“A Very Special In-flight Safety Presentation,” by Mark Rooke

Oct 20th, 2010 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Good morning, and welcome aboard Jetsky Airways flight 1015 to Seattle. We’ll be taking off momentarily, so at this time we ask you to disable and stow all electronic devices. Please keep in mind that cell phones may not be used on board the plane at any time. If you have a cell phone, it is to remain in your baggage, unused and alone, waiting for you to return, fighting feelings of resentment while still wondering if you’ll ever love it the same way you used to.

Emergency exits are located over the wings near row twenty three of the forward cabin, as well as in the front of the first class cabin. To sit in an exit row, you must be able to fulfill all emergency duties as described in the in-flight safety manual. If you’re unable to fulfill these duties, it seems strange that you’d book a ticket in an exit row, especially when you knew in advance that committing to be in an exit row seat isn’t something airlines take lightly. Remember last month when you booked this ticket online? Travelocity asked in a plain, straightforward manner if you wanted to sit in an exit row. It wanted the truth. But your mouse hovered for a moment before clicking the “yes” button. You stalled. You hesitated. What, did you think Travelocity wouldn’t notice? God dammit Warren, you either sit in an exit seat, or you don’t. It’s not like there’s a middle ground. However, if you’d prefer not to sit in an exit row seat – even though you clearly, purposefully booked one – simply notify a flight attendant and once again let your fear of commitment chip away another piece of what we used to have.

In the unlikely event of cabin depressurization, oxygen masks will deploy from the compartment over your seat. Pull the mask toward you until it is fully extended, securing the mask to your face with the elastic straps. When using these masks, be sure to attend to your needs before helping others with theirs – but then again, that’s pretty much how you’ve structured every relationship you’ve ever been in, isn’t it?

In the event of an electrical emergency, or if cabin visibility is lost, lights will illuminate along the aisle floor. White lights lead to red lights, which indicate your emotionally unavailable excuse for a boyfriend is a self-centered bastard.

Seat belts must be fastened while the plane is in motion. To fasten your seat belt, insert the tip into the buckle and make sure it sits low and tight across your lap. To release the buckle, liberating yourself from the controlling, insufferable grip that it holds on your life, simply lift up on the tab on the front, pull, and toss it away. There – now you’re free! Free to move about the cabin! Free to abandon the wasteland that your overpriced apartment in the Atlanta suburbs has become! Free to move back to Baltimore and correct the impulsive mistakes of your early twenties – fasten seat belt sign be damned!

We thank you for your attention. Flight attendants will be coming by to collect any remaining cups, glasses, and inhibitions. On behalf of everyone here at Jetsky Airways, we hope you have a pleasant flight.


While Mark Rooke has been writing humor pieces since he was old enough to stick foil in electrical outlets, he’s recently been published in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and will be in the Fall 2010 edition of MAKE Magazine. He currently lives in political exile in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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