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Welcome to Mike Redmond's home on the Weird Wide Web!

Greetings, Earth People. I'm Mike Redmond. Not the baseball player. Instead of making you guess the rest, I'll just go ahead and tell you who I am and what I do.

  • I'm a newspaper columnist -- formerly the feature columnist for The Indianapolis Star (back when you could call it a newspaper). I bailed out of the place about two years after Gannett bought it, and I still count that as the best decision I ever made. My creditors don't always agree.
  • Now I write for papers around Central Indiana, a magazine or two, and this site. I'm also a public speaker, a teacher, an historical (as opposed to hysterical) interpreter, a farm tour guide, and occasionally, when I can be talked into it, an author. They're all my favorite jobs.
  • This is where you'll find my online column, posted every Wednesday, unless I get ambitious and post it Tuesday. But don't count on it.
  • This is also where to look for news about speaking engagements, new jobs, friends, and stuff that strikes me as interesting. I'll probably throw in a few recipes, too. I get wild like that sometimes.
  • Take a look around. Let's have some fun.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Flying With The Flaps ALL The Way Down

After reading two accounts in as many days of people disrobing, running around and creating what we shall call ruckuses on commercial airliners, I had to ask myself:

"Gee, how come this never happens on any of the flights I take?"

I do my share of zooming around in aluminum tubes, and it's all pretty uneventful. Every flight seems to follow the same exact script: You go to the airport, you go through the security check and lose another pair of nail clippers, you wait, you schlep onto the plane, you skulk through first class on the way back to steerage, you find your seat and wait some more. Then you fly.

Now, while flying you can pass the time in several ways: Not sleeping, not reading, not listening to music, not talking to your seatmates, and of course not enjoying yourself because air travel is tedious at best and soul-crushing the rest of the time. Not to mention rib-crushing, the way they pack people in those planes.

Then you land and wait some more for your baggage, and start the process of dreading the return flight.

See? Uneventful. No naked people. No ruckuses except maybe for the occasional bratty kid, but those are small amateur ruckuses compared to someone taking off all their clothes and whooping up and down the aisle.

Of course, you could make the argument that the word "eventful" is the last modifier you want to place in front of the word "flight" or, for that matter, any kind of travel. You could say, for example, that Titanic certainly had an eventful maiden voyage.

I remember my first flight on an airliner. Mom dressed us kids like we were going to church. Everyone else on the plane was dressed the same way. The attendants took special care of us, a single mother flying with four children, and went out of their way to see to our comfort even though we were flying coach and, by today's standards, therefore hardly worth much more than a passing glance as the drink cart rolled by.

Of course, that was back on the days of the Flintstones. Not the cartoon. I mean the real Flintstones. These are modern times, when most of the time a passenger might as well be another piece of luggage.

To be fair, I have had some extraordinary airline service. I am grateful (and say so) when it happens but I know better than to expect it, despite what the commercials say. Get real. It's like that guy on the intercom. He says he's just pleased as punch to be flying my butt to Dallas but you know what? I don't think he really means it.

So I guess I'm just looking for something to replace the dreadful experience that is modern air travel. There is simply no joy in commercial flight anymore. I'd welcome the diversion of someone getting naked and causing a little in-flight excitement.

 Except that I just re-read the stories and found out that the people who did the disrobing were males, and crazy as loons. Darn. I was hoping for something along the lines of Sofia Vergara.

Well, shoot. The last thing I need on my flight is a naked crazy man. The ones with their clothes on are bad enough. They always seem to be sitting next to me. And I'm pretty sure they say the same thing.

  © 2011 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.

Tue, July 26, 2011 | link 

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By the way -- everything on this site is Copyright 2009 by Mike Redmond. If you copy it without my permission, I will hunt you down with either my dog or my lawyer. I'll probably go with the dog. She's smarter.

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