The impending holidays mean many of us face the remarkably unappetizing prospect of schlepping onto a plane. Yes, we'll concede that flying vastly beats out driving for 20 hours straight or crossing the Atlantic by boat. However, if you've ever been subjected to a red-eye while crammed in the middle seat, the prospect of extended time on planes may very well make you cringe. To me, the less time I spend on a plane, the better. End of story.
That's why I was puzzled -- horrified actually -- to learn of a man who has actually chosen to live on a plane. Why???
Well, in 1999, Bruce Campbell bought a Boeing 727 for $100,000, parked it in the woods just southwest of Portland, then spent an additional $120,000 renovating it into his happy home.
"Next time you're in a jetliner, close your eyes for a moment," Campbell told the video network Great Big Story. "In your mind, remove all the seats and all the other people, and then open your eyes with that vision and consider the expansive living room. It's a good environment; it really is."
Um, no. It isn't. I don't care that, sans seating, the plane's interior is spacious at 1,066 square feet -- bigger than my Brooklyn apartment. I also don't care that this electrical engineer chose his digs because he figured it would withstand an earthquake. "It's a sealed pressure canister. It will last practically forever," he explained.
However you dress it up, a plane is still a plane. Sure, it has two bathrooms, but they're tiny and jerry-rigged with what even the optimistic Campbell admits is a "primitive shower." Sure, his home has many windows, but the windows are hamster-head small and can't be opened. So much for fresh air.
Then, of course, there are the memories that living in a plane would evoke -- of my 2-year-old daughter screaming during takeoff, or of circling above JFK for hours unable to land due to terrible weather. Planes are hell.
People love pushing the envelope on what can be turned into a home. That explains the tales we've heard of people residing in shipping containers or underground nuclear bunkers. And Campbell isn't the only guy who lives in a plane; a former airplane mechanic named Red Lane holes up in a DC-8.
But I, for one, am not on board. Unless a plane is in the air, getting me somewhere as quickly as possible, what's the point?