George Carlin on Airline Safety Lectures

By George Carlin | From Jammin' in NY

As soon as they close the door to the aircraft, that's when they begin the safety lecture. I love the safety lecture. This is my favorite part of the airplane ride. I listen very carefully to the safety lecture, especially that part where they teach us how to use the seatbelts. Imagine this, here we are, a plane full of grown human beings, many of us partially educated, and they're actually taking time out to describe the intricate workings of a belt buckle.

"Place the small metal flap into the buckle." Well, I asked for clarification at that point. Over here please, over here, yes, thank you very much. Did I hear you correctly? Did you say place the small metal flap into the buckle or place the buckle over and around the small metal flap? I'm a simple man; I do not possess an engineering degree nor am I mechanically inclined. Sorry to have taken up so much of your time. Please continue with the “wonderful” safety lecture. Seatbelt--high-tech shit.

The safety lecture continues. "In the unlikely event . ." This is a very suspect phrase, especially coming as it does from an industry that is willing to lie about arrival and departure times. "In the unlikely event of a sudden change in cabin pressure"--ROOF FLIES OFF! " . . An oxygen mask will drop down in front of you. Place the mask over your face and breathe normally." Well, I have no problem with that. I always breathe normally when I'm in a 600 mile an hour uncontrolled vertical dive. I also shit normally.

They tell you to adjust YOUR oxygen mask before helping your child with his. I did not need to be told that. In fact, I'm probably going to be too busy screaming to help him at all. This will be a good time for him to learn self-reliance. If he can program his fucking VCR, he could goddamn, jolly-well learn to adjust an oxygen mask. Fairly simple thing, just a little rubber band in the back is all it is. Not nearly as complicated as say, for instance, a seatbelt.

The safety lecture continues. "In the unlikely event of a water landing . . ." Well, what exactly is a water landing? Am I mistaken, or does this sound somewhat similar to CRASHING INTO THE OCEAN!? ". . . your seat cushion can be used as a floatation device." Well, imagine that, my seat cushion... Just what I need -- to float around the North Atlantic for several days -- clinging to a pillow full of beer farts...

The next sentence I hear is full of things that piss me off. "Before leaving the aircraft, please check around your immediate seating area for any personal belongings you might have brought onboard." Well, let's start with immediate seating area--SEAT! It's a goddamn seat! Check around your seat! "For any personal belongings." Well, what other kinds of belongings are there, besides personal--public belongings? Do these people honestly think I might be traveling with a fountain I stole from the park. "You might have brought onboard." Well…….I might have brought my arrowhead collection--I didn't, so I'm not going to look for it! I am going to look for things I brought onboard, which seems to enhance my likelihood of finding something, wouldn't you say?

About this time, they tell you you'll be landing shortly. That sound to you like we're gonna miss the runway. Final approach is not very promising either, is it? Final is not a good word to be using on an airplane. Sometimes, the pilot will get on and he'll say, "We'll be on the ground in 15 minutes." Well, that's a little vague, isn't it?

Now we're taxiing in, she says, "Welcome to O'Hare International Airport . . ." Well, how can someone who is just arriving herself possibly welcome me to a place she isn't even at yet? Doesn't this violate some fundamental law of physics? We're only on the ground for 4 seconds; she's coming on like the fucking mayor's wife! ". . . where the local time . ." Well, of course it's the local time. What did you think we were expecting -- the time in Pango Pango?

"Enjoy your stay in Chicago, or wherever your final destination might be." All destinations are final! That's what it means, destiny-final. If you haven't gotten where you're going, you aren't there yet.

"The captain has asked . . ." More shit from the bogus captain. You know, for someone who's supposed to be flying an airplane, he's taking a mighty big interest in what I'm doing back here.". . . that you remain seated until he has brought the aircraft to a complete stop. Not a partial stop, cuz’ during a partial stop, I partially get up. "Continue to observe the no-smoking sign until well inside the terminal." It's physically impossible to observe the no-smoking sign even if you're standing just outside the door of the airplane, much less well inside the terminal. You can't even see the fucking planes from well inside the terminal.

Which brings me to terminal--another unfortunate word to be used in association with air travel. And they use it all over the airport, don't they? Somehow I just can't get hungry at a place called the Terminal Snack bar. But, if you've ever eaten there, you know it IS an appropriate name.

All material written and owned by George Carlin.