Laser Lights and Airplanes

I hate to fly. I am deathly afraid of flying.

When I was married and flew to Europe one or more times a month with daughter Sarah’s fabulous dad, better knows as H2 (husband #2), I had trouble taking advantage of the opportunities that were mine for fear of the flight there or back. I fly a lot now, and I use drugs to make it happen. But you wouldn’t want to have a meeting with me upon my arrival. On second thought, you might, because you could get anything you wanted. I’m out of it.

I remember once flying with H2 on a flight from Geneva to New York. It was perfect. No turbulence, but I was sitting next to H2, shaking. He was working; his papers were strewn around and on my side of the seat, which is probably one of the reasons I had to divorce him. (I have issues.) Anyway, he looked over at me, slowly put all his papers away, took my hand and gently said, “Ok. let’s fix this. Just what are you afraid of?”

“We are all going to die,” I replied with certainty.

H2 paused, reached down for his briefcase and said, “I can’t help you.”

Fear of flying is bad enough on its own, but the risk of terrorism adds some stress (although I never worry about that part of it, which in itself shows the absurdity of my fear). Fear of flying, I’m convinced, is caused by having to put your life in a stranger’s hands. So, with the terrorism thing, I’m sure that I could overpower the terrorists—all five of them single-handedly—and recover control of the plane for the pilots. Yes, yes, I know, I know. Ridiculous. But so is my fear of the safest form of transportation out there.

I always check out the pilots. I’m usually the first one in the waiting area and often see them boarding. I check them out, make sure they look like they can walk a straight line, and I chat with the flight attendants and see if they have flown with them in the past.

But I digress. I saw on the news this morning that pilots are aborting landings because people on the ground are shooting laser beams at airplanes landing and taking off, and these lasers blind the pilot. Are you kidding me? Do you really need to do this? Don’t I have enough things to worry about when we are taking off? I have to watch the take-off to make sure the plane gets its wheels off the ground before running out of runway. I have to listen for sounds that are not working for me. I have to check the flaps and make sure they are fully out. I have to look around for birds and alert the proper peeps if I feel they are about to run into us. I have to watch the flight attendants’ faces to see if they pause in any way. I do not have time to bring binoculars in and check for laser shooters miles away. This is the final insult.

Stop it. All of you idiots, just stop it. I mean it. I’m flying again in early January, which gives you almost a month to get rid of the lasers, or use them for your Powerpoint presentations, but I’m so not kidding. Finished. You are all to put them away and I don’t want to hear of it again. End of story. Have a nice day.

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