I’m in research mode again…for better or worse. What letter is in the same sound family as D? Turns out, it’s T. When did Lexington, KY enact a city-wide smoking ban? April 2004.
Then comes finding the answers that, as a human, I’m not sure I ever wanted to know, but as a writer I’m excited about. Answers like length of time it takes to ID a body that’s been in a plane crash. Or what telltale signs indicate an in-air explosion vs an intact plane upon impact. Did you know there’s actually an act of Congress that dictates that lawyers etc. cannot contact families of airplane disaster victims, unsolicited, until 30 days after the crash?
During my commute, I’m reading a few books on different airplane crashes. I’ll read a few pages, scribble something down, ponder the implications for my story and then go back to reading. Everything I’m learning, about planes, about crashes, about investigations, about death, is really interesting.
Then I take a step back and kind of creep myself out. I can only imagine what I look like, excitedly picking up a book about crashes and death.
Last week at work, several people from out of town were in for meetings. We all went out to dinner the night before they left. Part of the conversation turned to their flights back since a few were headed into DC’s looming storm. I heard a few people name their airlines. Then I became petrified that someone would turn to me and ask what I was currently reading (this despite the fact that books hadn’t even been glanced at sideways as a topic).
“I’m reading this really awesome book about the your-airline-here crash in your-home-city-here. It’s fascinating. You should really read the cockpit voice recorder transcript for the last thirty seconds of the flight…don’t you think it’s interesting that many pilots are now saying fuck instead of shit as their final words?”
I don’t think that would have gone over well. So, luckily, we avoided all things literary and stuck to bemoaning the fact that snow might disrupt their flight or waffling between the BBQ pulled pork sandwich or the Obama burger (with BBQ sauce, pineapple and bacon).
For the record, I went with the Obama burger: an excellent choice, should you ever have the chance.