Monday, January 11, 2010

World Traveler, part two - why I may get over my distaste for surgical masks

"Where do you want to sit?" Byrnesy asked as he booked our flights to Bangkok.
"In first class" Max answered, without even a touch of sarcasm.
Byrnesy raised an eyebrow, and I glared at him. "Very funny, little man. I just want us to sit together. If we are sitting together, everything else will be fine."
I should have known. I should have known that my OCD paranoid little self should have kept my big mouth shut. No one likes a jinx.

It started going sour before they even closed the cabin doors.

This little old man - impossibly old, really - wandered down the aisle of the plane, peering through watery eyes at the aisle numbers overhead. And just as he brushed past me, he let loose this cough that sounded like something out of a Dickens novel. And I began, at that very moment, to panic.

Oh dear GOD that man totally has H1N1, I thought. Or worse. Typhoid. Consumption. Something terribly awful that causes a slow and painful death as your lungs fill and your breathing weakens and then, finally, you die in an awful coughing fit, gasping and choking for your last breath.

I ripped open a bag of emergen-c and poured it directly into my mouth, bypassing the water completely. Because what if it was tainted, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE WHERE ARE MY BABY WIPES.

In that one terrible moment, I suddenly understood Michael Jackson's entire wacky approach to public outings. Face masks, sunglasses and veils were what I needed - at a minimum - to survive the next 5 hours. Alas, I was stuck in seat 30F, with no face mask. And at that point, what I really wanted was some Lysol - the face mask was probably not going to protect me against whatever the hell that guy was spraying all over the coach cabin.

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