No. 513



Several months ago I got the sad news that my friend Bob Murphy from Nacogdoches, Texas, had passed away. Bob will be greatly missed because he was a fine human being, a great humorist and someone who made a tremendous contribution to his fellow man. Over the years I have retold many of his stories in this column because the stories he told were always clean as a hounds tooth, down to earth and had a way of making you laugh that started at your head and went all the way down to the soles of your feet. To be sure, Bob made a difference in people"s lives and was a credit to his family, his fellow speakers and his God.

When I thought about writing this column I thought of Bob and one of his stories as a way to introduce it. It seems two Texas preachers were talking about going to a session that was going to be held in Cleveland, Ohio. One of the preachers said to the other one, "We can get on a plane in Houston and be up there in three hours." The other one said, "If we are going to fly, I"m not going." The first one said, "You must not believe what the Good Book says," Then the second preacher responded, "Yes, I believe it, but I have read it very carefully. It says that low the Lord will be with you always. It doesn"t say that high He will be with you."

While I don"t fly a great deal, I have to do some of it in my work. However, I"m like the old boy that said, "I never did put all my weight down on it." For people who fly all the time, it"s no different than getting in a car and taking a trip, and it"s safer, plus the fact you get there a whole lot quicker. To be sure, there is another world for people who earn their living in the flying business, and I"ve observed that most of these people really enjoy their work. While the pilots are in charge, it"s interesting to see the flight attendants and stewardesses perform their routine tasks with seemingly little effort.

As a speaker, I am always interested in hearing the flight attendant who makes the announcements over the intercom with regards to FFA regulations and what to do in the event of an emergency. I"ve found that most of these people, mostly ladies, have a pretty good sense of humor as well. Here are some actual announcements that have been reported over the past few years. On a Southwest flight (SW has no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people we"re not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it." The last one in this column to me is really funny, so I hope you won"t leave me here.

On landing, the stewardess said, "Please take all of your belongings. If you are going to leave anything, please make sure it"s something we would like to have." "In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one child, pick your favorite." And from the pilot during his welcome message: "Delta Airlines is pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!" Heard on a Southwest Airline flight, "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing and if you can light "em, you can smoke "em." "Your seat cushions can be used for floatation, and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and keep them, with our compliments." "Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we will try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember nobody loves you or your money, more than Southwest Airlines."

A plane was taking off from Kennedy Airport. After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, nonstop from New York to Los Angeles. The weather ahead is good, and therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax ... OH, OH, OH!" Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking with you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of very hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants." A passenger in coach yelled, "That"s nothing, you should see the back of mine."

Have a great day and I hope you have at least cracked a smile. You probably have a lot to be thankful for.

(Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)