12/18/2007

Plain Fright

I rode on an airplane recently. It would have gone fine if I hadn't had the feeling like we were going to die the entire time.

I love when the plane you're riding in hits some turbulence. Flight attendants are falling in the aisles and spilling drinks like they're at the tail end of an all-night bender, roller bags are dropping from overhead compartments like redwoods in a clearcut, and the whole plane is shaking like a belly dancer with palsy.

Then the pilot comes on the speaker, “We seem to have hit a little turbulence here.”

A LITTLE TURBULENCE?! THE AIRCRAFT IS SHAKING ITSELF APART!

“I'm going to turn on the 'fasten seat belts' sign” [bling!]

NICE MOVE! MAYBE YOU COULD HAVE DONE THAT BEFORE THE GUY STUMBLED INTO THE BATHROOM AND PEED ALL OVER THE WALLS AND HIMSELF!

The pilot continues muttering in a relaxed tone, as if he were ordering another scotch. Which might help explain the bumpy ride. “We're going to continue to see a bit of chop here.”

STOP WITH THE PILOT-SPEAK BUZZWORDS AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE DEATH SPIRAL WE'RE IN!

“So we're just going to keep that seatbelt sign on until it smoothes out.”

GOOD CALL – MAYBE THE SEAT BELTS WILL HELP THE WINGS OVERCOME THEIR STRESS FRACTURES!

“Meanwhile, those passengers on the right side of the airplane can see the Great Salt Lake.”

NICE – IT'LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO AIM FOR AS WE'RE PLUMMETING!

“So sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight.”

I MIGHT DO THAT IF I FELT WE WERE GOING TO REMAIN AIRBORN!

I tried to keep my cool, kept telling myself that this is normal for airplane flight, and that the pilot's calm tone was just meant to convince me that everything would be okay. I sure wish I hadn't heard his final message:

“Flight attendants: please bring the drinks trolley into the cockpit. The one with the scotch bottles. I'm going to need the whole cart.”
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