stop and smell the airplanes

by Jason Alan

This is my first guest post. I wrote it for the talented Jeff at

go check it out. but read this first.

People say to stop and smell the flowers. To ‘ground’ yourself (no pun
intended), I suppose, or to just push your troubles away for a moment
and enjoy the beauty of nature. But I say that’s for losers. What I
suggest is to stop and smell the airplanes.

What I mean by this is not to literally smell an airplane, that’s just
silly. It’s metaphoric, of course. What I mean is to look at one and
really think about it. How often do you marvel at the amazing things
that mankind has been able to accomplish? Rarely? Never?

Picture this: you are flying about 40,000 feet in the air, in a big
metal tube weighing in excess of 600,000lbs, going more than 500 miles
an hour. But wait folks, there’s more. You are using a tiny device
(with no wires) made of glass, plastic, metal and the sweat of people
who are literally on the other side of the planet. To send a message
to someone else who is on the ground, about 1,000 miles away,
traveling in a box that is going about 60 miles per hour. Now how much
would you pay?

I mean really, think about this. Not much more than a hundred years
ago we were breaking out the party hats when we got something fairly
light and wooden in the air that looked as if it was made of popsicle
sticks. And it wasn’t very long before then that you would be locked
up in a funny farm or burned at the stake for even suggesting such a
thing was even possible.

So, do you think about it? Most of all, do you appreciate the fact
that you can not only fly to the other side of the earth, but also
talk to and SEE your family and friends in real time while you are
there? Not to mention the untold numbers of things we surround
ourselves with on a daily basis. Electric razors. Microwaves.
Computers. Televisions. Water heaters. Digital clocks. Light bulbs.
Sliced fucking bread!

We are, quite literally, walking and driving and flying around in a
world of magic. And we’re telling people to smell flowers? Puh-lease.
There’s a newer, safer way to do that. It comes in a little bottle.
You can spray it on yourself and you too can smell like a rose,
without risk of sneezing or getting a bee up your nose. You don’t even
have to leave your hermetically sealed, climate controlled home to do
it. You wouldn’t want to do that, anyway. There are people out there.
Some of them not so desirable. People that could stab you at any
moment, or spray you with their smelly stuff without your permission.

On the other hand, you can look out your window and appreciate the
technological marvel that is an airplane, or even the funny looking
truck that brings the person that brings your mail. No more horses
taking that payload. It’s bad for their backs, anyway, and they tend
to drop honking turds everywhere.

Yet, on the other other hand, you can also look out your window and
consider that even as far as human beings have come, we’re still on a
ball of rock weighing approximately 13 octillion lbs (that’s 24
zeros), spinning at a rate of about 1,000 miles per hour, flying
through space at roughly 67,000 miles per hour around a 44 nonillion
lb (that’s 30 zeros) ball of nuclear explosions…

That’s right. Good ol’ mother nature kinda makes our little airplanes
look quaint and cute, huh?

So maybe you should stop and smell the flowers. After all, they can
turn sunlight into energy more efficiently than we can.