Thursday, February 16, 2017

Destination Unknown

Lady cab driver, can you take me for a ride?
Don't know where I'm goin' 'cause I don't know where I've been
So just put your foot on the gas, let's drive
Lady, don't ask questions
Promise I'll tell you no lies
Trouble winds are blowin', I'm growin' cold
Get me outta here, I feel I'm gonna die - Prince "Lady Cab Driver"

The passenger in Prince's song is the one who seems not to know where they are headed, but when the situation is reversed, things can get a little out of hand. When I consider all the times that I have put my life in the hands of drivers of all stripe and skill level, it makes me happy to think about how things have worked out. Sure, there have been a few near misses, but to be totally candid, I have had plenty of my own challenges getting myself from place to place. In my youth I merged my own vehicle with other inanimate objects and a few other vehicles. It would be fair to say that my parents were not able to take full advantage of their middle son's safe driver discount.
Which is why I am glad I was never a pilot. Too much pressure on that whole takeoff and landing thing. I understand that there are also other objects in the air at the same time that could cause some difficulty on trips from point A to point B. I don't expect that I could handle all that pressure. Sure, the power involved in piloting a big old jet airliner would be satisfying, but what about those days when you just weren't feeling it? I confess that there have been a few days when, as a teacher, I have phoned it in. Sick, tired, or depressed, I have handed out worksheets or let the kids roam where they might on Al Gore's Internet. I don't think that would be the case with flying.
That's why a United pilot was asked to stay on the ground when she showed up last week for a flight from Austin to San Francisco out of uniform and that was only the beginning. She went on a rant about Clinton and Trump and let everyone on board know that she was going through a divorce. Upon noticing an interracial couple in first class, she announced, "Yay, unity!" Perhaps this was some veiled reference to her employer, United Airlines. Or maybe it was a sign that she wasn't ready to jump one hundred fifty thousand pounds of metal and meat into the air, being responsible for all that metal and meat. Getting all that metal and meat from point A to point B can be just a little more difficult if your mind isn't squarely on your job. 
Hopefully, she took a cab home from the airport after she turned over the cockpit to someone else. 

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