Flying still fun despite ValuJet crash

by Frank McGowan

I flew this weekend, but I didn't fly ValuJet. I'm wary of any airline that has a cutesy cartoon logo with googly eyes. I'm also nervous if they can't spell their name correctly -- it's spelled value, NOT valu. (ValuJet's motto: We can't buy a vowel to save our lives.)

But I really do love to fly.

I got to sit by the emergency exit on all of my flights this weekend. Now the one requirement of this seat is that in the event of an emergency, I would be called upon to crack the emergency hatch. It's a nice power trip.

"I'm in charge of this exit if we crash," I think. "I'm responsible for all of your puny lives."

The truth is, "if the plane goes down, the rest of you can fend for yourselves, because I'm outta' here."

I have always wanted to go down the yellow inflatable emergency slide. It looks fun. Kinda' slippery. Sorta' bouncy. I think the only way it could be better is if the plane were in the water and I was jumping into those nifty octagonal boats. They always remind me of Astroworld's "Thunder River."

Speaking of water landings, why do the flight attendants always tell you that the seat cushions float on flights between Houston and Phoenix? There's no water in which to land between here and there. They should fill the seat cushions with water so that you'll have something to drink if you crash in the desert.

Whenever I travel, I'm usually lucky enough to have at least one attractive female flight attendant on board. They are rather sexy. Sure, I'm being a pig, but it's my column. Anyway, stewardesses (the non-PC term) have a certain mystique about them. Maybe it's the uniform, maybe it's the way they lean over to ask you if you'd like a drink -- but I think it's because they know something you don't -- they know where the pillows and blankets are kept.

Flight attendants are also responsible for your safety -- even though you probably don't deserve it. I always listen during the pre-flight emergency procedures. You should too. It's rude to talk when someone is trying to tell you how to save your own life. The talkers really annoy me. Sometimes I secretly hope that the cabin will depressurize and the talkers won't know how to work their oxygen masks, then they'd pass out. Then they won't be talking.

So take my advice or reject it -- I don't care. Just don't sit next to me.

Still, I think flying is a grand adventure. But if someone gave me the choice between superpowers -- the ability to fly or invisibility -- I'd take invisibility -- then I could fly for free.

McGowan is a senior journalism major who wants more airline food.

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