If you haven’t been on an airplane in a while, it’s likely that you have not recently examined the safety instructions in the seat back in front of you. Conversely, if you’re a frequent flier, you may have been on a plane so often that you feel like you’ve got this, so haven’t picked up that safety brochure in forever. And if you’re like 95% of the rest of the travelers on the plane, you’re listening to something through your headphones or talking to your seat mate or rooting through your carry-on for some Altoids or perusing the Sky Mall catalogue when the flight attendant is speaking, so it’s probable that the safety card has not made its way into your hands.
WELL, YOU ARE MISSING OUT, people.
But I can fix that for you!
See, even though we fly a lot, and even though our kids can practically recite the safety procedures word-for-word, we still make them put away their iPads and books and actually look at the flight attendants when they’re speaking because, oh, I don’t know, it’s polite to look at someone when they’re talking to you (especially if they’ve asked for your attention). And because they’re giving you instructions about how to, like, save your life in case of an emergency. An emergency in the sky while you are not on the ground. And they’re not getting paid boatloads and other passengers treat them like crap just for doing their jobs and they don’t see their families for days at a time because they’re bringing Diet Cokes and miniature vodka bottles to the folks in row 24… So, anyway, we make the girls pay attention when the flight attendants give their spiel, or at least act like they’re paying attention.
But I digress.
BACK TO MY FIXING THIS FOR YOU.
Thankfully, even if you haven’t examined the safety brochure that’s nestled in the seat back in front of you (between the barf bag and Sky Mall and the in-flight magazine, plus whatever treasures were hidden there by the passengers before you), I have. And it is full of fascinating and critical information, let me tell you.
Better yet? Let me show you.
The airlines know that, unlike me, you’re not going to spend a whole lot of time poring over the emergency procedures – plus also, you might not be able to read very well or you might not speak English – so they’ve decided to make things easier for you by illustrating their instructions rather than writing them out. These illustrations can sometimes be a bit confusing, however, especially if you’re looking at them for the first time while in a descending spiral… so I’ve decided to help you out by providing some handy translations and explanations beforehand.
FLYING SAFETY RULES: SOME CLARIFICATIONS
THE RUNWAY IS NOT A CROSSWALK
That’s why jet bridges were invented. Use your head, man.
BE SURE YOU’RE FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO FOLD YOURSELF IN HALF.
Just reach behind your ankles and grab hold.
That’s what she said.
IN ORDER TO REACH THINGS UNDERNEATH YOUR SEAT, HAVING GARGANTUAN MAN-ARMS IS ENCOURAGED.
Is that really her arm? Is that even a woman? Things are so confusing up in the air!
WITH YOUR GORILLA ARMS, YOU CAN PUT ON YOUR INFLATABLE LIFE VEST SUPER FAST.
Plane going down? Water landing ahead? Just pull out your orangutan limbs and follow the arrows! No instructions necessary!
ARE YOUR ARMS OF NORMAL LENGTH? NOT TO WORRY! IF THERE’S AN EMERGENCY, SIMPLY USE YOUR X-RAY VISION TO ASSESS THE SITUATION.
Does it count as x-ray vision if you’re looking through something clear?
I don’t know why there’s a colon after “OK”, but this is a fine view, let me tell you.
She may have a totally androgynous hairstyle, but she can see RIGHT THROUGH this porthole.
ALTHOUGH X-RAY VISION IS PROMOTED, HOLDING THE SAFETY MANUAL IN A RIGIDLY UNCOMFORTABLE POSE IS NOT.
He looks like he’s taking a dump. Even his face is contorted.
I guess that’s what he gets for fastening that seat belt so low and tight across his lap.
FOR THE RECORD: NO BLUE MAN GROUP CAST MEMBERS ALLOWED.
Airlines can only be inclusive and accepting up to a point.
WHEN BREASTFEEDING, PLEASE BEND OVER SO THAT YOUR HEAD TOUCHES THE SEAT IN FRONT OF YOU.
I’m not sure why this is a rule, because you might suffocate your baby, but it appears to be true. Then again, this lady’s got a spare infant in the seat next to her, so maybe she’s doing something right. She’s also wearing very comfortable shoes. And a skirt from 1983.
SPEAKING OF BABIES – WE LOVE THEM. WE WANT TO KEEP THEM SAFE, ESPECIALLY IN THE CASE OF A WATER “LANDING.”
In the case of a water “landing” (why don’t we just call a crash a crash, hm? Unless your plane is piloted by Captain Sully, you’re not “landing” on the water), a bald specter will appear and hand you a mysterious yellow package.
USE CAUTION WHEN OPENING THE OVERHEAD BINS, AND ALSO WHEN SHOVING A LIFE VEST OVER YOUR BABY’S HEAD.
Once the vest is on, your baby may begin to kick his leg. See illustration 4.
And violently flap his arms.
Not sure what he’s more upset about: the vest, the water “landing,” or his bizarre, widow’s peak hairstyle.
You can soothe him by blowing gently in his ear. Your balding specter-ness will not bother him; he’s already pissed off.
Your little Eddie Munster will just LOVE his floating light! LOOK HOW HAPPY HE IS!
IF YOUR CHILD IS SEVERED IN TWO…
OMG, honey! She has no hair AND no legs!
… SIMPLY REATTACH THE BOTTOM AND PLACE YOUR BABY IN AN EXERSAUCER.
Peace out, yo.
WE ALSO LOVE
MIDGETS DWARVES LITTLE PEOPLE.
Embracing diversity… or a really disproportionately drawn three year-old?
Either way, secure your mask before helping others!
SHOULD WE ENCOUNTER KNIGHTS OR PIRATES, THE EXIT DOOR MAY BE USED AS A SHIELD.
She hasn’t been watching Game of Thrones for nothing!
NO HIGH-HEELED SHOES, AND ABSOLUTELY NO GLASS SLIPPERS.
The lady breastfeeding above could show this hussy a thing or two about shoes.
WE DO STILL KNOW HOW TO HAVE A GOOD TIME, HOWEVER.
If you can’t have a little fun after a crash landing, you’re taking things too seriously.
Also: NO SMOKING AFTER AN EMERGENCY EVACUATION.
Is this really necessary? Don’t get me wrong – I’m about as anti-smoking as you can get – but if your plane has just landed anywhere other than the runway, and you’ve had to launch yourself down an inflatable slide to safety, I’m pretty sure that someone lighting up is not going to be your highest priority. But, hey, I don’t draw these pamphlets… I just translate them.
BUT NOT TOO MUCH FUN.
This rule really applies to life in general, not just airplane safety. For all of you still carrying a flip phone, a pager, a portable DVD player, or a hand-held television… NO. Just no.
IN THE EVENT OF A WATER LANDING, WE WILL BE MET BY UFOs.
Come on! It’ll be a blast!
AND ALSO ROSE FROM TITANIC.
It all worked out for her in the end, didn’t it? YOU’LL BE FINE.
So, there you have it. If you find yourself in an emergency on a plane, you’ll know what to do. You’re welcome.
But still, do give the flight attendants your attention the next time you’re on a plane, okay? Or at least look in their general direction. When they’re down to their last Sprite Zero and they give it to you, you’ll be glad you did.