I have a skill, or perhaps an ability, to put my life in the hands of someone who I've decided to trust, and be pretty cool about it from that point on.
Actually it's more of a lack of though rather than a skill, but it serves me pretty well.
The thought of sitting in a chair eating medium rare roast lamb at thirty thousand feet kind of freaks me out, but I'm in awe at the result of the social pressure that's applied to pilots, so that that when they finally get their chance to cope with a disaster, they tend to either fail totally (not judging) or cope with such a calm that it's contagious.
The result is, that once I've put myself in the hands of someone who knows a stack more about what ever it is that I'm doing than I do, I surrender to their judgement completely. I check, and probe, and test, but once I'm convinced, I'm convinced.
I also have a stack of faith in the people that build the equipment those people rely on, and their really cool use of redundant systems to ensure that when something does go wrong, there's a stack of other things that can take over the task of the thing that went wrong.
All this means that I've had a pretty comfortable time, and some free drinks as a result of sharing the same kind of faith in the systems that people who work in airlines also have.
On two occasions I've found myself in the position of being, or at least thinking I'm being, the one to bring some aero-anomaly to staff.
On one occasion, the smoke in the back of the 747 turned out to actually be room deodoriser, sprayed because the real fire that some idiot rugby players set by putting cigarettes in the paper towel bin in the toilet was going to prove a little alarming to the customers. The result was the plane stopped serving alcohol, but the result to me was I got my drinks for free because the staff hid them under a paper towel. I'm not really sure why they couldn't have taken my money by hiding it under a paper towel, but I also know when to stop asking questions on a long flight.
It's amazing how paper towels can be used for both good and evil.
The second aero-anomaly was slightly more alarming, not because It was more dangerous, but because the captain came and had a chat with me, because I saw no even a single free drink, and that I was pretty sure he was supposed to stay up the front where I was happy to lend him my trust for the few hours he was to drive me around, and in return, I would eat some stuff, sleep a bit, and buy drinks from his company.
Me, no flight skills, stay at the back.
Him, flight skills, stay at the front.
That's the way it's meant to be.
That's the way it's comfortable for everyone.
But when I buzzed and brought attention to the new, fresh, oil leaving a thin, and not altogether unattractive and interestingly textured line on the wing, I have to admit to being a little less content with the arrangement when he wandered back for what in hindsight must have looked to everyone else on yet this other 747, to be a friendly chat, (there's that calm again) only to have him quiz me on when the pretty line first made it's appearance, and every single other aspect of it's ilk in the most minute detail.
I was fine with the oil, but the captain really freaked me out. I think because I should be waking up and asking him questions, rather than the other way around [*see future].
Generally speaking, I'm good with people who know a stack more stuff than I do about a particular thing, and more often than not care more about finding out what's going on to be too freaked out by the fact that something totally outside my control is going on.
By way of example *I woke up to the sound of my own screaming during a surgical procedure during that time I stopped blogging for a bit, and then after hearing the words "Give him some more", got distracted by the very high definition screen showing the robo-flexi-inside-me thing cutting and sampling, and found myself asking questions about what I was seeing. Admittedly, they had already given me some more of what ever it is they they give on such occasions to easy the screaming, but screaming and total lack of bravery and stoicism on my part aside, I did take the time out of the very few, pre-oblivion seconds I had at my disposal, to ask a few questions, rather than surrendering completely to the panic, but really only because I am lucky enough to tend toward trusting the people doing the cutting and sampling.
Tomorrow I have to have a very minor surgery, but one that involves a general anaesthetic, and for some reason find myself uncharacteristically feeling very alone, and that I think I might die.
An odd but interesting paranoia.
I'm betting I wont die.
I like bets I cant loose.
That's why I offer The 120 Things in 20 years 2012 Mayan calendar, end of the world insurance plan. It works like this. You give me $1000.
That's it really. You just give me $1000.
For the sake of legal requirements, I guess I should offer something in return, so in the event of the end of the world I will pay each subscriber 1.2 billion dollars.
For the record, I ate fresh, blue swimmer crabs for my second-to-last meal, and then again for my last meal, that I stole from some dolphin friends I recently made.
Thinking mortality? Think 120 Things in 20 years end of the world insurance.
Multiple subscriptions per person not only allowed, but actively encouraged.
Things so far...
Animation (5) Aquaponics (338) Bread (15) Cheese (14) cooking (49) electronics (57) Epic adventurer (20) Escargot (2) Fire (6) Fraudster (1) Handmade fishing lures (31) Home made preserves (11) Making smoked foods (11) Mold making (7) Movie watcher and critic (2) Photography (17) PVC (36) Snail farming (6) Solar hot water (26) Solar photovoltaic panels (7) Stirling Engines (11) Thinking (48) Vermiculture (1) Wind energy (25)
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