Saturday, July 22, 2006

Plane Insanity, by Elliott Hester

Plane Insanity, by Elliott Hester

I’m beginning to think that degreed writers are a dying breed. This is yet another book that is mainly a collection of previously published anecdotes, and another winner. Written by a former flight attendant, the tales of the friendly skies presented here are both outrageous and hilarious. I read this on an airplane and apparently my laughter caught the attention of a flight attendant. She came over and told me that not only had she read it, but it was all true!

Hard to pick my favorite story, but Pass the Defibrillator Please is certainly one of them. Starting with a medical emergency, moving on to a fight between a flight attendant and a passenger, and ending with an lynch mob at an international airport—all during the same flight. The Passenger from Hell is another great one: a drunk traveler gets increasingly more out-of-control, resulting with him being met by an army of cops at DFW; a further twist on this one makes it nearly worthy of O. Henry. Between the longer, first-person anecdotes there are newswire reports about funny flight mishaps, with titles such as “NWA fires pilot who delayed flight when he didn’t like the meal,” “Growling woman tied to seat, ” and the priceless “Malaysia Airlines steward sentenced for biting off colleague’s ear.”

If you are looking for light entertainment to read while flying somewhere, pick this one up. You probably won’t be looking at your flight attendants in the same way by the end!

First Sentence:
Speed and altitude notwithstanding, flying in a commercial jet is not much different than riding in a Greyhound bus.

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