Eric D. Snider

Fly the Deadly Skies

Californian #3

"Fly the Deadly Skies"

by Eric D. Snider

Published in The Californian on July 6, 1993

I recently had the distinct pleasure of flying from John Wayne Airport ("Well I'll tell ya what, Pilgrim, your flight's been delayed") to Salt Lake City, and while it was overall a very pleasant trip, I must confess that there were certain times -- and I think we've all had feelings like this -- when I wanted to rip my seat out of the floor and bludgeon someone to death with it. By taking a few deep breaths, however, plus a little medication, I was able to overcome these urges, fortunately.

As soon as I boarded the plane, I put my seat back and started trying to sleep. I always sleep on airplanes, because I feel that it would be better to be asleep if the plane crashes, because that way, the newspapers could just report that I died in my sleep, and not mention that I was in a fiery plane wreck. My mother hates violence, and I certainly wouldn't want my obituary to upset her.

Anyway, just as we were about to take off, the stewardess told me that I had to have my seatbelt fastened and my chair in its upright position. This is in accordance with FAA regulations which state that passengers must be as uncomfortable as possible during take-offs and landings. Many major airlines are already developing plans to install handcuffs in all their aircraft as well. (You will of course have to pay $3.50 to rent these handcuffs.)

So I didn't like that, but I complied nonetheless. I figured I could handle a little inconvenience. After all, flying is overall a fairly comfortable experience, unless of course you should happen to be sucked out head-first through the window. Granted, this does not happen very often anyway, and almost never to the people who deserve it (i.e., small, screaming children), but up until the first time I flew, I was very afraid that it could actually happen, because I was under the impression that the windows on airplanes rolled down, like on a car, and that passengers were just on their honor not to open them and cause the sucking out of their fellow passengers.

The reason I thought airplane windows opened was due to a joke my mom told me once, in which a man and a woman are on a plane, and the woman does not like the man's cigar, so she throws it out the window, at which point the man gets angry and throws the woman's pet poodle out the window. I don't recall the punchline (although for my money, that series of events is funny enough), but the point is, I now realize that this scenario could not happen. Not only do airplane windows not open, but it seems to me that if the man had enough sense not to like poodles, he would have also had enough sense not to like cigars. Furthermore, as long as they had the window open, why didn't they throw out some of the small, screaming children? The joke is riddled with implausibilities.

The other thing I don't like about flying, aside from the Maximum Discomfort rule, is male stewardesses. Call me a sexist -- go ahead, do it now, I'll wait -- but I feel that stewardesses should all be women, particularly since the male ones they've been hiring lately tend to be flying just a little higher than the plane, if you sense my meaning.

Plus, they're all named Eric, which really bugs me.

(Eric D. Snider is currently on summer break from Brigham Young University. He is living at home in Lake Elsinore, and he has somehow gained the ability to fly without the use of airplanes, don't ask him how.)

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Notes:

This was the first column to feature a "tag," the brief biographical information at the end. Many columns have this, but it's usually just generic information. For the Californian, I started doing slightly odd ones, some of which they chose not to use (I had done the same thing now and then at the Daily Herald). Just another way of adding a little extra wackiness for your column-reading dollar.

The joke referred to in this column is actually part of a very complicated two-part joke-telling maneuver that takes two people to tell it. (I'm not kidding!) My parents used to do a really good job of it, but I don't think they've performed it in years.


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