Wednesday, July 06, 2005

shecky southwest

back in chi yesterday. it's nice to be back, but my footing is lost. everything was great here before, and then when i go home, i think - i could live here! - and i come back all shaken up, not knowing which one is completely right. i guess none are. or, all are.

i met a comedian on saturday morning. ...nope, you don't know him. you haven't seen him on comedy central, i didn't tour with him at the funny bone/chuckle hut/laugh shack. this comedian, you see, was none other than my flight attendant on the midway airport-based Southwest Airlines.

we get on the plane. everyone is seated, and we're all buckled in and ready to take off. Johnny Flight-Attendo holds something high in the air in the front and grabs the mic. "Has anyone lost a brown wallet? A brown, leather wallet?" (everyone looks up, all men check their rear pockets) ... ... ... ... ... "Okay, now that I've got your attention, let's hear about those safety regulations!"

well played, sir.

i waited to write this entry until when i flew back, so i could hear if they did the same routine and bits. nearly - they consistently made jokes on the following topics: air masks, water landing, waiting outside the restrooms. admittedly, i was unsettled both times during the water landing part, which was essentially a crash joke - something like, "in the event this little birdy becomes a love boat", etc. hmm... i get it, it's lighthearted. i appreciate the lightheartedness, but maybe not on the sinking tip. questionable. better work came as both Stand-Up Flight Attendants ("SuFAs", copyright 2005) cracked on the air masks - paraphrasing here: "when the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling, please place them on any child - or anyone acting like one " (Chi to Columbus). the better of those jokes was the following: "when the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling, please place one on your face before assisting others. if you have more than one child, pick your favorite" (Columbus to Chi). sweet dark comedy! yeah! who knew southwest was so edgy?

i like thinking about southwest people sitting around and studying the art of the FAA regulations, and how to spice it up. i also loved that they had the best audience you can probably have - a captive, attentive, and nervous one. however, does america not even have the attention span for even this anymore? there was something i hated about it - probably that we have no listening skills for even things that count, like exit row seating; secondly, i was angry that the speech seemed uber-contrived or something, but i have to give them some props for trying.

sell it, southwest!

the best part of all this is that i'm near sure someone like me came in there to the Southwest office, pitched ideas, and rewrote the thing with them during some corporate comedy jam-session, to make it more accessible and put a new face on flying.

aah, just think of this life-changing work.


Anonymous Zach said...

So, did the Lady SoFA's have Comedienne eyes?

12:13 PM  
Blogger tara d. said...

you are the worst(best).

12:32 PM  
Blogger Timmy Tapeworm said...

Say what you want about the corny jokes, I'll take them ANY day over the singing flight attendants. Yes, they do exist and yes, they are terrible.

(Hey, tanks for the link over dere. Will I ever outgrow the title of "intern?" I, for one, hope I do not.)

1:42 AM  

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