Do you want to hear the funny thing? I mean the real ironic thing about all of this? This wasn't supposed to happen to me. Not right now, anyway. But as I covered my face with the oxygen mask and assumed the emergency position for a crash landing as instructed by the pilot, all I could think of was that Alanis Morissette song and how at this very moment I, yes, me, I was living out the lyrics of a pop song.
Who would have guessed that I would spend the last two hours of my life being bumped in the elbow (which is no doubt black and blue by now) by the merciless drink cart of a completely oblivious flight attendant named Cindy?
Or that I would have spent the last two hours being questioned to death (strike that word, given that it seems a little redundant given my current circumstances) make that rather, questioned to tears about myself or bored to tears by the endless stories of the person next to whom I was so lucky to be seated. You know, the person you see while you are waiting to board the flight and start secretly to hope that they will not be the person with the boarding pass bearing the seat number next to yours? That person. I always thought that when you put on the head phones it was the internationally understood signal that you wanted to be let alone. I guess someone didn't get that memo.
I mean, this really sucks. This vacation was supposed to be the big payoff. Two weeks in gorgeous Hawaii, sunning on the beach while sipping on a bottomless tropical concoction served in a hollowed out pineapple with a tiny paper umbrella. Swimming in the ocean blue and biking to the top of still active volcanoes. Oh it was going to be sweet reward for closing that deal and clearing my desk. Not a worry in the world for two entire weeks of bliss.
Instead, my flight was delayed for an hour and I have spent the last half hour trying not to use the airplane's restroom, having seen the rather large man who last exited it after having been in there for nearly twenty minutes. Now, oddly enough, I really have to pee and wish I had just braved it. Of course, now that is out of the question as we have strict order to remain in our seats. The last thing I want to do is raise my hand and tell Cindy that I really need to pee before we crash.
I can hear the engines giving out, so there is really no hope of coming out of this one. Nope, this is it, the grand finale. No Hawaii, no pineapple drink, no volcano. At least the person next to me has finally shut up, so something good has come out of this. I guess that's pretty ironic in itself. So there is something to be said for looking for that silver lining.
You know, my mother warned me about this. She always said it never made sense to her how they got those big planes to stay in the air once they even got them off the ground and that she would leave the flying to the birds. I, of course, tried to explain to her about jet propulsion and the laws of physics and gravity and that she had about a million to one more chances of dying in a car accident on the freeway than she did of dying in an airplane crash, but she wouldn't listen.
I guess the egg's on my face right now. I can already hear the 'I told you so' stories being recounted to all of her friends at the bingo hall. Even in the light of such a tragedy as my untimely and youthful death, my mother would never pass up on the opportunity to be right. I guess in a way this will sort of be the coup de grace of 'I told you so' stories for her.
I mean, really, how are you going to top your child dying in a plane crash with 'I told you that celery was going to go up in price just as sure as the sun would come up tomorrow'?
My God, did I just compare myself to celery?
Speaking of untimely deaths: Is death ever timely? I mean in situations like this. Would my dying in a plane crash be more timely if I was say 50?
And what about poor Cindy the flight attendant with the lousy cart control? I wonder what she must be thinking about right now. I wonder if she wondered if every flight she came to work on was going to be her last. As a flight attendant that thought must occasionally cross your mind.
And what about the talker next to me with the photo album of her kids and grandkids? I wonder if this woman expected the last time she would be showing her pictures to someone that the someone she'd be showing them to would have found it more entertaining to watch grass grow than to see her granddaughter forever immortalized in time as she sped down the chute of a Slip and Slide.
I guess it would be a safe bet that we are all having our own little ironic thoughts going through our heads right now. I mean, I doubt seriously that anyone boarding this paradise bound flight was saying to themselves 'yep, this is it'.
I really do need to pee.
This reminds of what my mother always used to say about always wearing clean underwear in case I was ever in an accident. The flying thing may not have took, but I am very pleased to say, much, I am sure, to my mother's delight, that the underwear thing did. However, at this point, I can honestly say that in the wake of smashing into the ocean from several thousand feet in the air, wearing clean underwear is, in all honesty the very least of my worries.
The plane just bounced again. More turbulence and more unfriendly noises coming from what were supposed to be the engines keeping us in the air. The cabin pressure is decreasing as our altitude drops. Gravity is getting stronger and so is its pull on my bladder. I'm really not seeing much point in trying to avoid the embarrasment of losing bladder control. I somehow doubt that anyone aboard this ocean bound flight would choose this particular time to point and laugh at the guy with the wet spot on his pants. Then again....
You know what, to hell with it. I have to pee and spending the last moments of my life trying to maintain bladder control seems to me to be the height of ridiculousness. If I'm going to die, I am going to die with an empty bladder and a smile on my face.
And so I did...
And just as I did the planes engines suddenly kicked back on and the captain made an announcement and a cheer went up among the passengers and the woman next to me was staring down at my soaking wet crotch and all I could think was Thanks Alanis.