A ‘Tow Seat’, Really?

I had the wackiest, most vivid dream last week. I don’t know that it means anything, or if it does mean something, I probably don’t really want to know what exactly. I’ll just write it off to how crazy work has been lately and feeling like it isn’t possible to get completely caught up, or be in all the places you need to be at once.

The dream started in an airport in an unidentified city in Germany. I was pleading with the ticket agent as I needed to be on a flight to a second unidentified German city to make a very important meeting. I was in a suit and tie, computer bag in hand. The ticket agent, a tall blonde German man, was not very sympathetic to my plight as he informed me that ‘ze plane is full’. Yes, you should feel free to sprinkle in your own harsh German accent to get the full effect of the dream. Eventually softening to my cause, he did confess that he did have one seat left, but it was the ‘tow seat’.

A ‘tow seat’? Certainly I know what a bulkhead seat is, an exit row seat, and even the dreaded lavatory seat … you know the last row seat on small planes that is so close to the toilet that you can actually just reach over and wash your hands without unbuckling your seatbelt. Nothing could be worse than the lavatory seat. The German ticket agent explained the tow seat. It was basically an adult-sized car safety seat that was towed behind the plane on a long cable. Just think of a small plane pulling an advertising banner. Drop the banner, add a giant Graco seat, and there you have it. “Really?”, I asked, “You can’t be serious.” But increasingly helpful agent assured me “Ze tow seat is very safe!” Well, I certainly had to get to the next meeting, so I purchased the ticket.

As I bumped down the runway, being pulled and facing backwards, I thought to my self … how safe can this really be? The plane lifted off and I started to lift off moments later, but not before I was almost swung into a second plane taxiing at the end of the runway. Fortunately, since I was facing backwards, I only was terrorized after the event. We climbed and reached cruising altitude a few minutes later. I heard all of the cabin announcements through a headset, presumably fed by a wire running up the tow cable. Why I wasn’t frozen to death, I don’t know, but I said it was a wacky dream.

A bit later, an announcement was made indicating we would be encountering some rough air, so the plane was going to drop to a lower altitude. Evidently, as ground details and tree tops came into focus, we needed to drop to a very low altitude. Becoming nervous as we skimmed over the German countryside, I began to try and swing the tow seat back and forth using my legs. I was trying to get a glimpse of what I may be dragged into as we continued to descend. Much to my horror, as I swung my legs right and twisted to look over my right shoulder, I spotted a three-story German cottage directly in my path. Thinking quickly, and in a perfectly executed MacGyver-like maneuver, I tucked into a ball and released the five-point seat belt harness at the moment of impact. Amidst a cacophony of broken glass, splintered wood and drywall dust, I rolled to a stop in a third floor room. I was filthy, but amazingly unharmed.

But my plight was not over, for now I heard footfalls of the home’s occupants running up the stairs outside the room. The door burst open and I was immediately being interrogated by a very agitated German couple and their two children, a boy and a girl. Unfortunately, none of them spoke any English so I was faced with trying to explain how I came to rest in their third floor room, which was now sporting a rather large hole in the wall. Using the best pantomime I could muster, I explained the story until the father slapped his hands together in a gesture of understanding and exclaimed “Ach ya!” He quickly informed the family in their native language what had occurred.

Happily, we all descended to the first floor family room. Still not willing to concede the business meeting, I used a map to indicate my destination and convinced them to drive me. Within minutes, the entire family was piled into their Volvo wagon (again, I said this was wacky … as I doubt you’ll find any Volvo wagons in the Germain countryside) and driving me to my destination. In the end, I made it to the meeting on time, even though I was quite dusty and disheveled. That is where the dream ended.

Personally, I take three things away from this dream. First, no matter how important a business meeting is really supposed to be, I am not getting into a tow seat in real life. Second, all of those hours watching MacGyver may really come in handy at some point in my life. And third, play a few rounds of charades with family and friends. You never know when you may be dropped into a touchy situation and need to act your way out.

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