Fly the friendly skies . . .
The sky would HAVE to be friendly for me to get in one of those things.
My husband had found a flight on a major airline from our local airport direct to Dulles (outside D.C.) where he would be waiting for me.
A direct flight!
I hadn't thought that possible these days; I was delighted.
It was an unseasonably hot day and the rush packing and ride to the airport had been a hassle. I was thirsty, but consoled myself with the thought that as soon as we were aloft, I'd clasp a nice cold can of soda in my hand for the hour and a half flight.
The can referred to was "in my dreams," and was to remain so.
The particular can in my immediate future, however, opened its doors for me to board with the pilot standing there encouraging me to do so.
"Welcome to Can-Air!"
I was about to tin-can it to our Nation's Capitol.
"But, it's a DIRECT tin-can," said the EGO to the ID; "That's got to be worth something."
ID snapped back; "Easy for YOU to say, you management freak, but if this baby goes down it's the end of you too!"
I made my way to my seat. It wasn't difficult, there were only a few of them. Fragmented beyond repair, my mind flew from calculating the age of the craft to that of the pilot and then on to the maintenance record of the former. The captain was too young to require any of that. Let's just pray IT and HE can fly. Bottom line after all.
Suddenly, I broke into a giggle remembering my antediluvian sized suitcase. Where in this rickety tin duck was the baggage belly, and would it accommodate my week's worth of clothes? It was a toss-up, I concluded. Well, that's the airline's problem now, isn't it? I buckled my seat belt.
The other five passengers were business types with the air of having done this a thousand times. That brought some comfort.
I looked out the window at the propeller . . . Oh for Christ's sake, propellers!
An impressive engine din and rotation racket accompanied by a profound shuddering of the craft signaled the imminent land-leave . .. and off we went in our tiny, tin duck. I noticed that our pilot seemed to be tacking his way left and right, as if searching for a nice thermal niche, which apparently eluded him for some time.
I was so thirsty by now that I almost didn't give a damn. It seemed the appropriate moment to serve drinks.
No flight attendant.
DUH! Like who was going to bring it to me? El Capitano? I don't think so.
Well, at least I'll get that long overdue whiz done. No can. No can do? No, no can as in there's no can.
No cans on cans. Ohhh . . .
EGO; " I'll hold it; I think I can, I think I can."
ID; "What, are you nuts? Just DO it, pee, barf, throw a fit, anything goes!"
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we're on our final approach . . ." Nothing to do now but worry about crash-landing. Clogged ears inform me that we are descending. The landing gear is urged to deploy, and then we go into that God awful tacking again . . . zig-zag, zig-zag . . . tip this way and that.
"Thank you for flying Can-Air."
I let the business types file off first. I wanted to have another look at "Ace."
There he stood displaying a mixture of relief, surprise, and satisfaction on his boyish, fresh face. I couldn't help but wonder if there was a can in the cockpit.
I thanked him (for my life essentially) and added (sotto voce) with parched lips and a bladder about to go ballistic, "You did good, real good."