The prize

Posted on January 3, 2005

Can someone please tell me what the prize for being the first off a plane is?

I know there is one, without a doubt, because every-time a plane I am in lands everyone just jumps out of their sits and sometimes even before turning their cell phones on (imagine!) they take their luggage out of the overhead compartment and get ready to leave. Those who were not quick enough just stand on their sitting spots, all curved up, with their backpacks all set on their backs and then… they stand there. And stand. And stand. (Remember, most times the “fasten your seatbelts” sign was still on when they jumped for their luggage as if jumping for dear life). And after quite a few minutes of waiting the doors open and the people near the exits start leaving and guess what? The people in the middle of the plane are still there, still standing like dopes, still waiting. The ones on their sitting spots are still bending with the weight of their packs on their backs and contorted like hell to fit in there.
But they do not sit, they do not budge. In my mind I hear Gandalf saying unto them “You Shall Not Sit”. (It should really be thou but that’s Hollywood for you).
And then, predictably, when the ends of the plane start getting devoid of people, then these people start to leave. After everyone who was closer to the exit has already exited the plane.

So I just know that there must be a prize for the first one to get off the plane and I have a strong suspicion that the people closer to the exits must be the ones who get this prize but the prize must be so good that lots and lots of people just have to jump off their sits, before the engines are even turned off, and stand there crowding each other for such a long time in hopes of maybe by some obscure and unnatural phenomenon being able to pass everybody on their way to the exit and get there first.

Only I’m a really simple kind of guy and I’ve never felt the urge to join the dope race and so I just sit calmly until I do have enough room to stand up and get my things and exit the plane at my own pace. Therefore I’ve never even known what the big prize is. Can anyone satisfy my curiosity? Or is it best that I don’t know, lest I join the crowds next time?