Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Psst...is that guy sleeping?

With spring coming up, travel on some of our nation's large commercial airliners are picking up. Where I'm sure people will become religious just prior to take-off...Just stuff I was thinking about.

"What if you die on a plane?" I asked the husband as I read an article in the travel section of the newspaper. "I wonder what happens..."

"You mean, like, in a crash?" the husband replied. "I think everyone dies. You pretty much put your head between your legs and kiss your butt good-bye.."

"No, I mean, what if you die while you're on the plane?" I clarified. "What do they do with you?"
The husband looked at me as if I had three heads.

"You're weird, you know," he said simply. "Nobody thinks about things like that."

But with thousands of flights in the air every day, somebody, somewhere must have died on an aircraft and now that the thought had crossed my mind, I wanted an answer. I just couldn't let it go.

"If someone croaked in the middle of the flight, say, from a heart attack or something, do they just leave them sitting there?" I persisted. "Do they have to fasten their seat belts when the little light comes on? Although I don't see why because it really wouldn't matter anymore..."

"They would probably land the plane at the nearest airport, I imagine," the husband suggested rationally.

But what if it was, like, a long flight over the Atlantic Ocean and there was no airport nearby...

"They'd probably put the person down in the cargo hold where it's cold," husband-head said.

"Gross...you can't just shove someones loved one in the cargo hold," I disagreed. "How rude. Besides, that's where they put the pets and a dog might gnaw the person's arm off."

Husband was getting a little disturbed at the conversation. I could just tell.

"Well, you can't just leave them sitting there for the remainder of the flight, either," he pointed out. "Besides, if it was a long flight, they'd start to smell..."

I imagined the dead person sitting in the middle of the center row of seats as the flight attendants attempted to haul the body into the aisle to put it someplace.

"Excuse me...pardon me..." as they dragged the deceased under the armpits by the other passengers.

"Maybe they strap 'em up in a chair near the cockpit where the attendants sit for take-off and landing," husband-head said, I'm sure he was wishing I would just drop the whole subject.

"Kind of like that 1980's movie, 'Weekend at Bernie's' where they prop him up and pretend like he's still alive," I agreed.

Of course, I suppose you could always lock 'em in the lavatory...

"I wonder if you were sitting next to the dead guy if they'd give you his peanuts?" I continued to contemplate.

"You really are strange," husband said, shaking his head. "Have you been drinking or something?"

I recalled a time when I had been on a flight and somebody got really sick. The flight attendants had asked over the PA system if there was a doctor on board.

"I was just happy they weren't asking for a mechanic," I told husband.

Later that evening while we were in bed reading, I pointed out another article about a survey which reported that many people say a prayer before they fly.

"They're probably the same people who only go to church at Christmas and Easter," husband retorted. "Now would you stop talking about this nonsense and just go to sleep? I'm going to have bad dreams..."

He switched off the light and we laid in silence for a few minutes.

"What if you died while you were on a cruise?" I piped up in the dark. "I wonder if they throw you overboard and feed you to the fish..."

"You know, I thought your family was weird, but the nut doesn't fall far from the tree," was all husband said as he turned and put a pillow over his head.

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