I'm a little weirded out by a recent emergency aircraft landing. I'm talking about the recent prop plane with a dead pilot.
I think it's essential that there are are many auxiliary pilots as possible on a plane. In fact, the next time I'm on a flight, I intend to canvas the passengers upon embarking. "Excuse me sir, do you know how to fly this?" "Ma'am, do you happen to have a pilot's license on you?" "Hey kid, you play enough flight simulator games to get this bitch back onto the ground?" I mean it. This isn't a bicycle built for two. This is an aerodynamic flying machine that's going to take me a mile off the ground. I want a qualified individual to get me back down again. Hell, two or three spares would be nice.
The whole thing's also got me wondering what my role on a doomed flight would be. I don't know how to fly a plane, so that's out. I know how to be a smart ass. And I know how to make dinner and serve it in under 30 minutes. I can have three conversations going at one time during a party. And I can tie a cherry stem with my tongue. But, I don't really see any of those as being terribly beneficial when the chips are down.
At my school however, we do a number of safety drills to keep everyone safe. I can quickly flip off the lights and shove everyone behind desks as we all rush into lock-down, should a crackpot with a weapon burst into the school. I can heroically chase people out of a building during a fire drill in under a minute. Mostly I need to get the hell away from the deafening siren sound, but, it's the end result that counts, right? And in the midst of a tornado drill, heads are tucked and bottoms are up like nobody's business down my hallway. So I'm thinking a back-up safety coordinator might just be my gig.
I've watched the flight attendants' emergency instructions dozens of times. I do this religiously because I want to know exactly what to do in case that bird goes down. I'm clear on how to put my seat in the upright position. It's not hard, just push the button and that seat snaps right into place with precision accuracy. All three inches of reclining comfort zoom magically into place! The tray table is a breeze also. Push it upwards, turn the thumb lock. Piece of cake! You know which tray tables can fuck with your head though? The variety that folds out of the armrest. They're tricky! You have to perform a fold, a lift, a twist, a downward shove and a lock. How am I supposed to get my flotation device on AND get my head between my legs if I'm messing about with that kind of crazy tray table?! I'm sure in an emergency though, I will rise to the occasion. Now that I think about it, it's probably not much different than the fold-over/head-down/bottoms-up tornado drill, right?
I think I'd be pretty good at strapping the margarine cup over my nose and mouth first, and then onto any younger passengers flying with me. Grab, pull, snap. I do that every morning with bras! Sort of. But I think I've got elastic down pat. I might need to take a breather before attempting the floor light puzzler. "The lights will guide your way to the nearest exit." Really? I hope so, because I had trouble the other day manipulating the "street view" map on Google. The arrows were a little slow, and I couldn't make my way down a side street and I zoomed in way too far while trying to peer into someone's window. Perhaps I need to master Google maps before taking on the yellow light road. But I like moon bounces and slides an awful lot, so you can bet I'm going to be one of the first to expertly demonstrate the exit technique. I've studied the emergency cards in the seat-back pocket, so I feel pretty confident in flinging myself and my fellow passengers out the door to safety.
Let me just say though, I'm not going to waste time worrying about my soda can. So the flight attendant really shouldn't be concerned with making yet another pass down the aisle with the dripping trash bag. If I'm going down and I'm already trying to right my seat, get the tray up and locked, slip on my snazzy orange vest, get the margarine container strapped onto my face and the faces of those around me, plus pay attention to the floor lights while heaving myself out the plane and onto the moon bounce, the last thing I'm going to worry about is a soda can bonking me in the forehead. Sure it'll be one more thing that sucks, but fuck it. I want out!
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