Reading on air

So this xkcd comic speaks to me a lot. I spent a lot of time recently planning out how I would keep hold my Kindle in the face of certain disaster, and how I would pull ninja feats of agility to escape being caught.

On the plane trip home, I went through this little brain dance a hundred times. Let’s remember that this is my first flight without meds. Let’s remember that flights are stressful, at least for the reasonable people on earth.

I read on take off and landing. It gives me something to do. I can’t knit, because my hands are shaking. I could cry, I guess. I could also scream, which is what I would rather do. Very cathartic. But I read. Sometimes I have to mouth the words to make myself concentrate, but overall it helps me stay calmer, helps Patrick keep his fingers unbroken, and allows the rest of the world to continue as normal.

I also happen to read on a Kindle when travelling. Apparently a Kindle is not permitted during taxi, take off, and landing. Because it is an electronic device.


Let’s start by IGNORING the COMPLETE BULLOCKS of an idea that electro-magnetic radiation interferes with plane communications. No no – let’s get on to the details of what a Kindle does. I don’t have a Kindle Fire. I have a Kindle Kindle. The kind that was meant to be an e-reader from the beginning. It doesn’t have a screen and pixels, it has e-ink. You know WHY I got a Kindle? BECAUSE IT HAS E-INK. What’s so great about e-ink, Air Canada? IT USES ALMOST NO ELECTRICITY.

Besides the fact that you are VERY BEHIND THE TIMES with these RIDICULOUS REGULATIONS, you are just plain being stupid. A Kindle is not using electricity when displaying a page. It only uses electricity when changing a page. You want me to turn off my Kindle? You’re stupid. By sliding the switch on my Kindle, I go from being a non-electricity user with a stable page, to changing the page and using electricity.

But let me elaborate why I’m being a total jerk and acting as if the rules don’t apply to me. It’s a choice, really. Your choice. I can do one of two things. I can read (and yes, I will read on my Kindle, because I want to read what I want to read, and that stuff is best kept on my Kindle when travelling). OR, I can scream. I can scream and throw a tantrum, and get up out of my seat, and run to the back of the plane where I will flail myself against the walls, drawing beautiful blue-and-black blooms and sometimes even little red rivulets on my pale skin. Because that’s what I can do when I have a crisis. Do you really WANT the other people in the cabin to see that? Do you want to risk injury to yourself trying to restrain me? Do you want to delay take off? Do you want a law suit about disabilities if you try to take me off the plane? These are some of the charming possibilities.

Or you could let me read my Kindle, which doesn’t cause interference with your plane.

Don’t play the game of ‘you might have wireless on and it’s too hard to check’. No, it isn’t too hard to check. You can do better. You can try harder. I don’t want to be a pain in your side. I am actively attempting not to be. Help me help you and stop being ridiculous. Don’t issue blanket statements of bureaucratic crap. Let your cabin crew use their heads; they know how.

When the science is there to back you up that my device causes you problems, then we can talk. But it is currently saying the opposite – that you are wrong. If you don’t believe the science, perhaps it would be better to use electro-magnetic radiation blockers, rather than worry about rule breakers. I hear tinfoil is great.


P.S. I don’t fly because I’m globetrotting, I fly for work. I’m not there for fun. I have to be. Believe me, if I could avoid flying feasibly, I would.



EDIT (May28/14): Hilarious. Thank you Canadian airlines. Thank you universe.


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