Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Translation For Anyone Who’s Flying

Anyone that has flown has heard the same out-of-a-can manufactured speech that all airlines must give as an “in case of emergency” precaution. As we all know this is their thinly veiled get out of jail free card should there in fact be something that goes horribly wrong on your flight. Because I have heard this rambling of FAA regulations and rules that were manufactured purely to make me feel better about what I can do to protect myself in “the unlikely event of a crash”, I rarely ever listen anymore when the stewardesses start their spiel. However, for the first time in years on a recent trip to Las Vegas, out of what can only be chalked up to morbid curiosity, I gave it a listen. Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but this is what I heard:

“When the seat belt sign illuminates, you must fasten your seat belt. Insert the metal fittings one into the other, and tighten by pulling on the loose end of the strap. To release your seat belt, lift the upper portion of the buckle. We suggest that you keep your seat belt fastened throughout the flight, as we may experience turbulence.“

Loosely translated: If you haven’t already figured out how to work the metal contraption that you most likely sat on when you first got on the plane, now would be a good time to try it out. In fact, if you’re not smart enough to work it now, don’t ask for help when the shit hits the fan. We feel obligated to tell you that it’s no one’s fault but your own when you bounce out of your seat and ricochet off of the top of the plane; just please mind the overhead bins when doing so, as contents can sometimes spill out onto unsuspecting passengers who were smart enough to work their own seatbelt and can therefore not move out of the way of the flying objects hurling at them.

“There are several emergency exits on this aircraft. Please take a few moments now to locate your nearest exit. In some cases, your nearest exit may be behind you. If we need to evacuate the aircraft, floor-level lighting will guide you towards the exit. Doors can be opened by moving the handle in the direction of the arrow. Each door is equipped with an inflatable slide which may also be detached and used as a life raft.”

Loosely translated: We have built several doors into this aircraft to speed up your death should something bad happen during the flight. Please take a few moments to identify where your corpse will most likely be sucked into oblivion in the event of an evacuation. Just in case you are asleep or the cabin is dark when the two- ton metal tube you are traveling in begins its involuntary decent, a pretty line of what are basically Christmas lights will illuminate and guide you towards your inevitable doom. Oh, and to make it a little more fun, if the plane plummets into water, there are some nifty little slides we’ve outfitted to each door that will inflate , we’ve painted them pretty colors to aid in your amusement with the situation.

“Oxygen and the air pressure are always being monitored. In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically drop from a compartment above your seat. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person. Keep your mask on until a uniformed crew member advises you to remove it.”

Loosely translated: We are carefully monitoring the air that is constantly being recycled into the cabin and the pressure that it’s at. In the event that the air will be sucked from the cabin (you know should there be a crack in the hull or something), a little baggie is going to drop from the ceiling. Don’t be alarmed that it doesn’t look like it has any air in it, just blindly follow our orders and put the thing on, air will start to flow, trust us…and should you start to feel a sensation similar to be sleepy and the world goes dark around you, that just means it’s working. If you are traveling with a minor, an invalid, or a senior, simply ignore their screams of terror and help yourself…always gotta look out for # 1. If by some miracle you actually survive the decompression of the cabin, please keep your mask on, it is a very fetching look.

“In the event of an emergency, please assume the bracing position.”

Loosely translated: If you are told to do this, you are going to die. Say a prayer, call a friend, have sex with your neighbor, or scream uncontrollably. After all, who gives a shit? We’re going to die anyway.

“A life vest is located in a pouch under your seat or between the armrests. When instructed to do so, open the plastic pouch and remove the vest. Slip it over your head. Pass the straps around your waist and adjust at the front. To inflate the vest, pull firmly on the red cord, only when leaving the aircraft. If you need to refill the vest, blow into the mouthpieces. Use the whistle and light to attract attention.”

Loosely translated: To give you some semblance of security, should you actually think you’re going to survive a water crash…there is a life vest located somewhere inside your seat. Whoever finds it before the plane sinks wins a prize. Whoever finds the vest, successfully puts it on, figures out how to inflate, and navigates their way out of the vacuum sealed metal tube that is sinking in the vast open sea, gets to live (and as your prize, you get a whistle and a light to attract any sea creatures that are hungry).

“Also, your seat bottom cushion can be used as a flotation device. Pull the cushion from the seat, slip your arms into the straps, and hug the cushion to your chest.”
Loosely translated: If you really are gullible, then you’re going to love this one, that thing you’re sitting on can be used as a flotation device. If you are the lucky son of a bitch who managed to find their life vest, put it on, inflate it, and get off the plane then go ahead, use that cushion to rest on while waiting for a rescue vessel that is absolutely coming to get you. Just for your reference the breasts of the woman in seat 22F also double as flotation devices…

“The following electronic devices (calculators, CD players, laptop computers) may be used when the seat belt sign is off, or when permitted by your crew. Cellular/mobile telephones, remote-controlled toys or any electronic device operating with an antenna must be turned off at all times.”

Loosely translated: Please turn off your phone. These really don’t interfere with the flight patterns in any way, but they really annoy the shit out of everyone else. Especially when we have to listen to you talk about how awesome your trip was, or how you irritable bowel syndrome is acting up again. Because this is now an FAA regulation we have the power to take these devices away from you, and bet your ass if it’s the latest iPhone, you’re not getting it back.

“We remind you that this is a non-smoking flight. Tampering with, disabling, or destroying the smoke detectors located in the lavatories is prohibited by law.”

Loosely translated: As this is the 21st century and we all know what happens to people and their lungs when exposed to second hand smoke, could you please refrain from distributing airborne tar until after we land?

“You will find this and all the other safety information in the card located in the seat pocket in front of you. We strongly suggest you read it before take-off. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask one of our crew members. We wish you all an enjoyable flight.”

Loosely translated: Just in case your weren’t listening to us describe the many horrible ways in which you could possibly die while in transit, please feel free to read about them in the nifty pamphlet we have prepared, that is conveniently located in the seat pocket in front of you. We strongly suggest that you read it before the plane takes off, and if you have any questions or concerns regarding this or any other information we have given you, we strongly suggest that you go fuck yourself.

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