Airplane Story, American Style

3NumberThreeInCircleHeard another airplane story but this one intrigued me.  If you fly enough, I’m sure you have one or two juicy stories of your own.  It’s bound to happen with 300 strangers sharing knees and elbows for two hours or more and having watched far too many airplane movies where only Bruce Willis and the cute kid you see at the beginning but then forget about survives.  Each passenger, of course, has a reason whether it’s going home, signing the divorce papers, visiting the son who never visits you, the long awaited vacation, the job interview, the death of a good friend, continuing the affair you promised your wife was ended, buy/sell something, a last minute flight because it’s free because you work for an airline (that’s the one I like), finally going to propose after a five year engagement.  I guess you get the composite of diversity among 300 strangers.

The flight attendant kindly announces that a mother and child are standby and were not able to find a seat together.  Nothing big about that, must happen all the time.  “If anyone is interested in switching seats to accommodate this mother and child, it is appreciated.  The plane is complete silence as though a moment of prayer was called for before the departure.  Pause and a longer pause.

(32B) “He looks old enough to me to be alone.”
(27A) “I planned this window seat and I’m not giving it up for ‘standby’.”
(2A) “I’m in Business Class, this doesn’t concern me.”  “Another drink please?”

The attendant returns to the microphone and says, “It is important for this mother and child to fly together.  We are asking if anyone is willing to help us make this trip more enjoyable.”  Silence returns with heads bowed as though a second prayer is offered before departure.  Pause and a longer pause.

(55D)  “I hate this seat so why would she like it?”
(12C)  “The kid has to grow up, what better time than now.  Stop coddling the kid, mom.”
(38A) “I’m ‘standby’ and you don’t hear me doing this.  It’s entitlement once again, plain and simple.”

The mic is turned on again and the captain’s voice is heard, “This mother and child would very much like to travel together.  We’d like some volunteers to switch seats to make this happen.  This airplane will not leave until it happens.”

I’m told a couple of people got up to give up their seats.  I suspect it was “the adulterer” who wishes to reach his destination and “the death of a good friend.”  (I’m trying to balance this story.)

It took St. Peter three times to hear what he was saying about Jesus.  Jesus was buried for the same amount, 10 times that and you have Judas’ payoff, every joke has three parts, the Trinity is well that, and we have the “ready, set” formula that also seems to work.

I’m sure they were all happy that mother and child remained united (cue Paul Simon) and that they participated in a grand act of kindness that did not involve them.

Time for a movie?

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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