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And the Winner Is… October 18, 2010

Posted by Rob Diaz in Edited, General Fiction, Publications, Real Life, Short Stories.
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The first thing I want to say is thanks to everyone who posted comments describing their worst travel experiences. I’m sorry that you all had such harrowing experiences, but I thank you for sharing them. I, personally, have had many bad experiences. One of them includes paint can lids flying out of the back of a truck while riding down Route 95 South in heavy traffic. Another is roofing shingles flinging off a pre-fabricated building that was being pulled by a big truck – this also occurred on Route 95 south.

Still another bad experience, and possibly the scariest, came on a flight from Newark, New Jersey to Denver, Colorado – this flight was fine until we were preparing to land… and had to abort the landing twice due to wind shears. This, of course, occurred after bouncing around for quite some time on the way to the failed landing attempts. People were getting sick all over the plane, there were people screaming… it was pretty terrifying. On the third attempt, I think the pilot decided that no matter what we were going to land… we came around and it seemed like the plane sped up. As we were going down, it felt like the bottom fell out – we were lifted literally off of our seats, held in place only by the seat belts as they strained to hold us in place. But he kept going despite the several drops in altitude that took place. Ultimately, we landed safely and there was applause and cheering for the pilots.

As someone who doesn’t travel much at all, that was a harrowing experience. Couple that with my difficulties in Denver’s altitude and you can imagine how shaken I was. I ended up getting the wrong rental car, using the wrong credit card to pay for said rental car and getting lost on my way to the hotel. It was pretty upsetting.

Anyway, enough about me and my traveling woes – that stuff belongs over on my travel blog, not here! You’re all here to learn who the lucky winner of a free electronic copy of The Yang Book is. Well, after much consideration and time spent thinking, the random number generator selected (drum roll please…):

Maja McKenerick

Maja’s travel story, for those who missed it, was:

I was on a trip to Chicago and we had experience terrible weather in Denver from a snow storm and was lucky to get out of Denver. As we were landing at O’Hare I commented to the guy sitting next to me that I was glad we landed. I then told him about the 3 previous trips I had taken where I wasn’t sure if flying was something I should continue to do. The first experience was when i was heading out of Denver to Rapid City, SD, now this is a flight that takes 1 1/2 hours and so we take off late because of storms in Rapid City, we fly for about 45 minutes and then all of sudden the little puddle jumper plane we were on turned around, pilot gets on the intercom and says we have to go back to Denver to get a plane they can use for instument landing because we were heading into an ice storm, we did make it safely. Next trip I went to Dallas and this was fine and then on the retrun trip we are sitting in the airplane and they have maintenance on the plane because there is a barely audible buzz in the intercom. The flight from Dalls to Denver takes around 2 hours, so we sit on the plane for about 1 1/2 hours while they attempt to fix it but they can’t so the maintenance guy exists out of the back of the plane and we taxi to the runway. We start our takeoff and the speed picks up and we are screaming down the runway and all of a sudden the plane is coming to an abrupt stop (ouch) the pilot comes on the intercom saying we have to pull out of our take off and off to the side because the maintenance guy didn’t tightly close the door at the back of the plane when he left. So we wait another 45 minutes for the maintenance guy to come out to the plane and close the door. The next trip I’m doing to Des Moines, IA, the weather is great and smooth flying. The pilot annouces we are beginning our initial descent and to buckle up, we start our desecnt and all of a sudden the plan jerks up and banking to the right. The pilot announces on the intercom that we had to abort our landing because the plane that landed before us hadn’t taxied off the runway to move towards the gate. After I tell my fellow passenger list, he chastised me for saying something when we landed as we hadn’t got to the gate yet and now that I brought up my last 3 trips we were probably going to have a flat tire as we taxied towards the gate!

Recap:

Denver to Rapid City – change planes for instrument landing in an ice storm
Dallas to Denver – maintenance forgot to close the door and had to abort takeoff
Denver to Des Moines, had to abort a landing because the plane before us was still in the way
Denver to Chicago – made it all safe and sound without any drama

Wow. I can honestly say, I don’t think I’d want to travel with Maja if this is her typical flight experience.

Anyway, congratulations, Maja! I will be in touch with you to get you your copy of The Yang Book.

And thanks to everyone who submitted stories and supports me and my writing habit. I really appreciate it.

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