“Just when you thought flying couldn’t get any more unpleasant comes this unwelcome bit of information: Southwest Airlines is introducing public readings in the air. According to Slate, an author named Eric Greitens… read and answered questions about his new book “Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life” last week on a Southwest flight from St. Louis to Washington, D.C.”
– “Southwest Airlines opens unwelcome chapter: Writers on a plane”, Los Angeles Times, April 14, 2015.
SkyBudget Air Flight 1345, from Tuscaloosa to Flint: “Passengers, you may have heard about the new in-flight book readings on Southwest. We here at SkyBudget Air don’t know any authors willing to fly with us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to add our own brand of delight and whimsy to your travel experience. Apologies to any of you who were hoping to read, sleep, work, or think on this flight, but we’re very lucky to have on board today the third runner-up of the second-grade talent show at Rutherford B. Hayes Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio. For the next forty-five minutes, she will be playing some top hits from the 1920s and 30s — on the recorder.”
Flight Negative 3, from Newark to Somewhere In The Middle of Canada: “Have you ever seen a hot-dog eating contest, live? Well, we don’t have the budget for hot dogs, but we do have a sound recording of the most recent Nathan’s hot dog eating contest on the Coney Island boardwalk. It’s twenty-six minutes of chewing, swallowing — and more — and here it is. Twice.
Flight 0, from This Runway to The One Across The Tarmac: “We will now dim the lights and stop with the noise, for those of you looking to sleep. But that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t still have some fun. We’ll be piping a series of unusual odors into the cabin for a quick guessing game. If you can name all thirteen, we’ve got a can of store-brand soda with your name on it. Here comes the first one….
Wow. Yes, that last one was indeed formaldehyde. Excellent work from the woman in 17G. We’ll revive her soon. But why just give one person soda when we can give all of you soda. That’s right — put your swimsuits on, because Soda Sprinkler is about to start! You heard me right — SkyBudget Air is leading the way in liquid-based in-flight entertainment, and we are so sorry not to have given you a little more advance warning, just in case your laptops were still out. We do have one paper towel still available–$17.99, exact change only.”
Flight 1/16, from Here to Eternity: “Hey– I’ve just been told that for the first time in SkyBudget history, we have a real, live author on board this afternoon. So, as we begin our descent and come in for a landing today, please give a SkyBudget welcome to Ferd Flintstove, the self-published author of How To Survibe A Plane Crask. Oh, didn’t run spell check before you self-published, did you, Ferd? Oh, dear. We hope you’ve enjoyed all of your special treats today, and consider SkyBudget each and every time you fly. All summer long, we’ll be doing in-flight karaoke. We hope to see you all again soon.”
Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, and would rather drive than fly. Read more at jeremyblachman.com.