have some liquid valium and a horse tranquilizer, that would be perfect, thank you.”

I am pretty sure they flagged me as either a potential terrorist, a crazy loon, or at the very least… an “unaccompanied person”.  

Signed, Still Hanging In There
~Squirrely Girl


  1. Shaking my head... Yep, nobody cared that it sounded like a wreck with wings... I do wonder... Have grown to hate flying myself... And that is after 26 years of flying around the globe! Had more faith in our old AF planes than in civilian planes...

    1. I think people are getting complacent about flying. That is never a good thing. But it is one thing for passengers to become complacent...it is another when the mechanics and pilots and air traffic controllers become complacent. I see and feel the miracle of flight every time I get on a plane. I also pray and interview the crew. Because I was late, I didn't have time to talk to the pilot or I would have known he was an Idiot. Hehe

    2. Never fly with an Air Force Navigator or Pilot. My husband first checks out who the pilots are because he says lots of pilots went into the civilian crews and he already gave them once chance to kill him he is not giving them another. lol then he looks at flaps etc and he does know what he is doing. On one flight before take off he flagged a stewardess down and said very politely, please tell the pilot the flaps are in the wrong position for take off. She looked at him very skeptical but I guess she couldn't help it and went to the phone and sure enough a few minutes later, flaps were changed and a very surprised flight attendant came back and said, uh, he said thank you. Now, lets see, I don't fly alone any more eh????

    3. I am never flying again without Tom...simple as that! LOL