Just Try Something Different
Seatbelts click. Chairs squeak as people adjust their position. The dull mumble of small talk floats through the airplane. Phones power down. I’m absorbed in my latest book, ignoring everyone around me.
Sidenote: My first plane ride was before my first birthday and I have lived more than 1000 miles from home in the last five years, making flying my only mode of transportation to see family and loved ones. Needless to say, it has become mundane like a Point A to Point B transport. You get it.
Over the loudspeaker I expect the traditional safety announcement where it’s usually a stewardess with too much makeup wearing pantyhose and patent leather black pumps begrudgingly runs through the instructions.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we found a wallet in the waiting area…” Shit, I think to myself. My head jolts up. I see everyone else do the same thing. I go so far as to lean down to my bag under the seat in front of me when the man on the loudspeaker bemusingly says, “Aha, now that I’ve got your attention, this smokin’ hot stewartess is going to run through the oh-so exciting safety instructions.”
The plane erupts into laughter. He’s got my attention. I wonder if he’s going to bust out another witty line. He does. So I keep listening.
“Secure the mask over your face first, then the person next to you. Ha, like you would really be thinking rationally if we were plummeting through the air.”
“You all know, you can pull up your seat and use it as a flotation device. That is, if you really want to.”
Keep the Intrigue
“Seductive ideas rest on our ability to spark the kind of intrigue that will keep the imagination engaged. Not knowing exactly what’s going to happen next…keeps us glued to our seats when watching a thriller and quickly turning the pages in a mystery novel.
“If we can too easily guess the outcome, or if the conclusion is not surprising enough, we are disappointed. As soon as we become confident in our conclusion, we may lose interest entirely.” -Matthew E. May, In Pursuit of Elegance.
I listened to the safety instructions, from the beginning to the end. Why? Because this guy knew his target audience (we were en route to Vegas, mind you) and stepped out of the norm. Not to mention, he entertained his passengers making the ride memorable (I remember, it was on Southwest and I retold this guy’s brilliant tactic).