A Handful of Reflections on Air Travel

by Professor Jack

I recently flew to the East and back. Following are some observations I made en route, mostly while sitting in various airports waiting for the next flight. 

That Chinese males are always in suits or nice slacks and crisp Tattersall shirts. How do they manage to look like they’ve just stepped out of the shower? 

That there appears to be far less racial tension in the southern states than in the northern states. 

That the further east you go, the less body art you see. Granted, I was in the southeast, but even taking that into consideration, there were few males who had earrings and tattoos. People in general seemed better dressed the further east you go. 

That in Denver I saw more denim than I’ve seen in years. And I’m not talking about Levi’s. I saw denim skirts, shirts and jackets. I can’t be sure, but I thought I saw a young Dale Evans walk by on one occasion, right down to the hat, the skirt and the boots.  

That if you live in a small city that is served by regional airlines, as I do, you will be boarding a small plane at the very end of the longest concourse of large airports. The nice thing is that when I return home, I can literally kiss the ground if I’m so inclined. 

That nature has few really straight lines. Once, at 36,000 feet, I saw a perfectly straight shadow crossing several miles of terrain. What could that be, I wondered? A moment later it was obvious: A con-trail above or below the plane I was on. Was my plane leaving one that crossed it? 

That inconceivably vast expanses, say between Houston and Denver, are covered by a nearly unbroken series of crop circles and sectioned fields. Occasionally an arroyo intrudes into this terrestrial tedium, but then it’s back to geometric forms. 

That the Washington, DC greater metro area is indeed the richest part of the US, if flying over it is any indication. 

That there are at least a thousand small Midwestern towns that I wish I could visit, but probably never will. 

That many young mothers are traveling with their children without their husbands. I wish I could make their jobs a little easier. The infants aren’t so hard, but most three-to-seven-year-olds seem to be a handful. Still, I’m amazed at how competent many young mothers are these days. 

That a Canadair regional jet with 60 passengers produces much less air noise than a 757 with 180 passengers. 

That one of the universal human types is the 20-something to 40-something professional female in a skirt, business blazer, and pumps, and that you don’t want to be walking in front of one of these. Fortunately you can usually hear her coming and get out of the way. 

That the most superior being in the world is the person who can arrive at the holding pen five minutes before his or her flight begins boarding and somehow make two large bags disappear once on the plane. 

That I will never attain to that sublime estate.