Flying used to be exciting. They sat you in proper seats and pretty young women served you. If you were a student you got a good deal, sometimes paying almost nothing for a first class seat.
Now you dread the trip to the airport. It’s worse than waiting for the bus at the station downtown. At least you don’t have to take off your shoes before boarding a bus.
Some things remain the same as they were before, like the boarding calls and procedure. But they are a mere vestigial remembrance of things past.
So I’m thinking, “what if the boarding call reflected today’s cattle-drive mentality?”
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll soon be boarding flight 279 to Rome. In a few moments group 1 will board the airplane. But before they do, could those of you in groups 2 through 59 step up to the front and scatter your hand baggage all around to create a clogged mine-field for the passengers in group 1 anxious to board our flight today? This will make your experience grittier, and we all like gritty these days, don’t we? Cooperation toward a common goal is so 1950s, don’t you agree?
And what’s up with the film that shows the oxygen masks coming down and everyone calm and collected. Nobody grabs for a mask, nobody exclaims, “Oh my, the wing has fallen off!!!!!!”
The fat guy doesn’t grab two masks, claiming to need twice the oxygen of the normal passenger. Nobody utters a word. They reach for a mask with the same lugubrious motion that accompanies that last reach for your 32nd Buffalo wing on the buffet at the sports bar.
I guess if you’re flying these days, you do need a little fantasy to keep your spirits aloft.