Fear of Flying
The subject of this blog is the Henhouse lady’s fear of flying and the strategies she uses to get through riding on a plane. # New York City #fear of flying @aerophobia #chickens #Delta
Hens weren’t born to fly. Chickens are blessed with wings, but they will never be compared to an eagle when it comes to flying. They can fly for a short distance before gravity plummets them to the ground. Thus, you could say that chickens suffer from aviophobia of the fear of flying.
Why Hens are afraid to fly
It’s a generational curse. Their ancestors weren’t very good at flight. Chickens are big-boned, fat birds with short wingspans. They are genetically designed to stay on the ground sort of like me. They are more comfortable living life on the ground. The hen’s purpose in life is to lay eggs or be put in the oven at three-fifty and baked for one and a half hours.
This makes them productive, but crummy adventurers. I cringed when rooster suggested we take a plane to New York to visit our young chick instead of driving the Sunshine Mobile.
Therefore, I hesitated about going for the visit when Rooster booked two round-trip tickets to New York City on Delta airlines.
I had to admit air travel was much faster than driving. The roads would be a nightmare over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I managed to put on my big girl panties and consented to take the plane. We stayed overnight at a nice hotel with a shuttle service to the airport. We left the car at the motel when we went to the airport.
My palms sweat when I thought about what my Aunt Rhody had to say about air travel. It was her theory members of her family had no business flying around in airplanes. We were people born to keep two feet on the ground. Therefore, if God meant for us to fly, he would have given us a pair of wings. After all, soaring into the air where we didn’t belong might make God mad. In all honesty, I hoped she wasn’t right.
Examples of why airport adventures aren’t my favorite
We arrived at the Indianapolis International Airport at 4 a.m. The sun hadn’t even come up yet, but you have to get to the airport at least two hours before your flight. They operate on the ‘hurry up and wait’ principle.
Going through the security checkpoint is a daunting experience. Part of the boarding process requires you to remove your shoes, belt, change in your pocket, car keys, and cell phone. Your belongings are then placed on a tray to go through an x-ray machine. Thus, proving you aren’t a threat to the other passengers on the plane.
The boarding process makes you wonder why I bothered to get dressed before arriving at the airport. The security measures put in place after 911 are necessary, but the process can be intimidating. The personnel operating these screening stations are in a perpetual bad mood. I get the fact that their job sucks. I can’t imagine the pressure of moving hundreds of grouchy people through the pat-down process in an incredibly short period.
Everybody standing in line isn’t happy about going through the invasive exercise. I’m sure these workers get a fair amount of grief during their workday, but at least they could smile when they do the full-body scan. If it were me, I’d break out in a belly laugh over some of the images I looked at after I told the person to put their feet in the bright yellow shoe marks on the floor.
I might even enjoy the sadistic power of making the weary traveler put their hands over their head like a criminal while the machine scanned their body. My mama used to say I had a mean streak in me a mile long. I’d draw the line at operating the magic wand and running it over people’s bodies once they step out of the machine.
Rooster always gets special treatment after the stick. He has enough metal in his leg to set off one of those devices every time he goes through the process. He doesn’t fit the profile of a terrorist, but he looks like he’s the sort of guy who would be armed and dangerous.
To top things off, he forgot to remove his cell phone from his pocket. He was in for special attention from two airport security personnel. At least Rooster did require a full body and cavity search to get on the plane.
It was 6:45 before we were in the air. We had to set on the tarmac for twenty minutes while they deiced our wings, which sounds like a painful process to an old hen. The takeoff was smooth. It was fascinating soaring into the air in the dark. We could see the city of Indianapolis spread out on the ground shining like a giant Christmas light display.
The strategy I use that helps me fly.
I didn’t eat much before we took off because I was afraid I might experience air sickness if there was any turbulence. My eyes were on my Kindle for most of the one hour and thirty-minute trip. I developed this strategy to give myself the impression of sitting in my living room. It worked until we hit the occasional air pocket. The floating sensation made my stomach feel queasy. I knew I’d survive the flight despite my fear of flying.
When the skyline of New York City came into view, I held my breath in wonder. Then, the sun lit up the sky and below me, the most breath-taking sights I’ve ever witnessed appeared. The Statue of Liberty even seemed to hold out her majestic torch in welcome. I knew New York City was big but seeing it from the air gave me an idea of the massiveness of the city on the ground below us.
The landing was uneventful. I was happy about that because I’d heard most plane accidents happen during takeoff and landing. We navigated our way through LaGuardia without a problem. Richard and Chris were there to meet us with an Uber driver. We hugged. This was the first Thanksgiving I would spend with this baby chick since he left for the Big Apple.
As we drove through the streets of Queens, this old hen was glad to be on the ground. Now if I can only survive the city traffic, I’ll be one happy bird. Thus, I’m safe on the ground despite my fear of flying.
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.
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