I closed my eyes and tried to shut out the safety instructions coming over the public address system from the eager flight attendant’s squeaky little voice. I didn’t want to hear which exit was closest to me, or how I was supposed to proceed in the event we needed to initiate emergency procedures.
What was the point of it all? If you fell from the sky in a thousand-ton metal coffin, the likelihood of needing either a life preserver or knowing which exit from which to deplane seemed moot. However, that didn’t stop her from completing her droning litany and ending with a nauseatingly perky “Thank you.”
After a few more minutes, we leveled off at thirty-eight thousand feet and the red seatbelt warning sign light went off. It was now safe to move about the plane. Thundering along at six hundred miles per hour, with two massive engines strapped to a long metal cigar in which two hundred people were milling about, was hardly a description of a safe, carefree environment. And yet, here we were, tethered souls on our way to Tampa; most already anticipating what they were going to do after landing, who they were going to meet or avoid at the airport, how they were going to get their baggage before everybody else and what was involved in the next logical step of their lives. A hundred years ago, this would have been unthinkable. (more…)