Monday, November 2, 2009

Food,sleep, then sex.. in that order!

In his October 26th blog post on science, William Saletan exposed the humor that belies the scandal of Flight 188 and its dozing crew.

Napping, sex, and abstinence is quite a catchy title.  I mean, what could sleep and sex have in common when boarding a plane? I can understand the food and sleep connection he tries to make. They both come in short supply these days, as the article points to added flying shifts and budget cuts that have left pilots exhausted and overflown. 

I read on... despite vows of "abstinence" from any news related to plane tragedies and an alarming spike in panic attacks I get every time I feel a little turbulence on a plane.  

I read on because I was intrigued.  I wanted to nail the sex connection. But unless the pilots were hormone-driven teenagers who still got a rush from mid-air, stuffy-cubicle sex, I found none.

That's good news, right?

Pilots are supposed to be those seasoned, mature professionals who are sensitized to the fact that, stranded up there in an oversized matchbox, their job isn't just to shuttle people around, it is actually to save lives. OK, maybe it's my fear talking, still, it's a very risky job.

but then again, they are hungry and overworked, enough to fall asleep while flying for over an hour. Does it matter if they were sexually deprived as well? was Saletan really referring to the pilots?

It's a scary mix he throws out there. And deprivation of any kind will not help me ease my fear of flying. Ever since that EgyptAir plane dipped in the ocean over 10 years ago, my agony at every bump, turn and slight turbulence has really deepened. 

But I'm a Roamer, I spend a good portion of my life on planes. it's part of the deal and admittedly, the part I dread the most. So when the media starts picking at pilots dozing off in mid-air, I say enough! it's time to wake up.

Saletan offers his two cents on the issue stating that "if cockpit sleep is going to happen anyway, like dessert and teen sex, then maybe we should manage it instead of forbidding it."

I'm not sure I'd root for that plan. "Cockpit sleep" shouldn't happen anyway, whether it's managed or not. 

Wouldn't it be easier if we rooted for cutting shifts down? Let those pilots go home, rest in their own bed, eat at their own table, have sex ... wherever they chose to have it... as long as it's not inside the cockpit and while I'm on board!

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