Me and Mucinex

EPO. HGH. Anabolic Steroids. Performance enhancing agents that have been in the news over the past year. My “agent” is Mucinex. Let me explain.

Traveling can do wonders for the immune system. The stress of making one’s flight, or better, a connecting flight, claws away at your reserves. Then, once pass the madness of checking in and getting the ole’ once-over at security, you hit the bar to decrease the fear factor. Another notch against you. If you’re like me and have had one too many flights that have included snow storms, violent turbulence, and an “emergency landing” – complete with fire trucks, evacuated runway, and men in silver fire retardant suits – you like to hit the sauce before climbing into your flying aluminum coffin. Once on board, you’re packed in like a sardine (I’m 6’3″, so requesting the exit row is a must, and even that barely helps) and welcomed to inhale as much of the diseased breath as you wish for the next n-hours.

Now, imagine this…flying into Atlanta, a presumably benign airport during the winter – especially when considering the alternative connecting airports (Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, etc), you land in a snow storm. Nothing too bad. Its coming down, but not sticking. Turbulence is light-to-moderate chop. But, this is the ATL. Snow is a foreign object. Hail, rain, even pieces of a trailer home, may be common place. Snow is DEFCON 1. So my next flight to Seattle is delayed, but only by 20 minutes. OK. I board. Get to my seat which is next to the galley, behind the toilet, and face planted up against the bulk head. Not the best exit row seat, but better than most everything else. We’re ready to go…

And then we sit. Engines idling. After 45 minutes of sitting about 20 feet back from the gate the pilot informs us that we need to be de-iced. We’re about 5th in line. Try about 50th. Long story short –

we sat on the tarmac, in various places, with about 50 other planes, for 5 hours!!! I shit you not. 5 – holy crap I am losing it and going to kill the next person that uses my seatback as an arm rest while waiting to use the bath room – hours!

I was supposed to arrive in Seattle at 7:55pm, local time. 1:35am was the real time. I get my rental car, head to the hotel and hit the bed around 2:30am (5:30am EST – I’ve been awake 24 hours). I didn’t fall asleep for about an hour because I had the goddamn engine idling noise stuck in my head. I awoke 3.5 hours later and skied all day.

All this means that, in addition to hanging out with my friend who was hacking his own cold all over me for the weekend, I had the perfect storm building inside me. Travel stress, amplified by a total time of 17 hours (6 there+5, 6 home) trapped in the “germ ward”, sleep deprivation, and physical exhaution = sickness.

So, this past week Me and Mucinex have become acquainted. I have asthma, so there’s the fear that any cold will go to my lungs. Its been 4 years since my last episode in which I sounded like an 89 year old chain smoking emphysema patient. But, alas, like getting lucky with that beautiful girl who, turns out, had the clap – my wonderful trip to Seattle left me with a going away present.

As of today, things are on the upswing. I managed to ride yesterday for 1.5 hours and today for 2. It was pretty slow, pathetic stuff. But I was outside in the sun and that was good enough. Afterall, I could be staring at a flight attendant talking about and showing off pictures of her cats – for 5 hours. Truly the meaning of Dante’s Inferno.

Final Note: From the Draft Passenger Bill of Rights –

A right to not be trapped on a plane

If more than seventy five minutes elapse between when the last passenger boards a plane and when either the plane takes off or it aborts, returns to the gate, and commences deplaning passengers, and/or if more than sixty minutes elapse between when the plane touches down and when the first passenger steps off the plane, all passengers will be entitled to a Trapped On Board compensation and for an additional Trapped On Board compensation for each whole thirty minutes of extra time that this situation continues.

A right to a comfortable temperature

If a plane is incapable of and/or is not maintaining a temperature in the passenger cabin of at least 60 degrees and no more than 85 degrees, it will be deemed unsafe. Passengers must not be allowed to board a plane that has a temperature outside this range, and if the temperate moves outside this range with passengers on board, the plane must be immediately evacuated and the plane taken out of service until its climate control system is corrected.

The latter is apropos since, while idling with only one engine on, the pilots were unable to maintain a comfortable temperature for fear of using too much fuel to run the A/C.

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~ by Indy on January 27, 2008.

One Response to “Me and Mucinex”

  1. […] Year of the Rat.  No, for me it has been Year of the Snot.  I am getting reacquainted with Mucinex again.  I visited the Doc last Monday before heading off to Arizona.  It seemed my […]

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