I’m sitting in Calgary airport watching CNN on mute in Montana’s Saloon. My quarter chicken (white meat) meal is picked to the bone and two pints of Rickards gone. Every couple of minutes the same images flash on the screen: An airbus lands gingerly on its hind wheels and its front wheel bursts into flames. My flight to Toronto leaves in about 45 minutes. People all around avert their gaze. Nobody seems overly upset by the saturation coverage in an airport of an airbus averting disaster.
Larry King seemed to enjoy covering the airline incident. With a guest on the line, he noted that “JetBlue has satellite TV. They get CNN. Do you think they are watching us right now on that plane? What’s going through their minds?” Somehow I think I would be thinking of other stuff. Like not having a will. Or never making it clear where I want to be buried (in Hartsville), or how (unembalmed in a simple unfinished pine box, dressed in white linen and tube socks), or what should adorn my resting place (a tree planted right over my head — preferably an oak). Embalming would poison the oak, which is not why they call it that (by the way). Maybe if the movie’s bad and I can’t sleep I’ll make more notes on the plane. Like, who should say what at the funeral, and how many trumpets I want at the gravesite, or how I really, really hope someone stays until I’m fully buried, not just left above ground surrounded by astroturf-covered red PEI soil while the family retreats to a hall or a neighbour’s place for date squares and cold cut sandwiches with mustard pickles. That would piss me off. And, liberated, I would find you. Believe me.