Each time I wait to board the plane, the aerophobic within me starts calculating the amount of passengers, the amount of under-story cargo, and the overstuffed carry-on bags the couple in front of me clearly didn't put in the bin labeled "if it fits, it flies!"
My eyes scan the the man dunking a colossal Auntie Anne's pretzel in a gooey cheese dip, and calculate the pounds of artery buildup he's packing for the ride. Then I see the little red head kid bouncing to my right; now did he really need to bring his entire library with him?! Did he not consider how his callous stowaway might impact the drag and thrust forces on the plane and would forever implicate the lives of so many with Curious George Visits the Zoo tucked under his armpit? Education these days..
The flight was so bumpy it's a miracle I could even read Tfilat Ha'derech, the way the page was jack-hammering up and down.
That's when the conversations begin- the wagering, the bargaining. Extra hours of charity, torah study, more civility towards siblings, less gossip.There's something about being in the air that justifies a miniature Yom Kippur dynamic. Perhaps those of us becoming a little too lax in our Jewish practices need to experience a flight from hell such as this one, get our "heads out of the clouds," and experience total helplessness as never before; maybe then, we won't sweat the man in the yellow hat... or the men in the black ones either.
Aerospace101 for non-majors