Friday, November 6, 2009
Our adventure unofficially began the morning of October 20th, when we dropped Franny off at the small commuter airport in Long Island, base operations for Pet Airways. This little entrepreneurial gem was no doubt the brainchild of a group of mustachioed flyboys who decided to make a little extra cash charging $400+ a ticket to fly peoples’ pets across the country in style.
So they outfitted a few single engine planes with a fuselage full of animal cages and a couple flight attendants to refill their vodka tonics, and just like that, a business was born. In our case, shelling out the extra cash to have her stay with Crissy’s mom and stepdad outside of Chicago was half as expensive as 18 days of New York City boarding, and she’d be getting 10 times the attention. Best money we ever spent. Er, top 20, anyway.
When we arrived at the airline counter to drop Franny off, Crissy was so traumatized that one of the employees asked if Franny was moving to Chicago permanently. “Well, not exactly,” I responded, clearing my throat. “We’re going on vacation for a couple weeks.”
Now let me clarify here. My wife has an actual, bona fide phobia of flying, as diagnosed by yours truly, the one sitting next to her on 99.9% of her flights. Admittedly, she’s much better than she was when we first started dating, thanks to a little old-fashioned grit, and a lot of new-fashioned Xanax.
But let me tell you something. My wife’s fear of flying is not a cute little scaredy cat bumpity poo in the planey waney. When that 90-ton winged monster rears up and lurches off the runway in defiance of gravity, something inside Crissy’s primal brain unhinges, and the primordial fight or flight response blares like a siren in her skull. And her inability to do either as the plane rockets into the sky sends her into a writhing, scrambling, eye-bulging, skin-tearing rage for roughly 6 minutes.
Like I said. The Xanax helps.
Anyway, the point is, when it came to Franny boarding her first flight, Crissy was projecting a lot of Xanax-free fear onto our confused puppy, who was actually in great hands with the friendly, helpful employees. Plus, Crissy brought along Franny’s pillow wrapped in one of my stinky t-shirts, so she’d have a familiar scent to keep her calm in case of turbulance.
And to be honest, I’d bet my life that if Franny had her choice of horrors to endure, she’d take a couple bumps in the clouds over the running vacuum cleaner ten times out of ten.
P.S. What, you thought I was gonna lead with the dead body story?
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