Flash Frozen Flight


I don’t do well at airports. There’s complete system overload just to get from point A to B. My official travel preparation begins with dirty martinis and Xanax. I’ve diagnosed myself with Air Travel Hysteria.

As soon as I drag my suitcase to the check-in line, I question my decision to travel.  Why do I want to be propelled to 35,000 feet in an aluminum tube? I’m feeling extreme pressure already and I’m going to enter a pressurized cabin. I’ve seen coke cans spring a leak in better conditions.

Oh God, will my luggage tip the scale like the Biggest Loser who’s binged on Twinkies? I cheer it on and smile proudly when it’s under the weight restriction. With a tear in my eye, I watch my new hard-shell beauty disappear into the black hole of baggage handling.

Will it be there when I reach my destination? Images flash in my mind of me standing in LAX, while my lonely boxer briefs are circling the baggage carousel in Poughkeepsie.

When it does greet me, like a brave solider from battle, it’s scraped, dinged and dirty. What airport alternate universe was it shoved through? My Samsonite has been raped and pillaged by baggage handler Todd working the 3 to 11 shift.

I remember to use the combination lock to protect my belongings, but it’s a fleeting sense of security. I forget TSA has a universal key and my bag is ready to be cracked open like a lobster on Martha’s Vineyard. I just know someone’s tried on my jeans and sprayed my cologne. I receive a lovely TSA note kindly advising me I’ve been violated. Thanks for letting me know, but my mangled clothes were a give-a-way.

There’s nothing like the experience of being herded into the cattle run of a TSA security checkpoint. I pray Grey Goose numbs my anxiety. Please don’t force me to give a concussion to the man in front of me. He’s wheeled his bag over my foot several times. Of course, he’s unaware. He’s on his cellphone oblivious to the fact that there are fellow travelers shoved against him in a conga line from hell.

I hope Xanax helps me find my Zen, before I have to partially disrobe and go through the highly suspicious Body Scanner. Raise your arms over your head and surrender to the highly skilled team of security agents. My shoes, belt and dignity are rolling down a conveyor line, while I’m being scanned for a few laughs later at the guard’s lunch hour. “Are his boxers sagging or is that him? Oh lord, Mary, don’t show me that. I haven’t eaten my Fritos yet.”

The sweat pours down my back as I slowly tiptoe through the metal detector. No alarm! I’m safe until I get called aside. I’ve been selected for a routine pat down. “Oh, praise be!” My lucky number has come up. I can play the Powerball, enter to win the HGTV Dream Home, or buy a raffle ticket and the result – zero.

Give me a chance to be fondled by a stranger with McDonald’s on his breath and I’m the lucky winner. There’s nothing else that screams grand prize than a nonmedical, civilian approaching me wearing latex gloves. If he brings out a jar of Vaseline, an airport holding cell will be my next destination.

l understand the need for security on air flights, but there has to be a less stressful way. Should I be willing to endure a cavity search just to see Grandma at Christmas?

I’ve figured out an excellent way to bring back the era of the “Friendly Skies.” It takes ingenuity and watching Sci-fi movies. I love the films where the spaceship crew travels in frozen suspension.  They hurtle deep into space, and they’re totally oblivious to the trip. Who wants too many days with annoying passengers? Just wake them up when they get there. It’s a brilliant form of transportation.

This is how every flight should be. Who’s working on this technology? Even without an engineering or science background, I’ll help get this thing off the ground. Give me a few wires to solder or a bottle of Windex to clean the glass on the passenger tubes.

The film Alien was released in 1979 and they were traveling in cryo-sleep capsules. Come on Boeing, what’s the hold up. You’ve had forty years to get this going. Step up your game. There are anxious passengers just waiting to be frozen.

About twenty-five percent of all Americans suffer fear of flying. If the airlines develop cryo-sleep flights that percentage goes to zero. Check my luggage, stick me in my sleep tube and flash freeze me. Roll me onto the conveyor belt with my Samsonite and cut out all the screening lines.

You can x-ray, poke, prod and cavity search me if you need to. I’m asleep dreaming of my vacation. “Have at me TSA.”

Just stack my tube, on the plane, with all the others and let me avoid the condescending look of the flight attendants when boarding for a flight. I don’t have to be reminded they’re in charge as they size me up when trying to squeeze into the cabin. They let me know this is their territory every time they bang the service cart into my elbow.

I don’t need to be bothered with the in-flight snack. There’s no reason to have the tray table stop my breathing as it cuts into my diaphragm, just to be handed a thimble of Coke and a sample of Barbie-sized pretzels.

Even if I wanted a morsel of food, there’s no ambience for dining. My elbows are stuck at my sides and my feet are numb. “Sir, may I get you something to drink and a light snack while you develop a blood clot in your leg?”

Airlines save your money. Take out all the cramped seating, get rid of the flight attendants and just pack the cabin with tubes of passenger popsicles. You might need to keep one attendant with a tank of Freon to make sure there’s no thawing before landing.

The future of air travel has to be frozen suspension. It solves security issues, and reduces flight crews. Also, it stops me praying my colon isn’t sucked out over the Atlantic while I try to straddle the stainless steel, vibrating salad bowl in the lavatory.

Best of all, no more rude, inconsiderate passengers. When the guy in the tube next to me gives me the cold shoulder, he’s just enjoying his flight to Boise as much as I am.










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4 thoughts on “Flash Frozen Flight”

  1. I just LOVE this! I’m NOT a fan of airports and so get that feeling of system overload. And heck, to be transported to my destination without awareness of the plane ride, sign me up! Awesome piece, Vince!

  2. I used to really love flying, and back in the 90’s it was a lot simpler than it is now, and a lot more pleasant too, with spare seats on planes, free food and often potential for free upgrades as well.
    Now it’s just a lot more stressful, and I always wonder what’s going to go wrong. Whether it’s a delay due to a problem at the airport or with the plane, or did I forget to pack something vital for the trip, it’s just not as enjoyable as it used to be.
    Mind you, up to the first transatlantic flight I took in 1987, previous flights had consisted of me spending most of the trip in the bathroom on the plane being sick.

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