Quick Fix: In-flight Entertainment

10 July 2013 Sophie Quick

Quick Fix: In-flight Entertainment

Illustration by Michael Weldon

Dear Quick Fix,

I am a natural storyteller and a frequent flyer. One of the great pleasures of travelling for me is meeting fellow passengers on the plane and sharing funny little anecdotes from my life with them. (My favourite is the story of the time I went to renew my driver’s licence but couldn’t find a parking spot outside the registration office. Classic!) The problem is I sometimes find that people signal to me that they’re about to put on their headphones, or they get up and try to jump out of the emergency exit when I’m only halfway through my story. How do I hold my fellow passengers’ attention? Plane Talking

Dear Plane Talking,

The problem is that your anecdotes are true. You're clearly pretty dull, so you'll need to experiment with a wider array of narrative possibilities, well outside your actual lived experience. Celebrity encounters are always interesting (“Let me tell you about the time I swapped compression stockings with Gérard Depardieu…”). Despicable acts of senseless cruelty hold a morbid fascination (“I had such a blast bulldozing my neighbour’s house while he was out getting his guide-dog put down!”). Parking stories are only entertaining when wildly fabricated (“I got a great parking spot – right out front of the burning stake – but, unfortunately, by the time I got there Joan of Arc was already toast.”) Quick Fix