Dan would be the first to tell you, “New isn’t always better, my boy!” Among the many jobs he held was the position of
“Handy Man” or “Super” for an apartment complex in
could fix darned near anything. He also
had a remarkable touch when it came to understanding mechanical things. The man could measure a tablespoon, an 8oz
cup, or the gap in a spark plug without any tools or vessels of any kind. Yep, Grandpa was a pretty special dude.
think of a 40 year old jet engine as “well seasoned.” After all, it’s proven itself worthy and the best
mechanics are servicing it with the finest parts available. Right? Modern engines and planes are so much more
fuel efficient than their well seasoned neighbors. I realize that a Boeing 747 is still an
amazing and remarkable plane (especially the business class tier in the upper
deck), but the new Boeing 787 Dream-liner can fly over the same range with 27%
So, it was
with more than a little “pluck” that I snubbed my Grandpa’s memory
when I boarded a brand new (seriously, this thing was right out of the box) Embraer
175 aircraft from NWA’s new partner, Compass
Airlines. The first thing I noticed
was the lack of a “No Smoking” light or sign. Instead, there was a “No Electronic
Devices” light for the pilot to illuminate below 10,000 feet. That’s progress, right? Seats were new, leather, and they smelled
like the inside of a new BMW 7 series.
The cabin was quiet, well lit, and very comfortable. I was about to tell my Grandpa,
“SEE??!” when the pilot arrived.
looked like he was, oh; let’s say 20. I
thought, “Well, you’re getting older, and I’m sure he’s trained on
something other than X-Box Flight Sim 2000, right?” Then the flight attendants came aboard.
maybe 22 with a bright red Mohawk and pierced, well, everything. She looked 12; seriously. Her neck was sporting 4 shiny hickies. Yes, hickies.
They were so prevalent, I asked about them, “Excuse me, but are
those really hickies on your neck??”
“Uh, YEA!” She said, “It’s ok, my boyfriend gave them to
of logic is that? What did that even
mean? I could hear my Grandpa’s voice in
my crying out, “Hey you Punks!”
As I sat there, I grew nervous.
If we had an emergency (God, forbid) would she actually help me, or would
she be too busy texting her boyfriend; “Oh… my God, Sven… this plane is like, in
trouble and stuff, totally. It’s like,
totally going to crash and whatever, I’m so bummed, totally. I ‘<heart> you and you’ll totally be my
BBFF… this guy keeps looking at me, he’s such a total dork… I can’t even tell
was right… totally. I want a flight
attendant who could physically pick me up and throw me out of an airplane if
necessary. I want one who knows that
plane inside and out, one who could fix it if it were to break, one who’s
looked at an emergency before and spit in its eye. I want one like my Grandpa.