Suzan St Maur
“Powerwriting: the hidden skills
you need to transform your business writing”
"The Bit's & Bytes
A large jet was flying over Arizona on a clear
day. The pilot was describing the view to the passengers on the PA system. "If
you look out of the starboard side windows, that's on the right, you'll see the
Meteor Crater. This is a huge tourist attraction in the north part of Arizona.
The crater measures about a mile across and it's nearly 200 yards deep. It was
caused by a huge meteor of iron and nickel which hit the Earth at nearly 40,000
miles per hour. The meteor weighed 300,000 tons and was around 50 yards in diameter."
Two British passengers were listening to this, when one commented to the other
"that was lucky. It only just missed the motorway."
On one particular flight when the first officer
was at the controls, the aircraft had landed very roughly indeed. Unfortunately
for him, the policy of the airline concerned required him to stand by the door
while the passengers left, smile, and say "thank you for flying Airline X." Bearing
in mind his bad landing, he could scarcely look the passengers in the eye, thinking
that surely someone would bring up the landing goof. But no-one did. However as
the last passenger -an elderly gentleman walking with a Zimmer frame - drew level
with the first officer, he stopped. "Young man," he said, "I flew Spitfires in
the war. Can I ask you a question?" "Of course, sir," said the first officer.
"What is it?" "Well," continued the old veteran, "did we land or were we shot
"Your brochure says this hotel is only five minutes from the beach," shouted the
angry tourist to the receptionist. "It took me over half an hour to get there
this morning!" "Oh, you walked, did you?" replied the receptionist. "Sorry, but
we don't cater for pedestrians."
woman decided to take her young son on holiday to Canada, and they were on their
way to Toronto in a large jet plane. At one point the little lad had an urgent
call of nature, so his Mum took him to one of the Economy Class toilets, sent
him in, and said she would return for him in five minutes. As luck would have
it, the little boy finished early and decided to leave the toilet by himself,
to find his own way back to their seats. A businessman who had been waiting for
a while gratefully took his place. In the meantime, Mum wandered up to the toilet
door and shouted "are you OK, or do you want me to come in and help you do your
A surprised man's voice called back, "goodness me, what superb service."
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