July 15, 2009

737 words 4 mins read

Humor in the friendly skies

So I’m traveling a bit as of late. Most of my traveling is normally car based, but I’ve also got two plane based trips back to back. The first is a business trip to Texas and the second is my vacation to Minnesota. I’m currently on my way to Texas (as I write this) and it’s normally I’d say a flight really isn’t anything to write home about (though I do tweet about it profusely to pass the time), but I found some amusement on a recent flight.

The plane was late in arriving for the first leg of my trip, it got to the gate 20 minutes before we were supposed to be departing. It was a little scary when I overheard the gate agent say, “let’s see if we can get this done in 10 minutes. 137 off, 137 on.” Granted, he meant 10 minutes each, but that was still impressive.

He didn’t quite make it, and we pushed off a little late, but he and the crew did a damned fine job herding us onto the aircraft as fast as possible. I found myself one of the last aisle seats, all the way in the back, so I was pleased enough. When I sat down I noticed the guy at the window (who looked to about the same age, mid 20’s) had a laptop out, cool. As it was, we had the last seat available between us, and it was a completely booked flight. So the last person got on would get stuck with us. As it was, she was a girl about the same age group.

The real humor of this situation came to me after we got into the air. The PA said it was safe to use portable electronics, so I pulled out my Eee PC. No way in hell I was going to pull out my M6300 (yes, I’m traveling with a Laptop & a Netbook). Shortly there after the guy pulled out his IBM Thinkpad. About 5 minutes later I got a good laugh when the girl pulled out her HP Laptop. All 3 of of us are sitting here with our computers out on the plane, plunking away at whatever we’re doing. Not only that, but all 3 of us have our iPod headphones plugged into the computer (not just any headphones, iPod headphones). The guy is watching a movie, which I don’t know; I’ve watched a minute or two of it and I’ve never seen it before. The girl is busily sorting through her iTunes library getting rid of old music and making playlists.

Then there’s me: I am plunking away on my blog entries in Tomboy notes. We’re an hour into the flight and none of the three of us have said word one to each other. I think it truly is a sign of our generation. Computers = Anti-social. If only we had IM’s up here!

I’m trying to use these flights as time to catch up with writing the blog entries. Normally John and I are running just in the nick of time in terms of getting entries posted, but seeing as how we are both going on vacation, I thought it prudent to create a schedule. For a while afterward I got in the mood to write and was actually writing an entry or two a night, which was great for getting ahead. Of course I slacked off last week when I went to Tahoe and still haven’t completed all the entries that will be needed for when we’re on vacation. Though I do have to say, having an actual schedule has been a great help in motivating me to write (that and expanding what I’m willing to post). With a bit of luck and fortitude I thought I could get nearly everything written before I landed in Dallas (didn’t happen).

In the end, I did strike up a conversation with the girl next to me while we were landing in New Mexico. As soon as they requested the shut down of portable electronics, all three of us were shutting down our computers and started to get bored. After all, if you’re about to land, there isn’t much point in getting something else out, might as well talk. The other guy contributed a comment or two as well. Everyone got a good chuckle out of my “it’s a sign of our generation” comment.