At 32,000 feet above sea level on an AirTran flight to Milwaukee, I am officially coining a term that I call the Aluminum Can. What does this mean? It’s the little slips in our stories that go unnoticed, or we notice them, but we need these moments in order for the story to progress.

These things aren’t plot holes, nor are they a sign of lazy writing necessarily, but sometimes we need an event to happen, that can only occur if we have an aluminum can. So what exactly is this “Aluminum Can” moment?

Well let me describe it this way. I entered the airport, and I probably flashed my North Carolina Driver’s License three or four times. Keep in mind, that my journey to the gate was less than a sixteenth of a mile away. That’s about a football field and half (or a soccer field for the people who are reading my blog from other countries).

So here I am walking to the terminal. I have to remove my belt, my wallet, my keys, my iPhone, and a hoard of other things from my pockets. I pushed my backpack through the X-ray scanner, but I didn’t do it right the first time, so I had to do it again.

After all of this, I stood in virtual molestation machine with my hands above my head, while this scanner looked at everything that may have been underneath my clothing. I didn’t pass the test, because I did not remove two ink pens from my pocket. Sigh…So I had to get patted down….by a man. Lovely.

I continued walking, and I decided to have a quick drink at the bar, of which I only drank about 6 ounces. That glass was huge! As you can tell, I’m not much of a drinker. Did I mention that I had to flash my ID to get the beer? Gotta’ make sure that minors aren’t getting wasted. Not to mention that I’m 29 years old, and I don’t look a day younger.

I got seated on the plane, and we were not cleared for take off for over an hour. By this time, the motion sickness medication was starting to take over, and my eyes were doing everything they could to slam the door in the face of the outside world.

So what is the Aluminum Can? I’ll let you know tomorrow. Happy Monday!


  1. Patty-chan

    The math is fuzzy. A football field is 100 yards long (if we’re not including the endzones). A football field and a half would be 150 yards (again no endzones) but one-sixteenth of a mile is 110 yards (1760/16). This is such a minor detail I actually want another guess…

    But I haven’t been on a flight in a long time. And I don’t know how the scanner machines work. So, bad math is what I’ll go with.

    1. William Stadler Post author

      thanks man. i was just giving really rough estimates because no one knows how long 1.25 of a football field is. a lot easier to imagine 1 and half IMO. thanks man


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