Thursday, December 20, 2007

Scorpions on a Plane Part 2: The actual story about scorpions...on a plane

This is the way in which words fail me. They used to overfloweth from my mind, but recently the ideas gently boil but never seem to bubble over. I get all anxious and lazy and procrastinate. Then I feel bad about procrastinating which causes more anxiety followed by mild depression. I am pretty sure there are pills for this, but for now I'll settle for excuses.

Which finally, after several months of reluctant whimpering, brings us to part 2 of my bug blog:

(psst, here's part 1 in case you missed it)

I am exhausted. The previous night's dehumanizing battle with the cockroach has left me uneasy and sleepy all at once. Now I am finally tucked in securely between my parents in seat B, waiting for the plane to take off up to altitudes far beyond the flight of the palmetto bug. Passengers are still filing in as my weary head falls on my shoulder.

"What! Are you serious?" I hear some muted commotion breaking out a few rows up. I open my eyes to see what's going on.

A woman is creeping down the aisle, ducking below open luggage bins. She approaches a flight attendant politely.

"Excuse me, sir," she taps on his shoulder," There is a scorpion in the seat next to me, and it just stung my son."

Ok, now it's my turn: "WHAT? Are you serious?" Let's put aside for the moment that I am trapped yet again with a terrifying insect. What is even more shocking is the absurdly calm demeanor of this lady. The way she approached the attendant you'd think she was maybe hoping to get a blanket maybe possibly if it's not too much trouble. Who reacts this way when their child is attacked on a PLANE by a venomous, possibly deadly, creature?

"Oh dear, it seems a hideous scorpion is in my child's seat. Well, isn't that odd? Oh, look at that. He just stung my child in the face. *bzz* (hits attendant paging light). "Don't worry son, I'm sure they'll be with us right after the beverage cart is sorted."

This is sort of a fun game, actually. To help you appreciate the absurdity of this situation, come up with the most far-fetched, horrific attack you can imagine enduring on the plane, and then pretend to respond to that by calmly pushing the attendant light above your head.

*bzz* "Ah, yes. It seems a tiger has mauled my son. Whenever you get a chance an extra napkin would be great."

*bzz* "Oh, hi. Could I get a Ginger Ale, please? Oh and also, it appears that an alien has just exploded through my son's abdomen. Thanks."

That is seriously how flatly and matter-of-factly this lady was. She must have been from the West coast. Anyway, maybe I am just a fear-monger, but if I were her I'd probably react with slightly more arm flailing and substantially more screaming.

Anyway, the jokes didn't come until later. First, there was panic. For all I know if there is one scorpion on the plane there could be more, and suddenly I start having flashbacks of my sleepless night. I feel phantom legs crawling up my arm, curved tails poking through my seat cushion. My cozy comfort zone has suddenly turned into a potential death trap.

The attendant bravely approaches the boy where the scorpion was STILL HANGING OUT, picked it up with some cocktail napkins, put it on the floor and promptly (if with slightly fey sass) gave it a good stomp.

After the scorpion was rendered harmless, the napkin was slowly unfolded and the contents examined by every passenger on board with facial hair.

"Excuse me, I have a beard. Let me take a look."

Although the inspection took place out of earshot, I gathered from the furrowed brows and nodding that the scorpion was not of the deadly variety. I'm sure that sting still hurt like a mothertrucker, but the kid stayed put as we began our pan-american travel.

Needless to say, my sleepless night was followed by a sleepless flight. It was a severe 24-hour case of the creepy crawlies.

So let that be a warning to you. You never know where the hell your plane has flown in from or what kind of extra passengers may be on board. Check your seat before you sit. This is true for most seats, really.

the end.
i feel better about myself now.

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