Watching “Airplane!” for the very first time was an emotional experience for me. It was the first time in my life when I realized there were other people whose inner thoughts were just as strange as mine.
All at once, I didn’t feel so alone in the world.
It was the Christmas break of my sophomore year. I was home from Tuscaloosa, where I was a student at the University of Alabama. I had been away from home in the college world for long enough to be disappointed to realize that college students weren’t much different from the kids I’d gone to high school with. I was feeling a little lost in the world to realize I hadn’t really found “my people” in college.
I was bored and restless when I flipped on the television that afternoon. As I flipped through channels, I came across a movie that was just starting. I saw clouds and then I heard the melody of the theme from “Jaws.” There was the tail fin of an airplane instead of a shark.
The airplane dramatically burst onto the screen and I burst out laughing. This felt like humor from a kindred spirit. The next 90 minutes would change me.