Main Content

My kingdom for a chiropractor

[Written early Sunday morning on the plane, but today, Monday, is the first Internet access we have] Not quite what to call the last 3 or so hours of this 6-hour, 5,900-km flight to Paris, but most people aboard the 767 tried to spend it doing something that looked like sleeping. The seat assignment fairy brought me a glorious grace – an empty place next to my window seat at 35A. There is no dignity in overnight air travel; I saw people contort themselves into positions I cannot … well, words fail me. At 5-10, I do not fit lengthwise across 2 seats in an airplane, but I tried, eventually settling for a modified fetal position that gave me a new appreciation for my late mother, who gave me not much more elbow and knee room for nine months and 48 hours of hard labor in 1956. Some people are having an even harder time, such as Jack Rich, who at about 6-7 (I have always looked up to him, by the way) or so is having a torturous time. Reminds me of an ACU student a few years ago, a fellow about 6-5 and 300 pounds who was reflecting on his Study Abroad experience in Oxford. He hated it. “Europe is a great place, but I didn’t fit there,” he said, in summary. Anyway, the hard plastic armrest on the aisle seat was not designed to be a head rest, but it had to do, cushioned by a couple of these pillow-wannabes encased in a white dryer sheet and buoyed by this $7 but now priceless neck support thingie I found at Wal-Mart which has become my new best friend. It looks like an overstuffed black velveteen toilet seat and those who are sporting one remind me of that biblical passage about unequally yoked folks. However, appearances mean nothing when you watch the sun set out the left-hand side of your little window on the plane and see it rise on the right, just 3 hours later thanks to the time zones that seem to be clicking by like telephone poles on Interstate 20 back home. I’m trying to get all the sleep I can because the goal is to stay awake for the next flight so that when we get to Antananarivo at bedtime Sunday night, I will be ready for a good night’s rest. We’ll see how well that plan works. I have a pinched nerve in my neck, acquired before leaving Friday, and sure wish Dr. Lee Summers was along for the ride. Hopefully all these gymnastic sleeping positions won’t do me in by Monday.