Monday, September 28, 2009

The "New" Friendly Sky's

Now that commercial flying has become a sport, I have decided to embrace it and enjoy the game – like I have a choice. I have always enjoyed flying and I am not going to let the threat of terrorist and a color chart keep me from the friendly sky's.

I have just adopted the attitude that one must slow down, take advantage of the wait time, and assume that it a forced break from the office, my hectic world, and small town. Because when you are sitting in an airport, there is no doubt you are “out amongst them”. God, what people will wear.

When I was a little girl, I can remember flying as a big deal, you dressed up. Men always wore suits and women - their Sunday best (what we in the south describe any thing dressy you would wear in the daytime) complete with gloves. (Or, at least that’s how they did it in the movies and the TV commercials – the closest I came to flying as a child.) My, how times have changed.

And, security check points add a whole new dimension. Once you realize to be prepared – always wear shoes that slip off, no belt (if you can help it), put your watch in your bag before hand, remember those pesky 4oz liquids, and the guns and knives (always an issue in the south). Be prepared, God knows you do not want ugly stares from those professional flyers in line behind you, who might think you never fly. I pride myself on always being ready before I get in line – I may not be professional but I can at least maintain the appearance.

I always fly with a laptop. A year or so ago (before net books became the rage), I was “issued” a Tough Book. Panasonic developed these for the troops in Iraq – weighs only 3 lbs, you can drop it, spill a Diet Coke on it, and it keeps on going. (Something like the old Timex watches.) I was going through security, when one of the agents said, ”Mam, we need to speak you," as he gingerly held my laptop. I stepped aside. (Why do you always look guilty, even when you're not - or at least not for purposes of the current instance?) “Mam, is this a lap top?” he asked. “Yes, sir,” I replied. “I’m afraid it is not heavy enough to be a computer.” He said as he handed it to me and asked me to turn it on. He stepped back, as if he expected it to explode. I powered it on and it quickly booted up. 

He looked puzzled. “Hm,” he said with his hand on his jaw. “Larry,” he called to one of his buddies, “You gotta see this.” “And, how much does it weigh?” he asked? Seemed these beauties were designed to survive combat and the sands of Iraq but not get through security at an airport. I guess they weren’t interested in the sewing scissors I forgot to remove from my carry on.

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