Cows Might Fly

So anyway, I’m at Sydney Airport at Gate 32 when the following is heard across the PA system:

This is a final boarding call for passengers Arthur Gibson, Muriel Campanella, Ron Silvers and Bruce Majollica* on flight number D567 to Melbourne. This flight has boarded and is waiting on you in order to depart. Passengers Arthur Gibson, Muriel Campanella, Ron Silvers and Bruce Majollica, please make your way to Gate 34, your aircraft is ready to depart.

This announcement is made at least a half dozen times over the course of twenty minutes or so, with the staff becoming more and more agitated, but still maintaining the proper good-mannered airport aplomb. There are, in fact, four ‘Final’ boarding calls.

“You know what?” I say to Violet Towne. “If this was Cow Air, by now I’d be broadcasting it like this”:

Passengers Arthur Gibson, Muriel Campanella, Ron Silvers and Bruce Majollica, will you please get your slack asses out of the bar and over to Gate 34 quick smart. There’s a plane full of really pissed-off people here who want to know why you’re making the hour-long flight to Melbourne take twice as long. You’d better have good excuses.

Other innovations I would introduce on Cow Air:

•Disposal of useless safety demonstration on plane, replacing it with one word: PANIC! Because I know that’s what everyone would do if the plane started crashing. Why not make it easy for passengers to comply with instructions?

•Compulsory confinement to seats, upon landing of the aircraft, until after the exit doors have actually been opened. Can someone explain to me why as soon as the seatbelt sign is switched off everyone seems to feel the need to leap from their seat, desperately hoik their luggage out of the overhead compartment and then queue sardine-like in the plane aisle for ten minutes? Listen up people – the doors ain’t opening any faster just because you’re on your feet. The airline wants you off the plane just as much as you want to be off. Everybody is working for the same result here. You may as well enjoy the wait sitting down.†

•Free alcohol. No-one should have to endure Economy Class air travel sober.

•Summary execution for seat-kickers. Especially children.

•Coffee that tastes like coffee instead of watery aviation fuel.

•Cowhide covered seats. Wouldn’t that look cool!?

•Flame-grilled ribs. C’mon – even you vegetarians have gotta admit that the smell of fine BBQ wafting down the aisle at meal times would be w-a-a-a-y better than the sick-making odour of re-heated fish in foil.‡


*Not their real names.

†I dunno – maybe it’s so they can get off the plane a few seconds earlier and relish the extra time at the baggage carousel?

‡Yes, alright, I can hear the more astute among you protesting that you’d never be able to eat ribs with plastic knives and forks. On Cow Air we don’t hold with such namby-pamby business as kiddy cutlery. Not only would passengers be allowed nail scissors and hacksaw blades, each would be issued with a steak knife. We believe that the real reason behind terrorism is bad airline food.