It stands to reason that one should follow boring safety practices before flying. And that doesn’t just go for the pilots. Passengers are required to sit through the torment of preflight checks too.

But when all we want to do is get somewhere in one piece can’t we just skip it? We know how to buckle up, we know the life jackets are under the seats and we know a bag of air comes down from the ceiling when things go awry. So why have the demo at all?

Simple: it’s a regulation!

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On this particular day, faced with performing the same announcement flight-to-flight SouthWest Airlines gives their passengers something extra: pre-flight demonstrations with a vaudeville edge. You might even call it comedy air time.  

The steward for the flight narrates while his trusty helpers, Peanut Butter and Jelly perform live in front of a captive audience. This isn’t your average safety demonstration by any means.

First a firecracker: ‘Butter’s all in love up here,’ he tells us. ‘She’s got a new boyfriend.’ Butter’s embarrassed but the show must go on. He whizzes through the well-trodden speech calling the life vest a ‘tiny weeny yellow bikini’. Next, when tasked with the more serious aspect of turning laptops and phones off he’s tells us to, ‘also make sure your shoes match your outfit – or at least each other.’

If, as the steward says one or two people haven’t been in a car since 1960 and need to be told how to buckle up, he lets Butter show them how it’s done. It seems as much a welcome break from drudgery for the stewards as it is for everyone else.

The act draws to a close as the plane prepares for take-off. ‘If you’re caught smoking on the flight today,’ the steward warns, ‘You will be asked to step outside onto the wings…to be the lead actor in Gone with the wind.’ A bland safety regulation made tastier and the crew has formed an instant bond with their audience. What’s not to love?