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OPINION | GARY SMITH: Up, up and away: What could those flight attendants be thinking?

Did the flight attendant really just say that? by Gary Smith | March 3, 2023 at 1:00 a.m.

The completely imaginary, didn't-actually-happen scene that played in my head while traveling recently made me realize, whatever the future holds, I'll never take on the profession of flight attendant.

It always starts with the announcements:

"Good whatever time it is and welcome aboard whatever flight this is to wherever we're going, leaving whenever we get around to it and landing ... certainly. One way or the other.

"I'm your flight attendant for today's fun-filled joyride, which for you is a journey to some far-off destination but for me is like being in charge of cranky preschoolers all locked in a metal tube. You can recognize me because I'm one of the only people on this flight wearing a tie. In fact, I may be one of the only people on this flight who decided not to travel in their pajamas.

"On that note, I did want to share that it's been a rough morning, that liquor in First Class is complementary and that I've been complementing myself since I got here. So let's keep our expectations to a minimum and no one will be any more disappointed than the current state of air travel has already left them.

"While we're on the subject of First Class, I just want to remind you folks here in the front that you've paid an additional $400 for three more inches of legroom and your drink to be served in an actual glass. Look at you beating the system!

"I guess this is the portion of today's program where we review safety tips, like any of us will retain them in case of a real emergency. I need to hurry up and do this before most of you clamp massive noise-blocking headphones on, the ones that look just great with that weird neck roll thing. Oh, for the ability to see ourselves as others see us. Or to see yourselves as I see you.

"So we can cover our liability, I need to show you how to operate a seatbelt. Because I'm sure most of you got to the airport in the goat-drawn wagon and don't know how a seatbelt works.

"In the event something bad does happen, you'll really be regretting that decision to fly and not to drive, won't you? Also, if we have to make a 'water landing' (people without a vested financial interest call those 'crashes') you can reach under your seat for a life jacket. You can also keep all the gum you find under there.

"At this time you need to turn off any electronic devices you have, including cellphones, laptops, tablets and the shaver I can see you in 17B using. I'm sure your seatmates appreciate you like to be well-groomed.

"And yes, we're serious about the phones you'll be using right up until the last minute because you're convinced numerous details will fall through the cracks in the two hours you'll be out of touch. I don't know how much of the plane's navigational system using your cellphone interferes with, but it does seem to upset the microwave here and I've got some salmon I need to reheat.

"Also, we need you to turn off your cellphones because, frankly it seems most of you have lost the ability to hold a phone up to your ear and have a conversation like a normal person, instead opting to wave it around in front of your face because you saw the Kardashians doing it that way. The downside of that, of course, is we get to hear every detail of your call and we'd rather not. Though, 5C, we're all thrilled you can ... you know ... again. Bran, huh? Let's all file that away for future reference.

"We'd also like to ask that you keep your shoes, flip-flops, sandals, strange blue baggie deals like they wear at crime scenes or whatever else you wore on the plane on your feet. I mean, this is mass transit. And if you choose not to, well, there are likely some crumbs in the bottom of the seat pocket in front of you. You can have those, too.

"Now let's all sit back, relax and come to grips with the fact that we're about to use up two hours of our lives we'll never get back. And then, hopefully, we'll take off. And before you get too angry about the seat, take a look at the love child of a bag chair and a stadium cushion I'll be ignoring you from for the next little bit. Enjoy those friendly skies!"

Print Headline: ‘Your attention please …”


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