Thursday, January 11, 2007

How To Break A Flight Attendant

Turbulence is something you can usually predict. There is a radar screen in the cockpit, and areas of bad weather look like speckled brown patches, like trees used to look like in Atari games. Plane in Atari trees = turbulence. But there is another kind of turbulence, unseen, insidious, and malevolent: clear air turbulence. You can probably figure out from the name that this kind does not require the plane to be in a tree. It strikes without warning. A few trips ago, I became yet another of its countless victims. I was on the lunchbox, about halfway to the back of the plane and in the middle of a service, when suddenly I find myself (and the cart) slapped flat against the ceiling and deposited back onto the floor in say, a half a second. The general consensus of flight attendants is that passengers are all self-absorbed morons, but I have to tell you that I instantly had a hand on my shoulder from every seat within three rows to steady me. These guys had my back. It was like crowd surfing, but with a great deal more vertebral trauma.
"Gol-DANG, son, you all raght?" asks the Texan in front of me. I begin to answer, but for some reason, all my brain can make are big stars and little stars, and it's at that point that the captain chimes in helpfully.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we may be experiencing a period of slight turbulence, so I'm gonna go ahead and turn the seat belt sign back on. Thanks!"
"No sh-t, is that what that was?" says some lady, instantly my new heroine.


Blogger Yellowbird said...

So, what happens if you are the only FA on board and you get knocked unconscious by the flying drink cart? Does the FO come back and serve drinks?

10:33 AM  
Blogger Yellowbird said...

And if not, are the snacks and booze free?

10:38 AM  

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