Staying home doesn’t fly for everyone, but it definitely does for me

Random thoughts are liable to pop into my mind at any moment — when I’m watching a football game, when I’m driving, or when I’m supposed to be doing something important while driving, such as yielding.

“Oops! Sorry. Was thinking about squirrels.”

“I’M GOING TO KILL YOU! YOU’VE THREATENED MY FREEDOM TO USE THE RIGHT LANE!”

“Well, again, my apologies. At least we didn’t have an accident. May blessings be upon you.”

“MY TIRE TOOL’S GONNA BE UPON YOU!”

“Before you do that, can I borrow your hat with the horns on it? I left my viking helmet at home.”

One of the random thoughts that popped into my head recently was that I have not set foot in an airport on an airplane in a year and a half. And I’m OK with that.

I didn’t fly for the first 28 years of my life. My hometown of Oglethorpe was not exactly a hotbed of air travel except for that time when my cousin decided to pull an Evel Knievel stunt by trying to jump his motorcycle over my uncle’s boat.

Shame what happened to that boat.

In the last decade or so, though, I’ve had my fair share of flights. I’m not a frequent flyer like a lot of my friends, but my work has taken me to Africa and Central America, as well as large American cities like Chicago and Houston and smaller places like Louisville, Atlantic City and Shreveport.

It was just enough to make me hate flying. The thought now of navigating the tight aisles of an airplane and fighting for baggage space makes me cringe. Being trapped on a plane just sitting on a tarmac during a delay is pure torture that I’ve experience too often. If only I had known I could have taken my emotional support peacock with me, things might have been different. That won’t even be an option by the time I’m flying again.

And whenever that day comes, it’ll be too soon. I’ve been holding out hope that the pandemic’s end will coincide with the invention of those teleporters from Star Trek so that I can just tell the operator, “Beam me to Shreveport.”

“Why?”

“Just do it. And my support peacock, too.”

Don’t get me wrong — I like getting away every now and then for a few days at the beach, kayaking a river with manatees or a safari shooting rats at the dump, you know, relaxing stuff. It’s nice to take a break from the normal events of home like watching the same ol’ TV shows, cooking dinner and shooting rats from the back porch. But I clearly prefer being a homebody.

I even work from home at least three days a week. Some folks might get cabin fever and start talking to walls, but folks who know me well know I don’t even really like talking to people, so I’m definitely not going to start talking to walls. The facts that my walls don’t ask me stupid questions is actually quite refreshing.

I don’t have a fear of flying — plummeting to the ground in a burning heap of metal, sure, but not flying. Folks will tell you flying is the safest form of travel, but I argue that the safest form of travel is from the glider on our patio to the Adirondack chair on our back porch. And I don’t even have to clear security to do it. Nor does my peacock.

And we are perfectly content to stay at home. Unless we are under orders to stay at home. In that case I resent it, so then you can feel free to beam me to the beach.

“Yes, Mr. Peacock, you too.”

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