In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 24, 2005 / 17 Sivan, 5765

Just Plane Funny

By Gene Weingarten

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Where in the United States these days would you least expect to find the deft use of humor? (Other than this column.) The airport, right?

It's not as though, in the past, you could jovially saunter up to a ticket counter like Wile E. Coyote, carrying a black bowling ball labeled "BOMB," with a burning fuse. Airports have always frowned on that sort of thing. But I do recall a time when you could enjoy a laugh at the airport beyond just seeing someone's big toe sticking out of a hole in his sock.

So I couldn't help noticing the other day when I heard a recorded flight safety message for Independence Air. The announcement told you what to do "in the event of a water landing," and then said, "Hey, shouldn't 'landing' be in quotation marks?"

That got my attention. Then the announcement went on to suggest — I repeat, this is an official, FAA-approved, recorded flight safety message — that, when you are bobbing in the ocean in your life vests, it might be fun to play "Marco Polo."

It turns out that Independence Air — in a bid to improve the flying experience that is either foolhardy or brilliant, or both — has given someone what might just be the greatest job on Earth: basically, being an enormous jackass. And they picked the right guy!

Dave George, 36, is a professional comedian; I first met him a couple of years ago when I judged a local stand-up comedy contest, which he won. He's since appeared in Vegas, New York, Atlantic City and many lesser venues, sometimes earning as much as $20 a night; this pretty much explains why his main paycheck comes from Independence Air, where he performs as "The FLYi Guy."

Dave let me tag along with him recently, as he did his thing with a mike at Gate A3 at Dulles Airport:

"This is a public service announcement for all colorblind customers who are reading their complimentary hotel-edition copies of USA Today. The gray section is Sports. The gray section is Life. And the gray section is Money."


"Independence Air is paging the passenger who valet-parked his Corvette Sting Ray . . . Congratulations. Your car just won the drag race in the employee parking lot!"


"The weather in Newark is calm, 72 degrees. The weather in Syracuse is calm, 72 degrees. The weather in Hartford is calm, 72 degrees. Oh, wait, I'm sorry, I'm looking at the weather here in the terminal."

Dave has had a number of ordinary airline jobs, from which, he says, he has learned valuable lessons. I asked him what he learned from emptying the lavatories on the planes, and he said, "Blue and yellow make green." Think about it.

If you're not understanding how weird this all is, you either have not flown recently, or you have never seen what passes for humor in most of button-down corporate America. Humor is inherently risky. And Dave has been specifically encouraged to take risks.

In a promotional video for Independence Air, he does spontaneous interviews with passengers at Dulles. At one point, he encounters a very attractive young woman and asks her what she does for a living. She says she is a model and an actress.

Dave asks: "Have you done any pilots?"

She says: "No, not yet."

Dave says: "Well, I can introduce you to some."

There are advantages and disadvantages to this gig, Dave says, compared with doing standup in comedy clubs. "The upside here is that people's expectations are so low. The downside is that most of them haven't been drinking."

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He grabs the mike again.

"Independence Air is paging customer Alycia Oaklander. Please be advised that I am over you. I have moved on. And I want my CDs back."


"We have an important announcement for all United and USAirways employees: Your anger management classes begin in five minutes. And, please, go this time . . ."

Watching the crowd reaction to this is instructive: Generally, people don't laugh at the first joke they hear. They start laughing at the second or third. It's as though they have to be snapped out of the airport trance.

I ask Dave if there are any limits on what material he can use.

"Only the obvious one of clean language," he says. "And, ah, well, one other thing. I think of what I do as sort of sneak humor attacks. Guerrilla comedy, I call it, which is not the term I'd like to use."

And that would be?

"Kamikaze comedy."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Gene Weingarten writes the Below the Beltway humor column for The Washington Post. To comment, please click here.


© 2005 WPWG