Thursday, October 08, 2009

Disaster Movie

My ambient paranoia has become such that, just like Chicken Little, I feel that my life is like an imminent disaster movie just waiting to happen. All the ingredients are there: low flying jumbos, a spate of local fires, a cut in funding for the local emergency services and more oddballs wandering around the streets than you could fit into the Casualty waiting room (and I’m talking about the BBC medical-soap series here, not the A&E reception of the local hospital which, let’s face it, tends to be bad enough).

Take the plane thing.

Now it might be I have just become more sensitive since having a little ‘un arrive on the scene but I swear to God they are flying lower and in greater numbers than ever before. So low I could slash their tyres with a kitchen knife as they pass overhead. Has Birmingham Airport re-arranged its flight lanes I wonder? I don’t recall this volume of air traffic ever occurring when I was a kid, teenager and young adult.

And I know the chances of one of them falling out of the sky is so remote I’d stand a better chance of winning Strictly Come Dancing than witnessing a plane crash on my home town but even so. The paranoia is there and kicking like a mule.

Every time a jumbo strains overheard I find myself listening closely to the engine sound just in case, you know, I can hear if something is wrong. Not that I’m a flight engineer or anything but I’d imagine hearing a rattle or a coughing exhaust at 3,000ft isn’t going to spell good news for anyone.

And then there’s the flight path itself. I find myself triangulating it mentally, breathing a sigh of relief when I realize it does not pass directly over my boys’ nursery and school buildings. Or my home. My place of work I don’t care much about. To be honest a good plane crash would sometimes relieve the monotony – provided, of course, no one was actually in the building at the time (I mean, I’m not completely callous).

More and more I find myself objecting to this invasion of my family’s personal air space. Who are these people who are endangering the lives of my loved ones with their holidays and their business trips? Why can’t they catch a bus? Or better still, walk?

Haven’t I got enough to worry about with the dying economy, the permanent risk of terrorist attack, food shortages, global warming, misleading food packaging, the war in Afghanistan, the UK’s underage pregnancy rates, swine flu, an increase in the Bank of England’s base rate and the Tories getting into power at the next election?

It’s all too much.

Come on, air traffic control! Give me a break! Send them over Coventry. It’s not like anyone would miss the architecture...


28 comments:

missbehaving said...

Oh Steve, you're in a bad way my friend;) I must admit I have my moments when I suddenly worry that this or that highly unlikely scenario will become a reality.
Like two parents, four kidneys, if they all only need one we have enough to go around, if anyone needs two we're buggered..
but I don't let myself think of these things for more than a second, I just push those thoughts away and make myself think good things.
I am a big believer in the Law of Attraction, and I believe thinking about these things , paying too much attention to them, is more likely to bring disater into your time/space reality. (I'll point out here, that none of my friends who know and love me, agree with me on this LOA stuff, so if you say 'Pooh, what a load of baloney' I wont take offence:)
Think good thoughts, think positive outcomes.......

Steve said...

MissBehaving: I think I've been both cursed and blessed in equal measure with an overactive imagination! I don't dwell on these things too much - i.e. I'm not utterly consumed by them - but I must admit they cross my mind with a frequency that is possibly a little too high to be considered sane...! However, I like the positive thinking vibe so will go along with that... can't do any harm!

Mark said...

Don't disaster movies turn out ok in the end.

Except for Chicken Little (Licken?)...
Wasn't he was eaten by a fox while worrying about the sky falling in? You see, there are other things to worry about too. Not that I'm paranoid of course.

Mark

Steve said...

Mark: ...eaten by a fox, eh? Hmm. Well, my wife is a fox... so that's not a bad way to go! He he he! ;-)

The Sagittarian said...

Steve - there is probaly a place you can check about the flight path, there was some weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth in Sydney (Australia) awhile back as people felt the planes were more and lower etc, turns out the people were right but I'm not sure what was done about it (it's only Sydney, right?, there's probably some local by-law involved...that will give you something to do while the worrier in you takes a back seat. And, as for your comment about the 'fox' - you are awful, but I like you!

Steve said...

Amanda: I thought you were going to say there was a place I could check into called a clinic...! I thought you were going to make a recommendation to save my sanity. Of course, I now realize it is beyong saving...!

P.S. My wife was quite chuffed with the fox thing too (works every time). ;-)

Suburbia said...

Hee hee, so funny! (oops, hope it was supposed to be? well, just a little bit?!)

Steve said...

Suburbia: yup, just a tiddly-iddly bit! ;-)

Selina Kingston said...

How bizarre! One of my recurring nightmares (along with the one of my teeth falling out) is seeing a plane fall out of the sky and not knowing where to run to escape the fireball. Because of that I never look up at planes in the sky, just in case! I think I watch too many Bruce Willis films but it probably denotes some sort of anxiety. Do you think you may have anxiety issues too.....??

Steve said...

Selina: I must admit to a sometimes overwhelming desire to run around a huge city at night wearing a white vest and waving a machine gun around.

I'm taking tablets for it and they seem to be working so far...(yippee-ki-yay)!

Valerie said...

I guess we're all plagued by worries at times, and speaking as one who lives on the flight path for planes entering/leaving (never could decide which) Birmingham Airport I can understand your feelings. My garden has sometimes picked up the shadow of a bi-plane, God only knows what that would look like if one of the biggies came any lower. I think I'll join you in the worrying!

Steve said...

Valerie: you have my sympathies - it must be a hundred times worse for you. I sometimes wonder if the increase in air traffic over Leamington is due to the expansion of Coventry airport...

French Fancy said...

I understand perfectly what you are feeling. Now and then we discuss the possibility of returning to the UK for a spell and then I think of all the Daily Mail horror stories about vandalised homes, knife-carrying yobs and houses being spattered with eggs and flour. I then wonder if there are any civilised places left - not to mention low flying aircraft. Look - I said not to mention it, okay?

One day our (yours and ours) ships will come in and we'll be off to that gated community surrounded my manicured lawns - nothing nasty or noisy allowed.

Steve said...

FF: that gated community seems a long way off at the moment... I might just settle for a shed on a mountain top in the meantime!

Gypsy said...

OK so you worry about planes falling out of the sky....well I do too only I am on the plane and all the people from LOST are my fellow passengers which is particularly pleasing because I LOVE Sawyer and actually I really wouldn't mind as long as I survived and Sawyer too of course....sorry, where was I going with this?


Oh yeah....terrorists have a lot to answer for. Ever since 9/11 I am terrified every time someone I know goes off in a plane and as for me going on one....not gonna happen anytime soon.


I guess there are probably more likely calamities to befall you so try not worry.

Gina said...

Oh dear, you have got it bad. I think you need a session with me on risk assessment and statistical probability. I do all sorts of daft things because I know the chances of anything awful happening are soooo small!

But like Selina I too have a recurrent nightmare about a plane falling out of the sky. I've had it since I was a tot (and yes, planes were invented then) - a big plane falls out of the sky and lots of people are staggering out injured and burnt and I cannot move to help them. I see it fall out of the sky too but there is no noise. It's a silent dream. Odd.

But I still don't worry about planes.

I think you watch too many scary TV programmes and films!!

Steve said...

Gypsy: I think I must be one of only a few people who has never ever watched a single episode of Lost... if it's only going to add to my existing anxieties then I'm rather glad! Though there a few people I wouldn't mind being stuck on a desert island with. I must say at this point that my wife is one of the those people. Especially as she reads my blog and my comments...! ;-)

Steve said...

Gina: I do so many Risk Assessments at work that even my nightmares about them send me to sleep...! I think I have a too active imagination that likes to follow thoughts to bizarre and outlandish conclusions... not so sure I watch too much TV as I should be working for a TV company somewhere. Now that would be a dream job!

Old Cheeser said...

Steve, methinks you are ruminating about these things too much! In my opinion anyhow. But you know,I think it's an age thing. Having hit 40, I too am less tolerant of noise and having my space invaded by others (so why the hell am I living in London?!) So I can relate to what you say.

And I wouldn't much like living on a flight path either. Richmond Park in West London is a lurvely spot but somewhat marred by the constant noise of overhead jumbos!! So there you go.

Steve said...

OC: it's definitely an age thing. I'm becoming more and more curmudgeonly with every passing year. My wife may even say "every passing day". But you know what? I love it!

KAZ said...

Don't blame the punters taking advantage of cheap flights (i.e. me)
Blame the authorities who won't regulate the whole thing, increase taxes to make it too expensive or improve rail services to be competitive.
I hate flying, but the alternative is too expensive or unavailable.
In the meantime you have my sympathy.

Steve said...

Kaz: you have permission to fly over my house as often as you wish (I would never blame you for anything). Just bring me something nice back from Duty Free...

Owen said...

It may be that we both need to check into a clinic... funny, I also have had a recurring dream occasionally, not too often, but always similar, where I'm watching a plane going down, and see the wreck from a distance... hmm, I wonder what the shrinks would make of us ? And which one of us borrowed the other's dream ??? Well just remember, what did they used to say... Paranoia will destroy ya ? Awfully easy to be paranoid these days with all the disasters happening all over the place...

Earlier this year a plane wreck was caught on video at the Narita Airport near Tokyo...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZHla1nQzfA

Steve said...

Owen: thanks for the link. Now the fullness of my high level paranoia is complete.

A Write Blog said...

I must admit I'm more aware of planes now. There are more I'm sure.

And some do seem to labour at very low levels.

Must be a bugger for film crews trying to do a scene from, say, 'Wuthering Heights' with all those vapour trails kicking about.

Steve said...

AWB: Low flying aircraft do appear quite often in blooper reels so i think it happens more than we realise!

Inchy said...

I'm kinda in the same ball park, Steve, but it's being inside one of the aluminium buggers that drives me to strong liquor at ridiculous hours of the day and night.
As I've got older I've become a terrible passenger. The anxiety, the cold sweats, the rushing heart rate, the dry mouth, you name it - I get it. I sit in my seat, staring out at an engine built in a factory like mine, by a man like me.

I hope it wasn't one from last thing on a Friday!

Steve said...

Inchy: the bizarre thing is Inchy I love flying - though don't get much chance these days! Not sure how I'd feel about having my boys on board a plane though... hmm. That would reactivate the paranoia big time...!