Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Somebody Up There Likes You

"Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome aboard Pan Am flight 1077, providing nonstop service from Baltimore-Washington to San Juan. My name is Bambi [I kid you not – her name was Bambi], and it's my pleasure to be with you today. As soon as everyone is seated and all carry-on bags have been securely stowed, I'll be back to go over some important safety guidelines with you. We are in good shape for an on-time departure today. Thank you…

Hello again, Ladies and Gentlemen. As we push back from the gate and taxi out, we have some important safety information to go over with you. This information can also be found in the brochure located in the seat pouch in front of you, right there with the spew-sack and the complimentary copy of Pan Am's Fly Away 1985. This year's edition features a great article by Bishop Desmond Tutu on how to pick up flight attendants, and the ten secrets to joining the 'Mile High Club' without getting caught. Please note that your flight crew has read both of these pieces, so don't even think about it. I can't believe I even have to mention that, but there's always one idiot – well, two idiots, I suppose – who feel compelled to give it a shot. Please, not on this flight.

For your safety and that of your fellow passengers, please note the emergency exits. This aircraft is equipped with eight such exits: two aft, two over each wing and two in the forward galley. If you don't know what aft means, or where you might find the forward galley, I guess you'd better find out pretty quickly, because in a crash most of the fire starts in these areas. If we should experience a sudden drop in cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will drop from the ceiling above you – assuming that they work. If you are traveling with small children, by all means do NOT give them any of your oxygen. It will only make them hysterical. You may distract them with one of our complimentary Pan Am Down in Flames coloring books, available on request from any member of your flight crew.

In the event that we should have to make a water landing . . . who are we kidding here? Have any of you ever heard of a DC-10 making a water landing? What a crock. Baby, if we end up in the water we have crashed there, and we might just as well have hit a wall of granite. But in the unlikely event that we should become the first wide-body jetliner ever to make an actual water LANDING, you'll have approximately forty-five seconds to get the hell out of here before the aircraft sinks like a stone. Please note that there are two large auto-inflating life rafts on board, but I'm afraid we can't tell you where they're stowed. The flight crew will take care of the rafts. On the last plane that actually did end up in the waters of Jamaica Bay, after skidding off the end of JFK's runway two-niner, some passenger got hold of one of these rafts and pulled the cord before getting it out of the aircraft, rendering it uselessly inflated – not to mention totally in the way – inside the cabin. Please bear in mind that these rafts can only hold a few of us, and if those passengers who are left in the water start thrashing about, fighting to get into the rafts, crew members may be forced to shoot them with the flare guns. Besides, your seat cushions are designed to be used as floatation devices. Just slip your arms through these straps, and hold on tight. Sadly, due to recent problems with unruly passengers using these as weapons during flight, all seat cushions have been bolted to the seat frames. Sorry. It's no big deal, really – if we end up in the water, we're shark food anyway…

The captain has informed me that we are second in line for takeoff, so at this time I invite you to relax and take a deep breath, make sure all loose items are on your tray tables, kick off your shoes, put your seats back, loosen up those seat belts and make your peace with God. Once again, welcome aboard Pan Am, and enjoy your flight to sunny Puerto Rico. Oh, and smoke 'em if you got 'em."

"Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. This is your Captain speaking. We're experiencing a slight delay, but will be underway shortly. See, the wind-shear alarm keeps going off, indicating an extremely hazardous condition in which a successful takeoff is risky at best. But my copilot and I are pretty sure that either the alarm indicator or the sensors themselves are just broken, because it really doesn't look that windy out there to us, so we're gonna go ahead and ignore the stupid thing. Here we go…"

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