I believe that there is a large part of my brain that goes entirely untapped. I also believe that the unemployed majority of my neural synapses are firing like crazy to try to protect me from myself. (Like in most of my relationships.) Although I don't directly recruit all of this extra activity, I still know that it is trying to work for me. I simply don't pay attention. I will call them the Screaming Voices of my Suppressed Mind or, the Banshees.
Allow me to illustrate.
A week ago, I was scheduled to fly from home to Vancouver for a one day course on the following day.
That morning, Taryn-the-16-year-old-girl was doing her best Linda Blair impression.
Banshees, "Don't go."
I had procrastinated the hell out of my assigned course pre-read. The two shifts in which I intended on cramming were, instead, filled with sick people and ambulance calls. I was on page 17 of 234.
Banshees, "Don't go."
The weather was the epitome of what our local carrier's pilots do not fly in: clouds below the tops of the surrounding mountains.
Banshees, "Different approach. You're not going."
The skilled pilots found a hole in the clouds somewhere down the river and made it in to get me.
When I tried to check in at the airport, I was told that only half of my ticket had been paid for by my employer: the return half. The employer is already into me for a billion dollars in yet unpaid travel claims and I was not going to put another dime on my credit card.
So, Sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm, I called my supervisor (on a cell phone that never gets a signal at the airport) to tell him that I would be unable to leave my daughter at home alone to attend a course that I was not prepared for because the department had not paid for my ticket to get there.
He answered the phone, of course, and dealt with the ticket issue. I got on the plane.
Banshees, "How many times.....seriously."
Now, since I had not heeded any of the Banshees warnings, this is what happened:
About 15 minutes from landing in Vancouver, I was wistfully gazing out the window, down the wing and into the clouds with my MP3 player on and my course pre-read opened in front of me (best of intentions). I then watched the left engine (two engine plane) slow down and stop.
I looked around to see if anyone else noticed. Apparently not.
I leaned across the aisle to the newspaper-reading dude on the right side, "Is your engine still running?"
He looked at me, looked out his window, looked back at me, "Yeah, yours?"
I looked towards the front to see that our
stewardess flight attendant, Miss Smiles-Alot, was on the phone with the pilots. She leaned over to get a view of the left engine, still smiling, nodded lots, hung up the phone and then turned to address her audience.
"Hi, Everyone! I was just talking to our Captain and he told me that they have chosen to electively shut down the left engine because of some warning lights. I didn't even notice since our ride has continued to be so smooth. I can tell you that we are already over Vancouver and we were just about to start our descent anyway. This airplane is totally safe to fly on one engine and we are totally keen to do our descent and landing on one engine. This is sooo normal."
And the proletariat totally bought it. They all smiled back at Miss Smiles-Alot and went back to their reading and chatting and snoozing.
I checked to see if I had cell phone coverage, of course not. Not sure who I would have called but I would have liked to have had that option.
After a couple of sharp banks, we landed to great fanfare consisting of fire trucks and ambulances at every runway entrance along the way. By time we came to a stop, we had an entourage of emergency vehicles surrounding us and fire fighters at the bottom of the exit stairs.
Normal, my ass!
Banshees, a little louder next time, please.