The weather in Martina del Ray was predictably bright and sunny yesterday morning as The Daver and I blearily made our way downstairs to have breakfast before we had to leave for the airport. We mocked a couple of locals who were obviously cold and in boots and coats, because, well, we were going back to a place where it was a balmy 16 degrees.

Later, after spending some time in the airport where I hoped to spy even a C or D list celebrity (current tally of celebs seen in LA besides, of course, myself: 0) I squeezed myself into the window seat of the plane. I was slightly relieved to not be next to The Daver because it meant I could be quiet, and noted my seatmate was a 90 pound girl.

*phew* I sighed, as I settled in and strapped on my iPhone, as I happily envisioned a plane-ride where I didn’t have to fly with some mouth-breather all up on top of me.

My relief was short lived as my seatmate fell asleep and stretched her entire frame onto mine. Her legs snaked underneath my seat, her hands kneaded my side and she rested her head on my shoulder. Had I been a horny dude, I probably would have popped wood and smiled blissfully, but no, I was slightly annoyed.

I was kind of in shock that someone so small could manage to take up so much space.

As the plane ride drew to an end, I tried to enjoy my last hours as a free agent, albeit one with an external parasite, but inwardly I cheered as I recognized the lights of Chicago winking in the distance. My stomach flipped excited as the circling of the O’Hare airport began and I mentally checked off the places that we might have some dinner as I researched my column for the following day.

I live for take-off and landing.

As the plane began to descend, I realized this one was Just Bad. I’ve been flying regularly since I was 6 months old and I’ve been through 2-3 Bad Landings and this was setting off all kinds of warning bells. Why? I don’t know. I’m not a fearful flyer.

The plane was shaking wildly and I realized that the wings were covered were ice. They must have iced up when we switched climates and didn’t get de-iced properly. I don’t know. Either way, we were all shaking around like popcorn kernels in the cabin of the plane.

It was clear that something was Very Wrong.

The descent seemed to take forever, and finally, we approached the runway going way too fast. I waited for that comforting gnash of tires on the runway as the tires made contact and I braced myself against the seat in front of me.

It didn’t come.

Next thing I knew, we were going up, up, up again, the plane shaking and shuddering as once again we climbed back up to cruising altitude. The PA system was quiet and the passengers, most of us waiting to taking connecting flights which were now going to have been delayed until the following day, all had banded together the way people do in a crises.

Voices carried, people talked loudly, babies screamed, the skinny foreign chick slept on top of me, and the guy next to her and I looked at each other, scared.

But the PA was silent. Always a Bad Sign because it means it’s serious.

The plane circled and bounced and it was clear that the pilot wasn’t quite in control of the plane and I said a prayer, my thoughts of dinner and my column for SodaHead a distant and frivolous thought of the past. Eventually, the descent began again, and again, we shook and shuddered and afforded a lovely view of the wing, I saw yes, it was ice and the wing and yes, it was really probably serious.

I white-knuckled the hand-rests like that was somehow going to help me in the event that we crashed and tried to focus on anything but staring out the window.

Because really, if you’re gonna die, you might as well enjoy the ride down, right? On my list of Ways To Die: Plane Crash is on my list of ways that wouldn’t be so bad.

But I wanted to see my babies one last time, so I kept on praying and when we touched down, I cried a little.

We got stuck on the tarmac for quite awhile while the plane was de-iced and I swear to you, Chicago never looked so pretty or wonderful or good to me as it did last night, or this morning, or really, ever.

Today, I will count my blessings, count my angels on my shoulder, and know that it must not have been quite my time to go yet. Then I will go pour something in my coffee to quell the shaking and kiss my babies and cry a little bit.

The sun is shining very, very brightly today.



107 thoughts on “If I’m Going To Die On A Motherf*cking Plane, There Better Be Motherf*cking Snakes

  1. That is scary shit right there. I don’t like to fly. The last flight I took it was a horrible landing and I had an 11 day old infant with me. I have not been on a place since.
    I am glad you are okay. It is a beautiful day!

  2. Phew – I hate that shit. When the plane goes back up and does circles its time to break out the xanax AND Vodka. Glad you wrote this, because that means you are here. Safely tucked in my computer.

  3. That must’ve been so awful! I’ve been flying since I was little too and have had a couple of scares, everything always seems awesome after. Glad you’re ok.

  4. so glad you’re ok and still with us! because if you weren’t, i’d have to off myself. and speaking of ways to die, my list has a single entry: lots of pills. talk about enjoying the ride down. no disfigurement or dismemberment. and i need all the help i can get in the die young, stay pretty department.

  5. I prefer to go quietly in my sleep, thank you. And people make fun of me because I don’t fly. If God had meant us to fly He’d have stuck feathers up our asses.

    So glad you’re okay, my friend.

  6. Scary. I hate when the person next to you is a space invader. Once on the way back from Denver, I had to sit next to a professional heavy weight boxer, not too famous, as I can’t remember his name. The dude was freaking huge. I was so hung over, and he was taking up all of my personal space. He’s lucky that I didn’t throw up on him.

  7. Oh my. I love take offs and landings too… but I pretty much always get misty eyed when I land because i’m so thankful that I made it safe!
    By the way, that SAME GIRL sat next to me on a plane once… ironically from Ohio to California. Hmm..

  8. Holy crap Becky. My fear of flying just took a deep plunge into the pit of my stomach. I thought I was getting better at flying…until now. This post has made me pop a Xanax, and I’m not even flying today. My dad has had this happen to him before…where the plane begins it’s decent, almost lands, then the pilot yanks it back up into the sky again. WHY do they DO that?! My most recent flight back into Chicago in July was almost this traumatic. We had just entered a thunderstorm, and the flight attendant had us “REVIEW THE EVACUATION PROCEDURES ONCE AGAIN DURING OUR DECENT” – WTF does that accomplish? It pretty much just induced panic amidst all passengers. Sheesh. Obviously though, I made it safely home. GLAD YOU DID TOO!!! 🙂

  9. I’ve been flying since I was a wee one too and air travel nowdays just SUCKS! Last year’s trip back east was the trip from HELL. And let me just say that the fact that many airplanes still have ASHTRAYS on the arm rests does not speak well as to how MODERN the aircraft is (I know, I know, supposedly they just recycle those parts of the aircraft and the internal workings are supposedly all modern and shit) – NOT BUYING IT. According to the news there’s constantly something bad happening on an airplane nowdays. Nevertheless, I’m sure we’ll go back east again this summer, but I WILL make sure that my will is up to date.

  10. I’m not necessarily afraid of flying, but the landing is always sketchy for me. We fly in & out of Boston mostly, and that runway is WAY too close to the ocean for me. Like you’re going to go right in. In December. That would be a hundred shades of fucking cold!

    And? I’m always like “maybe it’s not MY time to go, but what if it’s this bitch next to me’s turn?” yah – lame, but for reals!

  11. how terrifying! The hardest landing I ever experienced was on my honeymoon, landing in Maui (guess those trade winds can be a bitch) we came in fast and hit the brakes hard, it was the first time I understood why we wore seatbelts, because we would have all been FLYING in that cabin…… as i was getting our bags we ran into a couple who landed just after us, and their pilot had to go back up and try it again and they were freaked out, said they landed hard too…. made me think the next trip i take to maui (and yeah i am going again dammit) might be by cruise ship LOL!

  12. I held my breath through that post. Man, how I hate bad landings. I could use my glass of red wine right now, after that, instead of while making dinner. I’ll toast to you, Becky, and your safe landing tonight as I’m sipping and cooking. I do love your town, (my second home), but I do so hate your ice and snow. Although, we in sunny Florida are freezing our collective ass off right now. Glad you’re back safe and sound and back to writing and keeping us all in smiley faces.

  13. Reason # eleventy-billion that I will be road-tripping anywhere for the rest of my life. So glad you made it home safely, Becks. The world would indeed suck without you.

  14. that was easier to read knowing that you were writing it and quite obviously not dead. Glad to hear you are safe and quite understandable to have at least a day of what ifs.

  15. Never a huge fan of flying but after a really bad one, I hate it. Not happy until on the ground.

    Although I like the other comment – did “the seatmate” sleep through all this?

  16. I’ve only flown a few times……once to New Orleans, once to Los Angeles, once to Chicago, once to Birmingham….and that’s it. My first time was when I was 21. I want to fly again and more frequently and travel so much more……

    Glad you landed safely, cause without your blog. . . .I just don’t know what I’d do

  17. You can’t die before we meet, but if you do, can I have your meat sticks?

    In all seriousness, I sorry for the scary moment and I’m glad you are ok.

  18. Way to be angsty, AB. In other news, I’M GLAD YOU’RE OKAY. I’ve had one bad flight before, and I’ll never forget it. Also, that’s why I always listen to music. If there aren’t any mofo snakes, I want my mofo Michael Buble when I go.

  19. That is my worst nightmare…I hate to fly. I’ve flown over a hundred times and each time its like the first harrowing trip.
    It gives me shivers just thinking about it.

    Pardon me while I go have a mocha-vodka-valium-latte.

  20. wow! Hope you hugged them babies extra tight!
    Im a terrible flyer to begin with. I want everyone to get on sit down, shut up and not move! The idea that a huge metal tube can even stay in the air just boggles my mind.

  21. Glad you made it back safely!!

    What is up with people who have no regard for personal space?! That drives me crazy! (but not nearly as crazy as thinking I might die before kissing my babes one last time). I guess everything is relevant. . .

  22. I’m not normally a fearful person…but you scared the bejeebus out of me and now I’m not sure I want to go on a vacation this year. At least not a flying one.

  23. SCARY stuff. Glad all was alright in the end. I have had one of those almost landed but then suddenly took off again landings – ours was due to a plane heading straight at us on the runway – I was not reassured by the pilot’s “nothing to worry about, happens all the time”….

  24. Yeesh. I was once on a flight where the pilot had to rip up the carpet and manually lower the landing gear. Doesn’t it just make you appreciate the good ol’ fashioned road trip even more?

  25. Whew! Aunt Becky is safe and sound. Everything in the world is okay. Alright, not everything, but the things that really matter!!!! Kiss those babies some extra for me. Glad you’re home. 🙂

  26. Glad your home safe Becky – I am a fearful flyer. One time I swear the pilots shut off the engines. I had to suppress the urge to scream “Were all gonna die”. My hands sweat I frantically search for the drink cart (for some reason stewardesses don’t encourage heavy drinking on the plane anymore) and for some reason I want to go hide in the bathroom. Sleep? Ha

  27. So glad you made the landing safely. I just found you. Who would I read to make me laugh if you died? Besides, that goes against your 5-year plan of Don’t Die. And your reference to snakes on the motherfucking plane, I just found out about that movie last week and plan on watching it in the near future. I hope it’s good.

  28. Holy shit, Becky. I’m a white-knuckled hysterical flyer, and that would’ve done my head in for a month. I’d be curled in a foetal position right now, jabbering. Very glad you got down safely in the end.

  29. Make it a double, baby. You deserve it.

    (P.S. I actually know a woman who lost both her husband AND her son in an airplane accident. You might want to consider crossing that off of your list of Ways To Die. Just sayin’ …)

  30. I fly a lot for work and have had some extremely weird incidents (like seeing multiple pictures of the birth-giving vagina of the woman sitting next to me), but nothing dangerous or even super scary. Two women I work with, though, were on a flight that had to make an emergency landing (because they thought the plane was ON FIRE). They had to land in a field and run as fast as they could away from the plane. They said they knew it was serious when they saw the pilots running AHEAD of them. Anyway. Their first inclination that something was wrong was when the flight attendants randomly came through the cabin and pointed out the emergency exits during the middle of the flight, two times in a row. They had to practice bracing for impact on the seat in front of them, and then they just said it was just eerily quiet. No one on phones. No one screaming or even talking. CREEP. EE.

  31. Dood. I hate that. Congrats on not dying though. I have worked on planes and so I noticed all the things wrong. I try not to pay attention anymore. It is better that way.

  32. We’re supposed to be taking two trips this summer….so, during those 2 round-trip jaunts, we will be on 6 different airplanes. I’m shitting myself just thinking about it. I’ve recently become nervous about flying and your blog post has only added fuel to the fire.

    I’ll forgive you, though. You know not what you do.

  33. It was an experience kind of like that, that caused my husband’s extreme fear of flying. I thought he just kind of didn’t like it, until I talked him into taking a plane with me and the two kids a few years ago. He very nearly walked out of the airport and took a train; and that was after taking two antianxiety pills. I think I threatened to kill him myself if he left me with two kids and our luggage in the airport.

    I’m so, so glad you’re okay. It’s different when you’re a parent, isn’t it? No, I don’t want to die, and I would be really upset upon realizing this was it for me, because my will to live is strong. But the thought of never seeing my babies again? More than I can even contemplate. I’m so glad it ended with you home safe.

  34. Oh Becky,

    That is scary. I was on a plane this summer that did a similar thing – come in for a landing and then zoom right back up into the sky. I did not like that at all.

    Glad you’re okay and back to your shit-talking ways.

  35. Holy shit. I would be afraid to fly after that. Ice and planes scare me. When my cousin came out for our wedding she had a bad flight from Hawaii. When they took off the landing gear did something??( fell off? jammed??) So they had to dump fuel, circle around and land on a runway coated with that foam stuff. Then they had to go down the slide. A bus picked them up and loaded them into another plane pronto. There is no efffin way I could have gotten on another plane. She drank and smoked like nobodies business at the reception.

  36. I wanted to let you know that I awarded you the Beautiful Blogger award over at my blog. I LOVE that you crack me up to the point of {almost} peeing my pants and your honesty is fantastic.
    You totally deserve this award, which I am sure you have MANY of already.
    Thanks for being a fab blogger!

  37. Traveling is fun and there are plenty of places more glamorous (and warm!) than here, but seeing Chicago after being away for even a few days ALWAYS fills my heart with joy. Home is home!

  38. At least you would have met me right? I mean, there’s an upside. I’m always good for that.

    Seriously, that’s crazy. I’m so sorry your trip had to end like that.

    thanks for hanging out with me and two of ma baybees and letting me get to know you and the Daver in person. It was full of the awesome as you say!

  39. Yikes! That’s just no good. And if you died, you have to promise you’d have to come back and blog to us about it. We need to know what Aunt Becky’s heaven is like!
    Seriously, very glad you are ok…very very glad! 🙂

  40. Ack, I totally shouldn’t have read this one two days before I fly home! Although I would totally trade a crazy scary landing for that awful ears-wont-pop pressure I get! I used to LOVE landing before that started!

  41. I like to fly in big planes, because in small ones you feel everything – so even a good landing feels like a bad one.

    Except that your landing really did sound like a BAD one! Glad it ended up all ok though!

  42. Marina Del Rey or Chicago. Hmmm… if the folks hadn’t moved I could have been stuck at New Trier. Sorry, I’ll take LA. Chicago has three months of good weather, none of it is consecutive.

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