Thursday, July 22, 2004

Anne Jacobsen's Flight

John at the Castle ARRRRGGGH! posts about Annie Jacobsen's Scarey Flight. It recalled to my mind that, on my flight to California, there actually was a mid-east person trying to wander about the plane during takeoff. I put my hands on the person, saying "No, it's not safe!" while another passenger called the stewardess.

What was the difference? Was I and that other passenger a pair of brave heroes?

Well . . no. The mid-east person was an older woman, clearly trying to make for the lavatory. I can relate. Further, I knew her command of English wasn't too good. For one thing, it was a Southwest 'grab your seat, every man for himself' flight. She was in the middle seat of the very front row, with no one on either side of her. When I boarded the plane with my lowly C ticket (last group to board) I almost cried with joy seeing those two prime open seats. "Excuse me, are those seats open?" says I. "Yes," says she. I merrily grabbed the window seat.

Then was treated to hearing other boarding passengers question the lady about the remaining front row aisle seat. . . "Excuse me, is that seat taken?" "Yes" . . . "Excuse me, is someone sitting there?" "Yes"

OK, I'm next to an older foreign woman in a hajib (sp?) who at least knows the word 'yes.' The plane is in take-off and this older woman stands up, clutching various things in a manner that clearly indicates her legs are a little weak and the angle of the plane isn't helping. O yeah, I'm gonna grab her. A passenger across the way signaled to the stewardness and we got her back into her seat for a bit . . but boy she had that desparate "I gotta go" look on her face. She still went to the lavatory before she should have, but at least waited until the plane leveled out a bit. I stayed behind her to the galley, and the stewardness helped her back.

Actually I stayed with her until she got her luggage and her son showed up at the airport. She was as sweet as apple pie, and very grateful for the assistance. Her son, too, seemed pleased that someone had taken care of momma.

I would be shy about tackling someone and forcing them back into their seats for my own safety if I wondered if somebody might perhaps be a Bad Guy plotting nefarious deeds - but had none about setting someone back into her seat for her own safety.

and yet - she was muslim, she had a metal cane, I suppose she could, theoretically have been a bad guy - in which case my assistance could actually have deflected suspicion, if there was any to deflect, which there wasn't.

Whaddimeantersayis - an elderly woman with a cane could actually do a lot of damage if she wanted to.

O well, I suppose anybody could if the motivation is strong enough.

It's highly possible that there's a point to this post.

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