March 25, 2008

The mother of invention

I don't know if my genius is evident in my writing. However, I should take a few seconds to acquaint you with a side of me you may not know. What you do know is that I am the loving father of one, soon to be two. And that I enjoy writing, golf, and long walks on the beach, oh right, and I'm a genius. That being said, what I don't enjoy is flying (see previous post dated 3/19/08). My phobia has gotten worse over the last few years and is now starting to affect my loving wife. Before me, she had no fear of flying whatsoever. Now, she has been turned to the dark side of questioning the physics that allow a 70,000 pound hunk of metal to fly distances longer than a few feet, and fearing any amount of turbulence.

The good news is that our flight into Washington, DC's Reagan National was the most turbulent experience I have had to date. At one point the winds were so strong that the nose of the plane was quite obviously askew from the tail. The many well lit monuments of DC turn out to be a great for calibrating this by the way. Not surprisingly, amidst the people vomiting from motion sickness, my wife began to freak a bit. Stupefyingly, I was comforting her.

Upon landing, I felt compelled to ask the two flight attendants how they would rate our carnival ride on a scale of 1 to 10. One of the answers was not too reassuring. The first woman said that she was a bad person to ask, because at this point in her nascent flying career she was sweating it out too. The answer I was actually looking for came from the more senior of the two, and she gave it a 6. God, please don’t ever let me see 10.

Time out. I began this post telling you what a genius I was. We now arrive at the brilliantly timed segue. I said that the severe turbulence was good news. It was, because my brilliance and the necessity to not scare the shit out of my family, caused me to turn to an obvious and old friend. Through a painstaking review of body chemistry and alcohol content, I discovered that bourbon delivered orally at the rate of one ounce per hour will keep a 185 pound man sufficiently mellow for a period of up to seven hours. I know what you are thinking though. Joe, that’s why they invented those teeny bottles of Jack Daniels in the first place.

You’re right, but what about before you even board the plane? That’s where a five ounce baby bottle and a trip the liquor store comes in. Once Annie was safely out of my hands upon arrival at the Shreveport Airport (that has no bar), I ducked into the bathroom and downed about half of my previously filled, homemade medication. You would be surprised how much it looked like juice when it was making its way through security. Then, upon taking our seats I polished off another ounce or so. That left me with about two ounces for our second flight (the one that did barrel rolls) and enough liquid courage to support my family the way they deserve. The night turned out to be a success and as I told you, we arrived safely in Washington. Necessity, my friends, is after all the mother of invention.


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