Tuesday, December 18, 2007
ladies and gentlemen, please clear the runway
We made it to Salt Lake - and just in time. We headed west just as the winter storm that paralyzed the Midwest and Northeast headed east. Luckily we flew through Dallas and avoided the 250 delayed flights at O'Hare. Zoe's preferred mode of travel is now the airplane. She slept longer and more peacefully in a crammed airplane at 30,000 ft. than she ever has in her car seat around town. Admittedly, we were a little anxious about air travel and a four-month old, but things went very smoothly. One incident, however, is worth reporting though it doesn't involve Zoe. On our way to Dallas I had to relieve myself of a little pre-flight hydration. As frequent travelers of all stripes know, airplane lavatories are, without a doubt, the place to avoid. They invariably appear on lists of "germiest" places and frequently feature sights and smells of which nightmares are made. Anyway, I walked all the way down the aisle under the gaze of the other passengers and entered the vacant stall. Turbulence didn't make it easy, but it was, in the end, uneventful. Immediately after returning to my seat, the flight attendant's voice came blaring, rather incoherently, over the loudspeaker: "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats, the toilet is clogged." Needless to say, I turned bright red and watched with surprise as the captain emerged from the cockpit and rushed down the aisle toward the restroom. He was either in dire need of a pitstop or pilot training includes a course in unclogging airplane toilets. So, we're still debating whether the pilot couldn't wait and needed a clear path to the washroom, or if I have magic urine that clogs toilets. My guess is the former, but I think the crew on American Airlines flight 327 could have concocted a more tactful plan to get the captain to the bathroom.