I am writing from a plane that is stuck on a runway. It’s raining. Hard. I have a screaming baby behind me. Angry passengers surround me.
I have to be in Atlanta tonight, but it’s not looking good.
We have been on this god-forsaken plane for an hour, waiting out a storm. People are fussy, children scream, a man barks at a flight attendant.
A pilot talks on the loudspeaker and says we will be grounded.
People boo. A few cuss. One man throws a rotten tomato at the cockpit.
No, I’m just kidding. It wasn’t rotten.
And we sit.
The pilot intercoms again. He says that after three hours, the government mandates he take us back to the airport.
People boo again. More swearing. A few more rotten tomatoes.
Because the only thing worse than sitting on a plane with loud infants and people carrying exotic strains of yellow fever, would be going back to the airport
and sleeping on the hard floor beneath a television that blares 24-hour news.
“Just great,” one man says.
“Well this sucks,” says the old woman behind me.
“@#$%&!” says the priest across the aisle.
I am texting my wife because it looks like I am not going to make it to Atlanta until noon tomorrow.
The pilot taxis back to the terminal. People moan. The storm is getting worse. The rain sounds like gravel on a shed roof. We’re finished.
At the last minute, the intercom dings. The captain says there is a slight break in the weather, and we are going to “give it a shot.”
Those are his exact words, which terrify me. You don’t want to hear “let’s give it a shot” from your pilot, your dentist, your thoracic surgeon, or your tattoo artist.