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Justification of Flying Phobia

 

I am not a great fan of flying when traveling a distance. It is the old "I just don't like airplanes" statement that I use as an excuse. The real reason is that from the second of arrival at the airport terminal I lose a sense of personal control. At the time my bags are stuffed through the cart portal, to the point of picking them off the turnstile on the other end, my feeling of self-determination has been severely assaulted. I want to know where my stuff is and that it is being handled properly.

The second part of not liking the experience is in fact the lack of control about what I am allowed to possess on my personage. Now, I understand the necessities of strict security and believe it appropriate. That however doesn't add to my comfort. I do not like being without my standard personal daily tools. I carry everywhere nail clippers, pocket knife, pocket multi-tool and so on. The old gunslinger said he felt naked without his guns in town, yeah, I can relate. When you take my pocketknife, you might as well strip me down beyond my BVD's and stand me in the most public place you can find. I feel without my stuff that the identity of who I am has been separated from me.

Third in the chain of flying experiences is the fact of being told where to go, set, and when I can get up. Now this isn't as confining as it seems, but there is something about being in close quarters next to some whiny adult or an overbearing egomaniac that again makes me feel that some how I haven't had a say in and have no control over the circumstances. The worst part is unlike on a bus or train I can't get up and move away to a different location. I am stuck for the duration.

Fourthly and probably foremost in my phobia of air travel is the fact that no matter what the pilot and crew are doing, there is not anything in the whole world I can do to make a positive difference in what is occurring at any given time with the aircraft. I am in a total lack of control and don't have any hopes of getting into control until we are safely on the tarmac and docked. At least when atop Old Dusty, my hos, I can talk to him and encourage him to go right or left or turn around. If'n he bucks it is still only six or eight feet to the ground not ten thousand. As my teen-age son was learning to drive, I could talk about the speed and the consequences of breaking the limits. With less control than with Old Dusty there was still a bit of influence that could be exerted in that situation. Not so in a 747 at ten thousand feet. There is little self-determination for safety of life and limb there.

What are the solutions? One could get tanked just before checking in. Alcohol tends to dull the inhibitions of some folks. I might not mind standing in the middle of the airport buck-naked after a quart. I might not even care if they took my pocketknife. The problem is that airlines don't like drunks on flights and being in the inebriated condition could make me akin to the whiny adult or the overbearing egomaniac that I wouldn't want to be next to. Besides that, I might not be such a friendly drunk or by being uninhibited try to tell the pilot and crew where to go. Probably wouldn't go over so good. At any rate, I don't drink. I wouldn't want to be out of control of myself that long.

Could take a calming drug like Valium. Don't see any profit in that either. Still out of control of self.

The most probable solution is to not take a plane but take the train, boat, or fast car. Ride a horse works too. Ya know, after second thought (third in this case) just keep my feet on the ground and walk. The pioneers did. People did for thousands of years. Guess I will too.

Written as a satire the above comments are made out of half serious beliefs. In today's world and if we are to see very much of it we have to utilize the most efficient methods of travel for the sake of saving time. If we have the time there are ways to go that will avoid air miles. The trade off is time. You can take a slow boat to china or Tahiti. You can take a covered wagon across Wyoming and Montana. You can walk with a horse cart across Scotland. These modes of transportation take time.

That brings us to the purpose of the travel. If by air travel it is usually to get there in rapid order. I can't believe that any person in their right mind would go through the extra time consumption of boarding and the accompanying brain damage just to get on a plane for the fun of it. If buy other public transportation, then there is some lack of urgency to arrive in a rapid manner. Trains are great and the sight seeing can be rewarding. Buses take some extra time too and you can see the interesting (seedier) parts of every little burg between here and there as well as some great open countryside. Auto travel is wonderful too. One can determine where they want to go, change their mind and direction. With an automobile you can drive as far or not as you choose. You can stay on the great interstate network or just tour the old US highways. If you want you can see the less traveled countryside and there is a lot to see in this great country of ours.

The old flippant comment "Get a horse" we used to hear when stalled beside the road was a real indicator of how reliable the equine species has been regarded over the years. If you have spent many hours in the saddle you would understand the experience allows one to relax and not have to feel in or out of control. Once settled in the saddle, the rider can trust the Old Dusty to pilot the way along the trail while the rider enjoys the view from above.

This is Keith The Money Miser saying that horses aren't necessarily cheaper, but they are closer to the ground and a lot less phobia triggering.

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