Plane Math

I said that I would never
Set one foot inside a plane.
So how did they convince me?
I sure must have been insane.

The stewardess showed us how
To get out in a hurry.
She pointed out the life vests
Then I began to worry.

But she said planes were safer
Than traveling on a bus.
So why was she still up there
And still making such a fuss?

Then I heard a funny thump.
“Do you think a wing came off?”
The stewardess was nervous.
She was stifling a cough.

I turned and asked my neighbor,
“Are the props still going ’round?”
“It’s a jet”, my neighbor said,
“And we’re still not off the ground.”

We were all about to die
And my neighbor didn’t care.
Then came the time to panic.
We were up and in the air.

Things were going pretty well.
My heart had just settled down,
When the plane began to shake
And make a terrible sound.

Then I heard the awful words
And my new found coolness fled,
“It seems we’ve lost an engine.”
“We were gonna all be dead!”

“There’s just no need to worry,
‘Cause the plane is running great.
I’ll get us all there safely.
We’ll just be an hour late.”

But there weren’t three engines left,
‘Cause another up and quit.
Now was it time to worry?
Even just a little bit?

Once again the pilot’s voice
Over the loudspeaker said said.
“You’d not be any safer,
If you were at home in bed.

‘Cause we still have two engines
They’ll provide ample power.
But it will slow us down some.
We’ll lose another hour.”

Then the pilot spoke again,
And his voice had lost its glee.
“We have another problem.
We’ve lost engine number three.

Number four is running good
Everything is looking great.
And I guess you’ve done the math.
We will be three hours late.”

But I saw, when I looked out,
The pilot was a liar,
Because engine number four,
Had also caught on fire.

So I quickly did the math,
And said, “Isn’t that just great,
We’ve lost another engine.
Now we’ll be FOUR HOURS LATE!”

My friend Bill in Fort Worth, with whom I attended Texas A&M, sent me a joke and said that he thought that it would make a funny poem, thence Plane Math. He’s one of many friends who has insisted, from the first, that I put all of my poems together into a book.

I didn’t change his story too much and I did see the moral in it right away. We get so upset about the immediate problem that we are completely oblivious to the greater one.

Our passenger is proud of the fact that he was able to assess the problem and work out what was, to him, the obvious consequence.


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