If you're anything like me, your favorite movie of 2013 so far is "Amazing Helmet-Cam Video of Skydivers on One Plane When Another Plane Hits Them," followed by Olympus Has Fallen. How many planes must crash into one another triumphantly before we accept that air travelers should all be wearing parachutes?
There is a fine line in life between sad and awesome. Sad is when one plane hits another plane and nobody is wearing a parachute. The helmet-cam footage captures only the terrifying fireball followed by an agonizing plunge towards an earthly doom, the screams mixing with the sound of rushing air as our protagonist contemplates their impending end, which comes with a thump. Awesome is when one plane hits another plane and guess what—that's okay, because everybody was wearing a parachute, so enjoy the action-packed helmet-cam footage of our survivors floating merrily down from their adventure, then recounting aloud their harmless thrill ride.
There's nothing sadder than a midair plane collision (no parachutes). There is nothing more captivating than a midair plane collision (everyone wearing parachutes—no big deal).
It would be easy to just sit back in your padded office chair, stroking your chin as I'm doing now, and saying to yourself, as I am, "Man. What an electrifying midair plane crash video that was, thanks to all the parachutes! I think I will just sit here, in my padded chair, stroking my chin and reflecting on how enjoyable and stimulating I found that helmet-cam video footage." Sure. That would be easy. Real easy. Might even watch the video again. Yep—still awesome. Wasn't that easy? (Yes—thanks to the parachutes.)
But taking the easy way out is what people who take the easy way out do. I live in a country called America. Outside of ordering food without getting out of our car, we don't take the easy way out. We must heed the lesson of this sensational helmet-cam footage.We must put parachutes on everyone on every plane—just in case (of midair collision).
When you go to the airport, you'll check your bags. You'll go through security. You'll get your Cinnabon. And then, before you board the plane, you will strap on a parachute, like an Aerodyne Mamba, for example. Its elliptical wings and aggressive taper offer a smooth controlled snivel and maximum forgiveness during inflation, if, god forbid, your airplane rams into another airplane at a high altitude. Yes, commuters can be expected to complain about physical discomfort related to sitting in a standard commercial airline while wearing a fully packed parachute. But they'll change their tune when and if that flight has its wing sheared off by a passing jetliner due to a freakish radar malfunction, though of course we hope and pray that will never happen.
You don't like wearing a parachute on a plane? Well how do you like not wearing a parachute when you fall out of a plane?
Once upon a time, cars had no seatbelts. Whenever there was a car wreck, bodies went flying all over the road, their twisted limbs and mangled faces forming a gross tableau of humanity's fundamental vulnerability. Then one day, there was a car wreck where, I presume, the people in both cars had decided to attach themselves to their seats before they went out driving that day, probably using some sort of rudimentary rope-and-pulley system. They survived, I assume. I also surmise that their crash was recorded and widely disseminated using the technology of the day—probably radio. When the public saw what had happened, I infer that there was a widespread call to mandate seatbelts in all cars. And that is how seatbelts came to be used by everyone, I trust.
Just as we look back in derision on those idiots who went out driving their rickety Model T's without seatbelts, so will people of the future look back on us and say, "I cannot believe they allowed even a single citizen to board an airplane without taking the simple precaution of wearing a parachute." These people of the future will all be wearing parachutes because their cars fly.
We all love watching helmet-cam footage of two planes colliding with one another thousands of feet above the earth's surface. Yet it's worth remembering that the only reason we can smile openly at that awesome video is that no one fell to their death at the end of it. Thank god all of the people on those planes were wearing parachutes. We must ensure that every last plane passenger follows their lead. Don't wait until after an aircraft has struck your aircraft and sent it plummeting towards land in a nightmarish death-plunge to decide to wear your parachute.