Thursday, June 14, 2012


BOOOOOM- On my recent trip from Basel to London ONLY moments before we flew over the English Channel one of the TWO engines on my SwissAir flight blew up. No joke, as I don’t joke about my next breath of air.

AND I mean a Wikipedia defining type of engine disaster BOOM. Not a sonic boom, not a Boom Boom Boom lets go up to your room. Not Boom Boom Mancini…I mean BOOM as no matter what language you spoke or where you lived, everyone on my flight mouthed aloud (BOOM?!!!!?!!!?)

Now it might have been only five minutes but it felt as though the jet shook, rattled and was off balance for 20 minutes and then, finally the plane began to steady.

Yes, perhaps I was the only American on the flight but everyone else just silently stared straight ahead as if their teacher is having roll call? If you understood English you would hear me and only me expressing the conversation loud enough even the French coast below could hear me.

“What the H---,folks THAT was a BOOM, not a tick, not turbulence; not even a drop in altitude. IT was a BOOM of 6.9 on the Richter scale. Am I the only one needing a bathroom visit at the moment?

OK, where is the life vest again? Where is that FREAKIN red whistle and what is that small light on the vest for? Do I inflate it now or wait for water to enter my lungs? Seriously, I want that oxygen thingy to drop down so I can place it over my face first and then MAYBE help others if needed… Maybe.

NO NO…I didn’t listen to your repeated instructions or read the emergency card like I should have every time I have flown. I have got 1 million miles under me but I have no idea how to connect or tighten a seat belt, which I have done more times than even buckling my own pants.”

Now all the Swiss, French and Germans were completely quiet as the pilot calmly announced (first in German, then in French and then FINALLY in English) there was an engine malfunction and we are safely returning to Basel to "check out" the problem.

A problem? It was a BOOM. A problem is 2+2= or why does the chicken cross the road? This was a BOOM. I just kept listening for “ladies and gentlemen, please kiss your arse goodbye in any language so I could prepare myself to bend over.

After my heart slowed and my breathing naturalized, all I could think of was my last meal on earth was a compact version of a processed chicken in a steamed wrapper, sparkling water which was flat and a retired sweaty bodybuilder who sat next to me was sadly going to be the last person I will see before I leave earth.

Then I thought…honestly, could Hell really be any worse?

Please feel free to roam about this conversation in the safety of your own home.

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