Thursday, January 03, 2008

“Get Off My Plane!” — Crossing the Line at 35,000 Feet

Baying madmen and the burden of 130 passengers’ safety -- the tale of a guy just trying to do the right thing.

On a quiet, run-of-the-mill 2-hour flight on a dusky September eve, Mr. Bixby jetted his way to a corporate conference for the sole purpose of stating the obvious in order to expedite routine business proposals. He sipped his tomato juice as he halfheartedly wandered through the New York Times crossword puzzle. His mind was impatient with getting no-brainer toil over with, along with the weighing thoughts of a certain flight instructor. Mundane anxieties and everyday hovering what-ifs seemed to force him to question every step of the past, present... and potential steps and missteps of a myriad of futures.

Mr. Bixby looked up, inhaled deeply through his nose and glanced around the cabin trying to clear his mind: ‘All these people, just trying to get from Point A to B... all with their own stories, dreams, et cetera, et cetera, no better nor worse off than me... yeah, deal with it.’

“A-dahr a khud qam kilo?”


“Bikam el kilo iziyahda?!”

‘Just my luck,’ Bixby thought to himself. ‘Always was a psycho-magnet.’ The gentleman next to him continued to sputter and gesticulate in some foreign tongue.
“Well... they’re probably serving chicken or fish, I would think...”

More responses in gibberish.

Any attempt to defuse the situation with platitudes seemed to agitate this fellow more, as if common sense took a back seat to immediate infantile needs. Oh, and he happened to be wearing this funny belt with these 8-inch cylindrical thingies attached. That, and a white hood on his head with some funny scribble on it.

At this point, Mr. Bixby had one of those epiphanies that appear all too clear, yet all too late.

Ms. Manners has emphasised that manners are the glue that hold society together. We turn the other cheek when we can, lest we stoop to vulgarian levels of behaviour.
But what do we consider ‘crossing the line?’
When someone’s actions threaten the safety and well-being of others. That, and seeing this raving bloke marching towards the cockpit.

It was at this point that Bixby’s superego had a ‘sit-down’ with his id.

RIPPING, FURIOUS, realised and justified anger flowed through Bixby, exploding the nightmare of Freudian introversion with Jungian self-regulation projected upon the whole -- in other words, the superego’s Big Picture took advantage of the id’s volatility. Bixby’s realisation became all too clear as he stumbled toward the cockpit, knowing something was amiss. The superego still had final say, framing the empowered individual in terms of actions that affected the whole.
Which is why Bixby, turning green with rage at the sudden insight of this crisis-in-the-making, spoke as Everyman... with every man’s potential courage actualised, bursting through the literal fabric upon our genteel anatomies: “Get off my plane!”

Brain-guided brawn lifted those robed threats, bullets ricocheting off verdant hide notwithstanding. With a determined jog down the aisle towards mid-fuselage and a cloaked saboteur slung over shoulder, Bixby-Actualised ripped open the hatch and flung the perpetrator into the stratosphere, twirling... screaming... into oblivion.