Last week my family spent six days on Grand Cayman Island. The entire experience was wonderful. One of my favorite parts, though, was turbulence on the flight from Dallas to Miami. Weird, I know.
All seemed to be going smoothly in multiple senses of the word. We had not experienced any delays of flights, and the flights had been quite uneventful. Then, without warning, we had some strong turbulence. The entire plane was shaking, and for about 2 seconds it felt as if we were in a free fall.
The woman sitting on the aisle seat next to my sister and I nearly punched the back of the head of the woman in front of her as she turned ghostly white and grabbed the headrest.
So what did my sister and I do? Oh of course, we immediately let go of our armrests so as to enjoy that “losing your stomach” feeling to the fullest possible extent. “Raise your arms Maurice! It’s more fun if you raise your arms, like this, ah ha ha ha!” – King Julian, Madagascar 2 plane crash scene.
Our row buddy gave us a horrified look as she clutched the seat back. I asked if she was going to be alright, and she nodded hesitantly.
Then, Sis and I leaned around to make eye contact with our parents who were across the aisle as we mouthed the words, “That. was. awesome.”
Sis’s comment to me was, “You know, that should have put the fear of God in me, but it didn’t… I think I need to reexamine my life.”
We are such adrenaline junkies. We love SixFlags, but some of the rides just don’t have the same effect that they used to have on us. We know what’s coming. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still fun, it’s just lost a little of the rush. It goes a little bit like this:
We click, click, click up to the top of the first hill. Sitting in the first car, our bodies hang over the front edge as we wait for the last car to release. I think to myself, “Well this looks nifty.” Sis and I make eye contact. We’re definitely thinking the same thing. We smile the whole ride, thoroughly enjoying ourselves. If we do scream, it’s because we do it on purpose just because it’s the socially accepted response, and we wouldn’t want to be left out, would we? We get off of the coaster and say, “that was pretty cool.” All smiles, we proceed to the next line to do it all again.
Turbulence, though, was completely unexpected. It was different. There wasn’t even an announcement that we might be hitting any rough spots soon. Our hearts raced, adrenaline pumped. It was fantastic. And we didn’t have to stand on 120 degree asphalt for five hours waiting on the experience either.
These are the sort of things that Sis and I discussed after the turbulence had ended and color had returned to that poor woman’s face. I looked at Sis and said, “You know, I think I’d be okay if the plane had gone down. I’m pretty happy with the way I’ve lived my life. I’m secure in my faith, our whole family is here together. It might be a fun way to spend your last few minutes.” Morbid, I know, but oddly not too untruthful. I wouldn’t have wished for a crash, but I think I’d be at peace with one.
That led to a discussion of how we would react in a plane crash. Here is some of what we came up with:
-one chance at the perfect synchronized platform dive from 30,000 feet. (We had watched the Olympic diving trials.)
-jump out holding your seat cushion flotation device over your head yelling to your fellow passengers, “I didn’t know this flight came with free skydiving lessons!!!”
-reenact the crash scene conversation between Marty and Alex from Madagascar 2.
Alex: Marty, it looks like this is it! I just want you to know, you’re a one in a million friend!
Marty: Thanks, Alex! You are a true friend!
Alex: And I’m sure you won’t mind when I tell you…
Marty: What? Tell me what?
Alex: I broke your iPod!
Alex: The buttons were so small! It made me mad!
Marty: The horrorrrrr!
Alex: It was an accident!
Marty: I’m gonna kill you!
-unbuckle your seat belt and try to crawl around on the ceiling
If anyone heard us, I’m sure they were concerned about our mental stability, but that’s alright with me. We were having a grand ol’ time. I don’t know how only children survive.
What would you do if you were in a plane crash?