Your McMurray Six On/Six Off
FLYING IS PEACHY BECAUSE:
1. You have to switch off. Being in an aeroplane is probably the longest time we spend disconnected to the wired and wireless world. Instead of chafing at the iPhone, embrace this return to disconnectedness. Relax, have a drink, read a book, draw a silly cartoon. Do something that you never have time for because you’re too busy staying in touch.
2. It is by a mile, and also by the mile, the most efficient and cheapest way to travel. If you think that plane ticket to Vancouver was expensive, try driving there instead. L.A? See how long that road trip will take. The flight is three and a half hours. The further you wish to go, the cheaper flying becomes, especially if there is an ocean in the way.
3. It is the safest way to travel distances. That sometimes seems hard to believe, but flying is much safer than driving, and flying economy is even safer. More people survive plane crashes by being further back in the fuselage than being at the front. Take that you rich business-class-entitled snobs.
4. It is the most flexible way to travel. Fly to Vancouver. From there you can take a direct flight to 19 other countries. Go south instead. From Denver you can access 14 countries. Go east to Toronto, 48 more countries become available. Two flights from Fort McMurray and you can be just about anywhere in the world.
5. Time is of the essence. We don’t all get six weeks vacation every year, so when we go away we want to get there as soon as possible. No one ever said, “The best part of my vacation was the flight home from Mazatlan.”
6. It is the only way to experience other places properly. Flying makes seven day vacations possible. If it took two days to get to Florida, and two days back, then that week at Disneyworld doesn’t look all that much fun anymore.
FLYING IS EGREGIOUS BECAUSE:
1. You know how miserable it is to be normal sized and that big guy comes and sits next to you on the plane. Suddenly you feel cramped and out of space. Well think of the terrors flying holds for that big guy; the one who is substantially over 6 feet tall and over 250 pounds. Every flight he goes on is cramped, in seats designed for the tiny people of the 19th century. As a small person, you may get a lucky, comfortable flight next to another small person. The big guy will always be unhappy.
2. Service is non-existent. The food is so bad they charge you for it so you won’t eat it, relieving them of all responsibility; and the staff have been pared down to the bare minimum necessary so they don’t even have time to smile, let alone offer any ministrations.
3. Whoever designed the ablution facilities was rejected by the people who brought you the Spanish Inquisition, because he was too sadistic. There isn’t enough room to fart or to even say ‘Number 2’ let alone think about it. And how do you wipe your bum? By standing up so you can get your arm behind you, risking a midair dribble into your clothes? And, finally, why does the seat belt warning light always go on when you’re in the one place without a seatbelt?
4. Paying for everything. Fuel surcharges? Insurance fees? Lost luggage costs. They’re all insulting and are part of the continuous gouging airlines use to try to get every penny they can out of you. Now they’re charging for stowed baggage, and the one that pisses me off more than any other is the airport improvement fees some airports charge. Fix your airports on your own dime, not mine.
5. Cabin baggage arrogance. The one thing they should be charging extra for and they don’t, is oversize cabin bags. Frequent-flying men will try to get a bigger bag onboard, claiming it’s regulation size. Hockey bags are a particularly favourite ruse. Women are smarter and go for quantity. In addition to carrying their official cabin baggage, they also have their computer bag which looks like it can hold three bottles of hooch, their handbag that is the size of a life raft, and their shopping bag which has a week’s groceries in it. And if they are old and small, they expect the man sitting next to them to help them stow everything. This is an apt time for sailors’ words.
6. There is a queue for everything: checking your baggage, security, coffee, food, the airport washroom, getting on board, the aeroplane washroom, getting off, the airport washroom, coffee, getting the stowed baggage, the taxi, booking in to the hotel. Queues form because of scarcities, which are caused by cutbacks. As an example, in the eighties there were six bathrooms per aeroplane, nor there are only two. Maybe if we all started micturating on the floor, airlines would get the message that we are pissed off.