“Can you believe it? No hot water—and that was twice on that layover. And that breakfast bar…I’m telling you Gladys—what’s that? You can hear me—Oh! Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning—can you hear…Yes?—Ok, good morning. I’m Linda, your chief purser for Flight 227. On behalf of your Washington-based flight crew I welcome you aboard this Soviet-era Ilyushin jet. We hope to provide you with an on-time takeoff, so please do find your space as soon as possible. Today’s flight is expected to be as smooth as metal hurtling through air can be, and we are happy to offer a number of fee-based amenities during our international service today. Benches and seatbelts are available for purchase—which may also be used on subsequent flights—provided your Ilyushin is of Ukrainian origin out of the Dnipr-Petrovsk assembly station. Full details are available in the ship’s schematic. Translation is available for a small fee.
Federal Aviation regulations do not allow smoking during flight, and tampering with smoke detectors is prohibited. Please note that the Supreme Court has roundly rejected spontaneous combustion as a smoking defense, even when directly caused by airline inadequacies.
Our flight time to Budapest is approximately 17 hours.
Oh—I’ve just been handed a note—we wish to offer a very special welcome to the dozen or so teething toddler models flying with us this morning. Welcome aboard.
Several security protocols remain in effect—please refrain from leaving your baggage unattended, traveling with prohibited items or attempting logic when accused by transportation security agents. A prompt confession is encouraged.
Because of the inordinately large number of babies flying with us today—hey, that’s you!!—special measures will be observed. The lavatory in the aft of the hold will be reserved for pregnant mothers, mothers traveling with a child, and our corporate elite members. The forward slop pail is available for cash purchase, and as always—correct change is appreciated.
Due to the engineering limitations of this airframe, you may be pressed into service in the event an emergency egress becomes necessary. If the forward door—that’s the one you came through sir, yes, that one. The handle to your left…other left. There you go.—is not available please do the following if you are seated in an exit row. Actually, any row. Using the crash axes that will be distributed just prior to impact, cut through the thin aluminum of the hull.
In the event of mass hysterics from our infants, you may be conscripted to provide entertainment. Time will be of the essence, as the shifting harmonics of wailing youth can affect beverage service, the psychological well-being of your captain and the structural integrity of the aircraft.
Today’s emergency entertainment option is PANDEMONIUM!, a bold and adaptive work in the style of OKLAHOMA! Parts may be assigned randomly—but also available for purchase. Please note: if reduced oxygen levels are experienced within the hold, Act III, Scene II: “Life Among the Clouds” will be omitted due to its strenuous vocals. Instead, Act I, Scene III: “Man-made Metallic Meteor” will be presented again, with the option of also being presented via encore to rescue personnel. Furthermore, Act III, Scene IV will be changed as follows: the part of Louisa will be played by a male; parachutes will not be distributed; and the finale will be a cappella and fortissimo, not forte as it reads currently.
Part of today’s routing will take us over water. In the unlikely event of a water landing, we will launch into Act III, Scene II: “Life Among the Clouds” regardless of oxygen levels within the hold and continue until the termination of flight.
Thank you for your kind attention, and don’t hesitate to shout for attention once power and heat have been removed from the hold at altitude. Good day.”