You Can Make It Up: John Travolta Welcomes You Aboard
All of the passengers got onto the airplane! They put their bags in the thingies, and stuffed their briefcases under their seats where the briefcases go. (Everyone had a briefcase, even the ladies and also the babies. Briefcases go under the seats.) They made some last minute phone calls because they knew that soon the stewardess would tell them “no more phonecalls!” and they wouldn’t get to make phonecalls from the sky. People fiddled with the air thingies, that let the air in on your face. Some people were not going to buckle their seatbelts until the very last minute because that was the kind of behavior that made them feel self-actualized and adult. No one would tell THEM when to put a seatbelt on, until later when someone would absolutely tell them to put their seat belt on, and would stand right there with their arms crossed waiting for them to do it, too. It can be hard to feel like a real adult sometimes, and people have to do what they can to exercise some kind of personal control over their lives where they can. At least that was how these anti-seatbelt-until-the-last-minute types tended to think about things. One baby started to cry and a man said under his breath to his girlfriend “somebody shut that goddamned baby up,” and the girlfriend said “be nice, it’s not funny, you know I don’t like when you joke like that” and the couple didn’t talk for the rest of the boarding process. They pulled out their magazines right away. Eventually everyone was in their seats and the stewardesses and male stewardesses were going through the airplane making sure no one was making any more last minute phone calls and turning those phones OFF and if you don’t have your seatbelt buckled yet, sir, they are just going to stand there until you do, it is for your OWN safety.
Then the pilot got on the PA system. “Hello,” the pilot said. “I am your pilot and my name is John Travolta.” A woman screamed.
The pilot continued: “I am a real pilot, and today I am your pilot. If you were in the cockpit right now, which you can’t be because of federal aviation regulations established after 9/11, you would see I’ve got the costume on and everything. It’s called a costume, right? I’m also wearing very heavy stage makeup. That’s not a pilot thing so much as I’ve lost sight of what actual human faces look like and you never do know when someone’s going to catch you on camera in HD hahahahhahhaha. Anyway, like I said, I’m your real pilot and the pilot of this plane, it says so right on my nametag, it says John Travolta: Mr. Pilot. I had it made myself. The man at the nametag store said ‘Mr. Travolta, are you sure you want it to say Mr. Pilot and not just Pilot and I said, ‘Of course, I’m sure. I want a nametag that commands respect from my passengers on the plane I’m going to pilot them in just as any real pilot would, but also that makes them feel safe, like they’ve got a real pilot in charge, which is me. Anyway, sit back and relax and enjoy the flight knowing that I am the one who is doing the flying. There will be a beverage service later with whatever you people drink. Champagne? Olive oil? Soap? I don’t know. If you look out the right side of the airplane right now you can see one of those little trucks. Haha, HELLO LITTLE TRUCK! I am John Travolta. I am a pilot for sure.” The PA system crackled and went silent.
Right away, a bunch of people just straight up shit inside their pants. Real shit! Inside their pants! Oh, they were freaking out. People were OUT of their seats, hammering at the doors, clawing at the windows. A lot of screams like, “GET ME OUT OF THIS DEATH TRAP,” and “I AM NOT GOING TO BE MURDERED IN THE SKY BY THIS MANIAC.”
The flight crew tried to calm people and get them to pay attention to the safety instructions, but people were having a very hard time focusing, knowing that John Travolta was in the cockpit. A few minutes later, when the airplane actually started taxiing down the runway? Hoh-boy. That is when things REALLY started to fall apart. A woman handed her baby to one of the stewardesses, and stuffed three hundred dollars in her other hand. “Please,” she begged, “just get my baby off this plane!” One passenger, a college student who had been having a very hard time adjusting to his new life, tried to hang himself in the bathroom because he figured that was a gentler way to go out than in some kind of Broken Arrow fireball over the dessert. And there was one elderly couple that actually seemed to be enjoying themselves because they’d gotten to a point in their lives where they didn’t panic anymore about death and assumed that as long as they were together, things were either going to be OK or at least they would share the end with each other, as best friends. Everyone just assumed they were senile though because that is what young people assume about all old people who are smiling instead of shitting their pants over whatever nonsense.
The plane took off. John Travolta does actually know how to fly a plane, so they made it to their destination. But it was very tense the whole time. Lots of people hyperventilating into air-sickness bags. One man screamed “Bomb!” and everyone freaked out until he elaborated “DOES ANYONE HAVE A BOMB?!” Also, John Travolta’s in-flight anecdotes over the PA about what it was like on the set of Basic (2003) didn’t put anyone at ease.
As everyone filed off the plane, covered in shit and dried tears blotching up each and everyone one of their faces, John Travolta stood in the doorway of the cockpit. “Buh bye,” he said, “I’m a real pilot for real. Buh bye.”