Thursday, December 27, 2007

Avoiding the Nazi's and challenging cartwheels

I've been reading this book by Chuck Palahniuk... same author as Fight Club (the book before the movie). It's called "Choke." About 260 pages in total and it's damn good so far.
I've read 4 or 5... maybe 6 books by Chuck, and all of them have been great.
Except 1... "Diary"... Garbage.

Anyway... So the other day I had to fly from Denver back into the Chicago area so I could do the whole family food thing.

Forecast today:
Denver... Sunny at 45 F
Chicago... Blizzard hell with a chance of warmth inside a building.
So the flight was delayed about 30 minutes, no biggy.

During the first half or so of the flight, crammed between a pre-med student studying sexual reproduction, and to my right was a "let's move around a lot with no consideration of the 1/2 inch space between me and anyone around me"... I was reading this book, Choke. Since I woke up at something like the ass crack of dawn o'clock in the morning... I was a bit tired.

Now, if you've ever been on a plane... you know what turbulence feels like.
For those of you who don't... here's a little summary.
Think of a roller coaster. One of those wooden ones. Add a blind fold, and get in.
You feel the roller coaster jerk and rattle as it leaves the docking station... lean back as it pulls the carriage up the first hill... and then it reaches a plateau, but you still feel a bit of the jerking and rattling.
This rocking and rattling and jerking of the seat is turbulence. It's pretty random, and usually accompanied by a small whimper of the person in the seat behind you or a child's high pitched scream 6 seats back.

After the plane took off the air above the first 5 or something states was solid, no turbulence, comfortable... and sleep worthy.
But I forged on, and read a whopping 30 pages or so before I found myself re-reading the same page over and over, and still not knowing what I just read.
It's like reading the diary of a schizophrenic. Word salad.
Your mind sees "Discount trees from sleep food 75 duck empty ticket," but the words on the page read "When the server presented the $75 bill, you could just pay with the coupon."
That's what it's like. Craziness. And not very conducive to understanding what's happening in a book you're enjoying, so I went to sleep.

At some point in my dream world the teen settled down, closed the windows and went to sleep. The pre-med student decided to take a note out of my book as well, and also took to slumber. FYI, this is odd because it's a flight that left at 2pm. That's afternoon time.

So we get near the area of Midway/Chicago/IL/Blizzard/Near Death... and I wake up due to a calming scream several seats in front of me.
I quickly realize the plane is on a hard right turn. Apparently we were under attack from the nazi's of 1944 and our pilot was avoiding the flak cannon fire from below. Then the plane leveled out for a long 0.23 seconds and then swooped into a hard left bank this time. Gravity grabbed my body and pulled me into the pre-med student. My $5 Seven and Seven drink slid across my fold out table thing, catching it just before it spilled across pre-med student's right leg... I took a drink.

Impending doom requires a stiff drink.

Midway airport is conveniently placed in the middle of a suburban area... so as you're landing, you can pretend we're going to undershoot the runway and end up in the middle of someone's living room watching Grey's Anatomy.
After avoiding flak, nazi air-o-planes, missiles and nuclear detonation... we were approaching a 3 story house built in 1985.
Out of the window I see wood paneling, bricks, and a wooden deck fly by. when we get just above the roof tops I feel that familiar roller coaster feeling... turbulence... and I see the wing erch down toward the runway/ground/death.
My thoughts are suddenly filled with cart-wheels and 2nd grade competitions with girls. I never did have a competition with a plane in 2nd grade.

Props to the pilot... We all survived... and are hero's for it.