Archives for category: travel

Now that you’ve finally jammed your 75-pound carry-on into the overhead bin and kept this flight’s other 132 passengers waiting in the aisle for 17 minutes while you were whacking that elderly lady in 14C in the face, please turn your attention to the front of the airplane for this safety briefing.

When the seat belt sign is on, you must fasten your seat belt. Otherwise we will use rope and glue to attach you directly to the seat and will not be able to guarantee that you will come unstuck after landing.

To fasten your seat belt, just in case you’ve never been in an automobile before and don’t know how to do it, take this piece here and stick it into this piece there. Wait for the click. Then pull the strap to tighten until you can barely breathe and you’ve left stretch marks on your hips.

We suggest you keep your seat belt fastened throughout the flight, as we might encounter rough air, which is the term we now use instead of turbulence, which is the term we used to use to indicate we’re about to plunge into the ocean.

There are several emergency exits on this aircraft. Please take a few moments now to locate them. If you find them all, you will receive 20 percent off your drink order on your next flight.

In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, a book of appropriate prayers will automatically drop down and appear in front of you. To begin rhythmically chanting, pull the prayers toward you, place them firmly over your nose and mouth and scream as loud as you can. The screams will be muffled and thus not alarm your seatmates.

If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, say your prayers first, and then apologize directly to the child for your refusal to ever get her a pet.

A life vest is located under your seat or between the armrests. Or maybe it’s in the bins, squashed by your 75-pound carry-on. When instructed to do so, open the plastic pouch and remove the vest. Slip it over your head. No, not the plastic pouch, you ninny. Pass the straps around your waist and adjust at the front.

If it still doesn’t fit, perhaps you’re not a size medium after all.

To inflate the vest, pull firmly on the red cord. If there is no red cord, pull firmly on anything you can find until something works. This would include your seatmate’s ears or the flight attendant’s bow tie.

Your seat bottom cushion also can be used as a flotation device, particularly since it’s not very good as a seat cushion, especially if you are seated in regular economy.

At this time, all your portable electronic devices — including your mobile phone, your laptop, your iPad, your Kindle, your Apple watch and your Tickle Me Elmo must be set to airplane mode until further notice.

Please remember that this is a non-smoking flight. If you smell smoke, therefore, it’s probably one of our engines.

You will find all other safety information in the card located in the seat pocket in front of you. It’s the one with the chewing gum stuck to it.

To me — or rather, to my body, with whom I’m in semi-regular contact — it’s still yesterday evening at 9:41. On the other hand, it may actually be 4:31 a.m. tomorrow. That’s if today is Monday. Or maybe it’s Wednesday.

Actually, I’m not quite sure what day it is. That’s because I’m still suffering from jet lag.

I recently returned from a long-distance trip across a dozen time zones, which forced me to change my watch 12 separate times and eat breakfast again and again since it continued to be morning somewhere. While the Cheerios were OK and the turkey bacon was fine, though it doesn’t get as crisp as you would like, the jet lag isn’t.

Technically speaking, jet lag is desynchronosis or, among friends, circadian dysrhythmia. That is, it’s a condition with many syllables that no one really understands or can do anything about. It causes fatigue, difficulty concentrating and irritability. It also has some negative impacts.

You go to bed at the wrong time. You wake up at the wrong time. You do your laundry when you still have some clean pants left. You sometimes think you’re in Cincinnati. And worst of all, you can’t find your sunglasses even though they are on top of your head.

In other words, jet lag is pretty much like regular life, just someplace else and at a different time.

Despite wide-ranging research that didn’t harm any animals during testing and didn’t actually come up with any results, there are no real cures for jet lag. There are, however, many suggestions on how to avoid or best deal with it. I have tried them all.

You are supposed to set your watch to the time at your destination in an attempt to re-orient your circadian rhythms even if you couldn’t find your circadian rhythms and had probably left them at the office.

This worked, sort of. My watch wasn’t tired at all by the time I got to my destination. In fact, the minutes kept challenging the seconds to a game of beach volleyball. I, on the other hand, who has never had much rhythm and can’t clap to the beat, even if it’s a slow song, was exhausted.

You are supposed to change your sleep routine in advance of travel.

I did this. Instead of falling asleep late and getting up too early, I fell asleep too early and got up even earlier. I also alternated pillows.

Still exhausted.

It is suggested that you take melatonin, which is a natural supplement that is so natural it is gluten-free and doesn’t include even a smidgen of kale. It is made of air and a little bit of light. It is supposed to naturally help adjust the body’s natural clock, mainly by pressing the natural hour button four times and then hitting, naturally, defrost.

I took two pills yesterday evening. Or maybe that was today. On the other hand, it could have been tomorrow.