Thursday, January 24, 2008

I cannot tell a lie ...

I was sitting on the jet yesterday before it took off. Minding my own business. Laptop tucked securely under the seat in front of me. Book in my lap. Ready to take a nap and enjoy the 80 minute flight. Given the choice I always choose the same seat. SWA only flies 737's and over the wing is one row of seats on the right side of the plane that only has places for two to sit, rather than the usually three. I choose the one nearest the window which is also an emergency exit. No big deal. If the plane goes down I'll gladly rip a hole in the side for people to escape through. The flight attendant always comes by and asks if I will accept that responsibility and be willing to help others exit the plane before leaving myself. I say yes. Smile politely. Whisper "so long suckers" under my breath, and go back to reading my book. I am so good at this. Calm. Cool. Collected. I've survived hundreds of baptist church "business meetings." The prospect of a little plane crash doesn't faze me.

What? Are you crazy?

As the flight attendants got up to give their emergency instructions yesterday, for the first time I realized that while I may still be looking at my book ... I am listening to every word. I have virtually memorized every syllable. Somehow it's that "in the unlikely event of cabin depressurization..." part that gets my attention. Do I pull down on the mask before or after wrapping the thing over my face? Even though nothing is visually inflating is there REALLY air coming through the hose? I can ignore the less-than-bright individual sitting next to me and put my own mask on before helping them with full approval of the TSA? This is okay? Evidently it is. The nice lady said so.

So I guess there is some information you need to take with you after you finish reading this blog. If you fly with me ... I'm not as relaxed as I look. If you fly with me and the wings fall off ... you are probably on your own. If you fly with me and I have to rip open the side of the plane designated as the "emergency exit" I will probably be on the ground waiting for you when you smack into terra firma.

"We realize that you have a choice when you fly and we thank you for choosing to fly with us." And by the way ... if we land in water? I'm grabbing both my seat cushion and yours to use as my flotation device.

You are now free to roam around the country.