Thursday, September 18, 2008

Head Bonk Recoilers

In this job, I get to see a lot of people bash their heads into things (and I'm not including pilots pulling the 'Guy Smiley' when they divert us). The cabin clearance is not quite six feet, and so right off the bat there I've got people cracking their skulls on the way in the door. That sounds like it really hurts, too... the door frame is made of very solid metal, and it goes POK! when folk find it with their noggins. It's mostly people in cowboy hats, which secretly makes me giggle because I was in high school when Garth Brooks ushered in the 'young country' movement with that damn song (and thus surrounded by suburban cowboy-hat wearing teens who probably could not even identify a cow) and to this day I scream a little when I see one of those hats or hear that song. I have to be sedated to go to Jackson Hole or Calgary. My apologies if you're at home on the range, and to recoup some karma, I'll warn you to doff the lid when you get in a small plane.
And on the non-lethal side, we've got the overhead bins. They're plastic, and so won't kill you if you bang into them, but they do make a terrific SPOCK! when someone makes contact. This has, however, led me to notice a phenomenon I like to call 'head bonk recoiling.' Like I said, the plane is very small, and so if you do hit your head, you're not going very fast because there's very little room to accelerate. But these people recoil like they're been shot with a gun that shoots planet-sized bullets, and some of them almost fall down not from the bonk but from the recoil:

VICTIM: Let's see, let me stand up here before the seat belt sign is--
HEAD: Tap.
VICTIM slams onto the floor, skips three rows like a rock off a clear lake and somersaults into the lavatory.

I never, and I repeat, never, grow tired of watching this. Never. Maybe that makes me a bad person, and if it does, I'll just go to hell and amuse some lava attendants by banging my head on some stalactites.*

*Notice the correct terminology. Stalagmites are the ones that poke up (stalactites hold on tight). This is from the day I was awake in fourth grade.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahaha! I know what you mean. I used to have a job where I would go and meet passengers coming off a jetstream (a small underpowered turboprop). Because I was on the ground I couldn't warn people to watch their heads while getting out. I never got tired of watching people all dressed nice and business like hit their heads. I did feel a bit bad.
As I watched trying not to smile "wait for it, wait for it, ooh ouch"

11:55 AM  
Blogger Aviatrix said...

I had such a job once too, and not only I would include, "watch your head on the way out" with the "please remain seated so I can get the door open" and "be sure to take all your personal belongings" after landing briefing, but I would personally warn them as they approached the door, usually just before they smacked their heads on it.

I one took a charter load of sailors who didn't speak English, so didn't receive my warnings, but not a single one bumped his head. I wonder if they were submariners. They clearly knew how to deal with low doorways.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good on the stalactite... now which describes a forehead after contact with the door?

8:55 PM  
Blogger Phil said...


12:26 AM  

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