U2 Bible Chapter 50...

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Sat, 4 Jul 1998 15:08:25 EDT

I just thought I should share my favorite chapter from U2 At the End of the
World by Bill Flannagan. I was thinking about this yesterday as I was flying
home from a visit with a friend. Since I work for an airline, I consider this
(and any of the other airline humor in the book) to be the best in-flight
stories I have ever heard -- and I hear a lot!

"There is no Zoo plane to carry U2 from Australia to New Zealand or from New
Zealand to Japan. The band and crew instead take commercial airlines, often
buying up all the tickets on a flight. This means that U2 and twenty or
thirty Principles travel the Pacific air with many of the two hundred grips,
riggers, carpenters, and other hard-core roadies who have had the better part
of two years to perfect their airline etiquette. As our flight sits on the
runway in Sydney waiting to take off for Christchurch, the flight attendant
steps up to issue the safety instructions and realizes she is stewardess on
the voyage of the damned."

"Please make sure your safety belts are buckled,' she says, and two hundred
seat belt buckles clickclickclickclick for thirty seconds. 'The exits are
located---' Four hundred arms flap up in the air, mimicking her instructional
gestures. She steels herself to continue. 'In case of sudden loss of cabin
pressure oxygen masks will descend.' She dangles a plastic oxygen mask in
front of her face and two hundred hands hold up two hundred dirty sneakers and
dangle them by the shoestrings. 'Place the oxygen mask over your face and
breath normally.' The roadies all hold their sneakers over their noses and
inhale loudly. 'To inflate the lifejacket ---' Two hundred inflated
airsickness bags pop at once. 'There is a whistle to attract attention ---'
Everyone whistles. 'Your safety card is in the seat pocket in front of you.'
Two hundred plastic safety cards are held aloft and flapped. 'Please be
careful when opening the overhead compartments, as objects may shift during
flight.' Two hundred little airline pillows go flying through the cabin. The
stewardess retreats to the galley and the plane heads down the runway and into
the wild blue yonder."

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