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For a good chunk of my adult life, I’ve had to travel to and from work via airplane. Not constantly, but I was checking bags more than my neighbors were. I’ve had an odd relationship with air travel. I was a terrified flyer for a very long time. Even the slightest hint of turbulence would send me into an embarrassing panic.
After years of freaking out about flying, I got over it in one year by flying even more. In 2010 I did a couple of overseas comedy tours to entertain U.S. troops. The last one was all over the South Pacific and part of the Indian Ocean. We seemed to be in the air constantly for the trip. (That’s when Kevin Downey Jr. and I first met. Surprisingly, neither of us ended up in a Singapore jail.)
Since then, I’ve been so calm about flying that I tend to catch up on a lot of sleep when I’m on a plane. Turbulence no longer terrifies me, it merely annoys me because it keeps me awake.
Rumor has it that the climate change bogeyman may be about to ruin my Zen ways in the air.
Flights headed to Honolulu, Tampa, Fla., and Frankfurt in recent months hit turbulence so severe that some passengers and crew ended up in the hospital with injuries.
Actor Matthew McConaughey was a passenger on the Lufthansa flight to Germany. In a recent podcast interview with Kelly Ripa, he described seeing red wine suspended in midair before it crashed down.
“It was a hell of a scare,” Mr. McConaughey, who wasn’t hospitalized, said on the podcast. “A complete loss of control.”
Pilots and meteorologists say bumps are a normal part of flying. The Federal Aviation Administration is still investigating the Lufthansa flight. But meteorologists say climate change is distorting the jet stream, making a certain type of severe turbulence—called clear-air turbulence—more likely in the future.
Now, I’m not one to believe every gloom, doom, and panic story from the climate change cultists, but this one directly affects my mood. That’s how you get my attention.
Full disclosure: a combination of vodka and beer has played an integral role in my journey to calmer air travel. If the climate doomsayers happen to be right on this one, I’m going to need a lot more of both.
The problem is, this sounds like a ploy to keep everyone in their seats while in the air. That includes the flight attendants who bring the above-mentioned vodka and beer.
There’s a looming crisis here.
This might be a good time to give robot flight attendants a trial run.
Or give out goodie bags of little bottles of booze to those who want them while still on the ground. Heck, I’ll even pay for them.
Better yet, just let me fill up my CamelBak with my favorite potato vodka and bring it on the plane with me. The FAA and TSA really need to get over this liquid thing. Start using bomb sniffing dogs that will just give me a wink when they smell my vodka and let me strap myself in for a nice boozy trip to New York. Trust me, you don’t want me sober, awake, and irritated with the climate change wingnuts.
Even if I’m not on a plane.
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