In less than two weeks I’ll be forced up the stairs of a plane, the first step in our journey to Chile. I say forced because I hate flying, or rather I have an irrational fear of it. I’ve tried many ways to overcome this, one of the most memorable was getting into a ground launched glider which was then catapulted into the air at a cheek flapping speed. Before taking off the pilot, who thankfully was sitting right behind me, asked me to fold my arms….I asked whether this was standard procedure to which he replied “No, I just want to make sure you don’t grab the controls when you freak out.”…….reassuring words.
Needless to say 7 minutes of screaming as the “thing” descended from 1000ft didn’t really help the phobia.
However, the days of being asked to sit with the Air Hostesses so they can keep an eye on me are long over (they really don’t take too kindly to people trying to flip that big red handle on the emergency exit do they?!!). The wonderful world of medicine came to my rescue with the invention of Xanex, a mild anti-anxiety pill that pretty much removes all the fear….or at least puts it in a box and buries it beneath a couple of layers of numbed senses. The end result is a relaxing flight with no stomach cramps, no grabbing the leg of the person sitting next to me and no running down the center aisle claiming a plane is about to hit us…which actually turned out to be just flashing lights on the wing tip.
So if you happen to stumble upon some bloke wandering around the airport with a stupid smile and a face covered in drool then please grab his hand and lead him to the plane.