After a layover in Moscow we hop onto another, smaller, Aeroflot jet to complete the last 4 hours to Tel Aviv. Two things were notable on this leg of the journey. The first was a mom and daughter with whom we shared a row. The flight attendant presented this young family with a package of goodies designed for juvenile passengers. The daughter was symbiotic with a handheld entertainment device and could not be bothered with the mundanity of airline trinkets. The mother, however, lit up like a Christmas tree at the sight of the package. With great delight she dug through the package and vainly attempted to impress it’s worth onto her daughter. Her sheer joy at receiving this unexpected bounty warmed the cockles of my heart, which is good, because I don’t like cold cockles.
The next notable event happened just minutes later. I am sure it happened on the previous flight, but I did not have a screen in front of me on that part of the journey. I was sitting innocently in my seat solving a sudoku puzzle as a I awaited take off when my screen came to life with the Aeroflot logo. The scene switched to a tall blond strolling in slow motion to some unseen destination of great importance as the wind blows her hair. It appears she is heading out for a night on the town as she is wearing 4-inch pumps. At this point her feet are joined by several identical legs in equally absurd footwear. The camera pulls back to reveal a phalanx of women that we are supposed to believe are a flight crew from Aeroflot. (I noticed that our flight crew all wore very practical flats to avoid breaking an ankle while serving you a thimble of room-temperature water.) This was the intro to the safety instructions. I did not watch the video to the end, but I never watch all the safety instructions. I refuse to believe that a plane will crash if my tray table is not latched or my seat is not in the full, upright position. I also don’t think if the engines drop off the plane and we plummet 50,000 feet into the Northern Sea that the first thing on my mind will be “how do I blow into this tube protruding from the rubber sport coat I’m wearing.” More likely, the first thing that goes through my mind will be my knees. The majority of the safety instructions are for people who have no business traveling unsupervised. If you are foolish enough to leave your chaperone at home when you can’t find your way out of a hallway where eight doorways have just opened and have flashing signs to tell you to exit, then Darwin says you should remain in your seat with your seatbelt securely fastened so you can improve the gene pool by removing yourself.