Friday, July 22, 2016

Adventures in Flight: Open with Caution

I was attacked on board my flight from Houston! We were on approach to SFO and I was performing my safety checks. I got to row 10 and there on the floor in front of the two occupants of that row was a large guitar case. As you may know, items must fit under the seat in front of you. This guitar case took up the length of all 3 seats!

I was aghast! "Where did that come from?" I asked. "Was it there for take off?" They nodded yes. My flying partner must have missed it in the darkness. Or, sometimes passengers try to hide things with blankets or coats; they can be quite crafty.

Of course, I now had to find space for a guitar case, and this was a plane without a closet. Thank the gods the loads were light. I started opening overhead bins, praying there was one with room enough for this musical annoyance. Each bin I opened was full of bags, back backs, paper sacks, purses, a CPAP machine., full, full! Then I got to the overhead bin at row 20DEF.

I was running out of time, so the search had sped up. I opened the bin and before I could react, I was attacked! It came at me with great speed. It was close, but missed me and clunked to the floor with a loud thud, most likely heard by the homes we overflew several hundred feet below the aircraft. It got everyone's attention in the plane.

It was a horn! It was a horn that was about 3 feet in length. It was pointy on one end and blunt on the other, so either end would have been painful. With the light loads, no one was seated in the aisle seat underneath it. The dark horn spiraled like the stars would encircle one's head who might be unfortunate enough to have been clonked by it.
Yeah, one of these! *

What kind of horn was this? Who carries a long, pointy, spiral horn? What the hell does one do with an animal horn? What animal is out there cursing the fact that someone took it (and most likely their life to boot!).

It belonged to the man in 20F, who seemed a bit miffed that his precious horn had fallen six feet. Um, you put the horn of death along the edge of the overhead bin, in front of luggage instead of behind it, and you're going to get mad at me for not knowing this? I don't think so. You can take that bad attitude and shove it in a piece of fruit cake! I was nearly maimed! And what are you...a witch doctor? Why is there an ever-loving spiraled horn in the overhead bin flying through the air at me? Why? Where am I, Africa?

I'm asked, “What's the weirdest thing you've seen in an overhead bin?” Until now I may have answered, a cooler of human organs (which gets the plane a priority taxi for takeoff and landing!), funky hats, musical instruments, decorative canes, fancy suit cases, or once, I did find a flight attendant in the overhead bin, but that was staged. Now I can answer with pride, “A death horn!”

I secured the spiraled horn of death back in the overhead much better than it had been to begin with and eventually found an empty bin for the large guitar. The man placed it in and I started to make my way to my jump seat at the rear of the plane, catching the eye of a deadheading flight attendant. She smiled knowingly at me, fully aware of what must be going on in my head at that time. Guitar cases and attack horns. Just another day at Mother Airline.
I'm sure this plane has seen horns on board!

*Photo not property of Penguin Scott


  1. I'm bringing a cooler of human organs whenever I fly now that I know we takeoff and land priority!!

  2. Hilarious! I can just see your face. Did you laugh or maintain your decorum?

  3. Love this story!! Get published...share your gift with the world.

  4. Love this story!! Get published...share your gift with the world.

  5. I was in such a rush to find a space for that damned guitar that I stayed pretty serious until I started rushing to my seat, when I sort of started laughing!

    I'm working on it, Linda!