ANN: A random woman
DEAN: A random guy
PASSENGERS ONE, TWO, AND THREE
A quiet airplane, with a few muttered conversations and a crying baby in the back.
Ann and Dean are sitting next to each other. Ann is gripping the armrests rather tightly and Dean is nonchalantly reading a newspaper.
CAPTAIN: (Ding.) (Over intercom.) Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. I have turned off the Fasten Seat Belt sign, and you may now move around the cabin. However, we always recommend keeping your seat belt fastened while you’re seated.
ANN: Good, that means we’re out of the turbulence. (She remains seated with her seatbelt fastened.) I hate flying. I hate being suspended thousands of feet in the air.
DEAN: (Noncommittal grunt.)
ANN: (Turning to Dean.) I’m Ann. What’s your name?
DEAN: (No response.)
ANN: (Clears throat.)
DEAN: Hm? Oh, Dean.
ANN: Is this your first time flying? This is my third time flying. Have you flown with this airline before? What’s your destination?
DEAN: I’m going the same place you’re going, lady.
ANN: (Nervous giggle.) Right. Sorry. I’m just never comfortable in airplanes and my mind always jumps to the worst possible conclusions and—
DEAN: Look, lady, these things are engineered not to fall out of the sky. Turbulence is natural. If you feel sick, ask for some ginger ale.
ANN: (Embarrassed quiet.) Okay. Sorry.
DEAN: (Goes back to his newspaper.)
(A moment of thick silence passes.)
DEAN: (Sighs and puts the newspaper down.) Do you want to play cards or something to take your mind off it?
ANN: (Relieved.) Yes, please.
DEAN: (Pulls out a deck of cards and deals the beginning of Gin Rummy.) So what are you going to do when we land?
ANN: I’m visiting family here. My sister just had a baby. How about you?
DEAN: Same. Not the baby part—I’m visiting family to… sort some things out. I—
(The airplane shakes rather violently.)
ANN: What was that?!
CAPTAIN: (Ding.) (Over intercom.) Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. I have turned on the fasten seat belt sign. We are now crossing a zone of turbulence. Please return your seats and keep your seat belts fastened. Thank you.
Flight attendants/Cabin crew, please be seated.
ANN: Oh no. Oh no no.
DEAN: I’m sure it will be fine. It’s your turn.
ANN: (Shakily resumes playing.)
(The plane shakes again.)
CAPTAIN: (Ding.) (Over intercom, sounding a little hysterical.) Ladies and gentlemen, we are currently experiencing some mechanical difficulty. Please remain seated. It will be sorted shortly.
(Panicked whispers are heard around the airplane.)
ANN: Mechanical difficulty? That’s not normal!
DEAN: I’m sure they have it under control—
ANN: (Increasingly panicked.) I have things I want to do with my life! I can’t die today!
DEAN: I’m sure we’re not—
(Plane continues shaking.)
ANN: I have to meet my nephew! I want to buy an apartment in the city and freelance as an artist! I want to get married and live happily ever after!
DEAN: Calm down—
ANN: Will you marry me?!
DEAN: (Startled.) I… what?
ANN: I want to do at least one of those things before I die. Will you marry me?
DEAN: You… I…
(Plane shakes again, some luggage falls from the overhead compartments.)
PASSENGER ONE: Oh my god, we’re going down!
ANN: (Stands up and yells out.) Is there a priest or minister on board?
PASSENGER TWO: Isn’t it a little late to be looking for salvation now?
PASSENGER THREE: Sit down, lady! You’re going to hurt yourself!
MINISTER: (Sitting in the row behind Ann and Dean.) I’m an ordained minister.
ANN: (Sits down.) Can you marry us?
MINISTER: Well, um, I, uh, I suppose so. Have you done all the premarital counseling?
ANN: (Turns to Dean.) Are you good at communicating?
DEAN: I, um, I guess so?
ANN: We’ll work on it. Do you have any exes I should know about?
DEAN: Well, no, but—
ANN: How many kids do you want?
DEAN: Is that question really relevant now?
ANN: Good point. (Turns back to the minister.) Yes.
MINISTER: All… right then. (Clears throat.) Dear, um, (looks around) fellow passengers, we are, intentionally or not, gathered here today to witness the union of…
ANN: Ann Meyers.
MINISTER: Ann Meyers and…
DEAN: Uh, Dean, uh, Dean Brown.
ANN: Your last name is Brown?
MINISTER: The haphazard union of Dean Brown and Ann Meyers. Through their… erm, minutes together, they have found love in a terrible situation, and have decided to spend the remainder of their lives together as husband and wife.
(Plane shakes again.)
ANN: Please hurry.
MINISTER: Dean, do you take Ann to be your lawfully wedded wife, until death do you part—if so, say I do?
ANN: (Beaming happily.)
MINISTER: Ann, do you take Dean to be your lawfully wedded husband, until death do you part—if so, say I do?
ANN: I do—oh! But we don’t have rings!
(Oxygen masks drop from their compartments.)
MINISTER: (Putting on an oxygen mask.) Dean, place an oxygen mask over Ann’s face and repeat after me—
DEAN: But in the airline safety outline, they tell you to put yours on before assisting others!
ANN: Dean! We don’t have time to argue!
DEAN: Oh, alright. (Pulls down an oxygen mask and places it over Ann’s nose and mouth.)
MINISTER: With this mask…
DEAN: With this mask…
MINISTER: I thee wed.
DEAN: I thee wed.
MINISTER: It is a symbol of my love for you and my wish for you to survive this event.
DEAN: It… is a symbol of my love for you and my wish for you to survive this event.
MINISTER: Ann, please place an oxygen mask over Dean’s face and repeat after me. With this mask, I thee wed.
ANN: With this mask, I thee wed.
MINSITER: It is a symbol of love, not of bondage, and of my wish for you to survive this event.
ANN: It is a symbol of love, not of bondage, and of my wish for you to survive this event.
MINISTER: You… may now kiss the bride.
(Ann and Dean pull off their just-affixed masks and meet in a passionate kiss.)
MINISTER: I now pronounce you man and wife, (turns to the other passengers) and now present to you Mr. and Mrs. Dean Brown.
(The passengers close enough to have been listening cheer, but the sound is mostly lost among the screams of other panicked passengers.)
ANN: (Sliding her mask back on.) Wow.
DEAN: Yeah, wow.
DEAN: Don’t mention it.
(Suddenly, the plane stops falling and straightens out.)
CAPTAIN: (Ding.) (Over intercom.) L-ladies and gentlemen, I am… pleased to inform you that certain death has been averted. We will be landing soon to change planes, and will be continuing on to your destination as soon as possible. Thank you for flying with us today, and we will keep you updated as things progress.
(All passengers cheer wildly.)
ANN: Oh. (Uneasy glance at Dean.)
DEAN: Now would probably be a bad time to tell you that I already have a wife.
(Ann stares at Dean for a few seconds.)
ANN: But you’re not wearing a ring.
DEAN: My fingers swell when I fly, so I took it off.
ANN: (Another pause.) Well, that’s alright. I’m Mormon.