Let me set the scene for you. It's 5am on a Saturday morning at the Lafayette Regional Airport. It's the first flight of the day for the three major carriers that service our town. The airport is packed with vacationers, business people, oil field guys, honeymooners, and one sleep deprived teenager headed to an internship in Detroit.

The line to security is long, very long, but the TSA folks move people through rather quickly. Soon my son Jack, the sleep deprived intern, is on the other side of the glass trying not to make eye contact with his mother and me. Then comes the announcement that no traveler wants to hear. "Attention passengers in the terminal flight number whatever whatever will be delayed until 8:30. There is a maintenance issue with the aircraft, the pilot and first officer will be out shortly to explain".

Well immediately my wife springs into action and sprints downstairs to the Delta desk to reschedule Jack's connecting flight in Atlanta. Jill is a world traveler and knows how airlines work. She gets Jack booked on a later flight from Atlanta to Detroit since the delayed departure will make it impossible for him to make the original connecting flight.

I stay upstairs to hear what the pilot has to say about the aircraft because I don't really trust heavier than air objects and their ability to fly in the air that they are heavier than. The pilot takes the microphone and says "We are delayed while the service crews run checks on our electrical system. The aircraft was hit by lightning and we want to verify that all systems are functioning properly"

To quote the K-Mart commercial, I almost shipped my pants. My first instinct was to run through the security glass at the airport, grab my kid and put him in my car and take him home. There was no way in hell I was going to let my kid get on an aircraft that had just been whacked by more electricity than the city of Cankton uses in a year.

I called my son on his cellphone and asked what he thought about the potential travel troubles. He told me not to worry. Airplanes get struck by lightning all the time. This is just a safeguard they do to verify all systems before they take off.  Jack is an aerospace engineering student at Georgia Tech and he knows a lot about airplanes and missiles and helicopters and rockets. He can't remember to pack his dress shoes but he can tell you how to make them fly.

I told him, do not tell your mother about the reason for the delay.

Eventually they did get the plane verified and off to Atlanta they went, four hours late. Jill's fast action did get Jack on a connecting flight to Detroit and he made it to the Motor City where on Monday he will be involved in design testing for General Motors Cadillac Division. What this has to do with aerospace I don't know but he gets to play in the wind tunnel so there's that.

Last night Jack called and told us all was well. He was settled into his room, had found a hot dog to eat, and was about go to sleep. He asked if I told his mom about the plane. She overheard the question and demanded to know what we were hiding. Needless to say I received a very well deserved parenting lesson for much of last night.

That brings me to my "Would You Rather" question. Would you rather get on an airplane that has been struck by lightning or would you rather spend the night with your spouse who is explaining to you why you should have told her about the lighting hitting the darn airplane? In either scenario you're not going to be comfortable for a very long time and the chance of getting sleep are not that good.

Sometimes I think I picked the wrong lifetime to give up drinking.


More From 97.3 The Dawg