Actually, it IS Rocket Science

Do the Jerk

As previously mentioned, my trip home from Hawaii didn’t end once I got off my first rage-inducing flight with the most passive aggressive fellow traveller ever.  And due to the fact that I have not yet learned to check my vindictive habits and let well enough be, I spent a 5 hour red-eye juxtaposed between continuous exhaustion and vigilant resistance to her Saddam-like tyrannical elbow tendencies.  Meaning I sat through Jane Eyre, TWICE, and watched the sun rise in San Francisco from 3000 feet.

Which I’m sure would have been beautiful under any other circumstance with exception of the fact that I was about to start punching stuff (both living and inanimate) with reckless abandon at any moment.

I exited my plane and checked the departure board to see when my last flight home was boarding from, when I noticed something… interesting.  Somewhere in my delusional state, I had miscalculated my layover- I thought I only had 40 minutes between landing in SF and taking off to Orange County, meaning the interim would be lovingly short.

I was wrong. … … REALLY WRONG.

My flight arrived in SF at 4:40 am.  My flight out to Orange County wouldn’t begin boarding until 8:50 am, meaning I was stuck in an airport (whose coffee shops wouldn’t even open until 7) for the next Four. Hours.

Fine!  Fuckit!  I’ll finally get to sleep. Suck on that, you wannabe shitty day.

I meandered over to my gate and set my bags down, noticing that there were a surprising number of people already there.  I couldn’t find a place to stretch out, but I did find a location where I could rest my head against a concrete block and also plug in my dying cell phone at the same time.  Win-win.  My brain began falling into a flooffy purple and black cloud and the unspoken ecstatic feeling that comes when you can finally rest, you know where everything is finally all right and


Now, bear with me, because this has undoubtedly happened to you before.  You’re extremely tired… like being put through torture tired, and you finally get to sleep, OR for instance you fall asleep in an inappropriate angle, say, like sitting upright.  And as your body finally begins to give itself over to the sweet release of dreams, something suddenly jolts you out of your state of comfort.  And you bolt upright.

Yes?  Yes?!  Oh god, please tell me you’ve had that so I don’t sound any more crazy than I already am.

Actually, that phenomenon has a name, and it’s pretty common.  It’s called the Hypnic Jerk, which sounds more like a 60’s Beach Blanket Bingo dance number than a central nervous reaction in the body.  It goes back to when we were still living in trees and was our bodies way to wake ourselves up before falling to our doom.

So SUCK IT, Creationists.

logic wiiiiiiiiiiiiiins!

As common as it is, however, its results are always the same: you look like a goddam fool who just freaked out everyone within a 5 foot radius.  This case was no exception.  I may have dislodged any arterial clogs from the geriatric women sitting beside me.  I’m sorry, ladies/ you’re welcome, ladies.

And in this case, knowing that I had done it once, that invariably meant that if I tried to go back to sleep, it might  would happen again, and I’d become more alienated than that kid who sat directly in front of you in school and squeezed out dog farts incessantly.

Which equated to me forcing myself to stay awake for the next several hours.  I always wondered why A Nightmare on Elm Street was always the scariest movie I had ever seen.  It still is, by the way, but now unfortunately, the monster in my dreams is myself.

Believe it or not, time does go on, as seemingly slowly as it did, and we finally boarded.  I had an aisle seat on a little baby of a plane and sat next to a younger girl who was bright and chipper and eager to start the day.  How nice.  We pushed off relatively quickly and right about the time our ascent began so did my descent; my body just wouldn’t have it anymore.  I wound up with both elbows resting on the outside arm rest, cradling my chin.

Naturally, though, as soon as we began our climb, we flew through some clouds, which inevitably resulted in turbulence.  Although at that point I was so turned off, it was as if all time, sound, and movement had ceased to register.  My brain was in extended “OFF” mode until plugged in for a copious amount of time.  Pretty sure if you’d have MRI’d me, I’d have registered as unresponsive and would become the next horrible story of just another preventable brain damaged case.

Or, you know, until we hit that magic air pocket, when my arms flew out from under me.  And my head slammed WWF wrestler style into the seat in front.  And everyone sitting next to me on either side gave me a look of both worry and disdain at the same time.  And the person in back of me reared back and wielded the best “EAT SHIT” face possible.  All within 2 seconds time.

And I wallowed in self misery until I finally returned home and crept into my bed to sleep off my odd 36 hour bender which was fueled by zero recreational or controlled substances, except for knobby-elbow-induced insomnia.


You know, I’ve gone back on this memory since I got home a few weeks ago to try to think of a more appropriate solution or possible action to take if I had a do-over.  I like to do this because it makes me feel like at least I’m growing from a particularly bad experience, and how not to let it happen again.  And by doing so, guess what?!

I got nothin.  That walking PMDD with the bitchy limbs is probably a terminal asshole, and I wish her husband strength.  You know, that or I would just take an Ambien in the future and hope that I have one of those CRAZY reactions to it that would give me the balls to be confrontational to the point of getting her to leave me the hell alone so I could rest.  But.  You know. Hindsight.


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