"The good news is that we arrived on time. The bad news is that the local folks don't know it yet." It was indeed good news since we'd left Atlanta some 20 minutes past our scheduled departure time. As a murmur of sorts rolled through the cabin in response to the announcement, the captain keyed the mic again. "The great news is that I just saved a bundle by switching my insurance to Geico."
It's good to know a sense of humor still exists in the airline industry.
That story reminds me of one of my first plane rides ever -- in 1984 on a family vacation to Disney World. My children -- who, God help them, will only know a "post-911 world" -- will find it hard to believe, but cockpit doors weren't always locked and sometimes, you even got to take a visit inside.
All of the details escape me since I was six years old at the time, but I remember us being held at the gate on one leg of our trip. In an effort to kill time and to entertain the masses, the flight attendants started inviting kids up to tour the cockpit one-by-one. All of the kids were older than me, but I wasn't discouraged me. I finally caught a flight attendant's eye and (I'm guessing) laid out the perfect puppy dog face. I was one of the last one's picked before we finally pushed back to leave.
In the cockpit, one of the pilots seemed to give the perfect explanation on how to fly the place -- except that he did so while talking like the Micro Machines Man. Seriously. Everything he said seemed to make sense, but it zipped by me pretty quick. Besides, six-year-olds -- even precocious ones -- are easily lost with talk of throttle, thrust, ailerons and lift.
After the lesson, the other pilot handed me the mic with instructions to make an announcement. I was to repeat after him -- "Buckle your seat belts. Big daddy is about to blast off." I said it, but I'm not sure anyone understood me through my laughter.
We need more laughter on airplanes.