The not-so-plane truth

By Bob Huber: CNJ columnist

Hidden in the dark minds of commercial flight crews are wisecracks they’d like to shout over the planes’ speakers but don’t, because these heroes of the skies prefer to play the game of “Things I’d love to say, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life driving a Greyhound bus.”

I recently came across a collection of these quips — I won’t say where I found them, but its secret code name is “Internet” — and as a public service I’ll present them to you today. Some are dirty — rated R or X — but I’ve omitted them. If you simply must see them, they may be found under “”

Anyway, here we go. Fasten your seatbelts and listen for the announcements that you’ll never hear:

• “People, people, we’re not shopping for chairs at a garage sale here. Find your seat and get in it.”

• “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be dimming the cabin lights for your comfort and to enhance the looks of our flight attendants.”

• “Thank you for flying with us. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”

• (While taxiing) “Whoa, big fella. WHOA!”

• “To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle and pull tight. It works like every other seat belt. If you’re not familiar with seat belts, you probably shouldn’t be allowed out in public unsupervised.”

• “In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descend from the overhead. Stop screaming and pull a mask over your face. If you’re traveling with a small child, secure your own mask before assisting him. If you’re traveling with more than one child, pick a favorite.”

• “Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with broken clouds. We’ll have those clouds fixed before we arrive.”

• “As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all your belongings. Anything left behind will be confiscated by the crew, except for children or husbands, who will be trashed.”

• “Our company is pleased to have some of the finest flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight.”

• “That was quite a hard landing, and I know what you’re thinking. But I’m here to say it wasn’t the fault of either the pilot or the aircraft. It was the ground.”

• “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo. Sorry for the bumpy landing. Please remain in your seats with seat belts fastened while the captain taxis what’s left of the airplane to the gate.”

• “We ask you to please remain seated while Capt. Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal.”

• “Ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Capt. Crash brings the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. Once smoke clears from burning tires and bells and whistles stop blasting your eardrums, you may pick your way through the rubble to the terminal.”

• “Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this flight is on the right wing. If you can light ‘em, you can smoke ‘em.”

• “We’d like to thank you for flying with us today, and the next time you get the insane urge to flash through otherwise friendly skies in an aluminum tube, we hope you’ll think of us.”

And finally a little backlash from a passenger:
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. The weather ahead is good, and we should have a smooth and uneventful … OH, MY GOD!” Silence follows while passengers sit bug-eyed, waiting for an explanation.

Then the captain’s voice comes back on: “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sorry if I scared you. While I was talking, a flight attendant spilled a cup of coffee on my lap. You should see the front of my pants.”

From somewhere in the coach section, a small voice says, “That’s nothing. You should see the back of mine.”

Bob Huber is a retired journalist living in Portales. He can be contacted at 356-3674.