Wearing High Heels on an Evacuation Slide

It was ironic, as most things tend to be, that right before taking off for the flight, Frieda Sempkin, for the first time in years, decided to fuck with reading the emergency guidelines manual. Visually presented on a single insert in the pocket of the seat in front of her, she pulled it out as a result of vacant curiosity. Mild boredom. How calm, happy even, every illustrated passenger and flight attendant looked as they proceeded to go down the inflatable slide designed to accommodate such emergencies as crash landing in a massive body of water. How “fun” it all looked, like some sort of thrill ride (on a side note, the nature of such emergency situations gave a person the right to push any slow-moving or skittish passengers down the slide to keep things moving “at a steady clip”). 

As Frieda continued scanning the instructions while more passengers filed in like reluctant zombies, her memory was shockingly refreshed with regard to how, if one should happen to be wearing high heels as they were about to embark upon the slide, that person (presumably, but not necessarily, a woman) would be required to remove those heels before continuing down the slide so as to evade puncturing the vinyl and/or nylon surface. And, wouldn’t Frieda know it, she was wearing among her highest, pointiest stilettos for the journey. Departing from Berlin and set to arrive in London, Frieda’s tendency was always to wear heels of some sort (whether boots, chunky heels, stacked heels, spool heels—the entire smorgasbord), she had opted for such especially glamorous ones because she knew she was being picked up at the airport by a man she hadn’t seen in a couple years. An “old friend” that she had stayed in constant contact with, and who she had always wanted to be something more. 

Frieda was hoping that, at last, on this trip, she would be able to make him see that they had been wasting time trying to seek romance with other people, for he had just broken up with yet another woman in a seemingly endless series. So, in short, the high heels she had selected to complement her ensemble were essential to her future happiness. In establishing an immediate impression upon David about how effortlessly “chic” and “sexy” she was, even while traveling. That she could “stay hot” in even the dreariest of conditions.

To perfect the rest of her look, she opted to don an oxblood red button-front shirt dress with a navy belt that cinched her waist seamlessly, so as to accentuate the curves of her shape. The stilettos were black with red bottoms (but not Christian Louboutin). As she stared at herself in the full-length mirror before leaving for the airport, she felt like she had mastered the exact aesthetic she was aiming for in cultivating her first re-encounter with David at Heathrow, and she would be damned if any airplane regulations were going to prevent her from sustaining the effect she intended to have on the man of her dreams. 

This was not only what she thought while skimming the manual, but also as the flight attendant proceeded to give his demonstration about proper protocol while the plane prepared for takeoff. Despite having gone through this rigmarole over and over again in her lifetime, all at once, Frieda had a horrendous premonition of the plane crashing somewhere over the English Channel, and how she would be forced to remove her shoes to evacuate. Which meant that when the reporters showed up to film the survivors for their money shot news clip, she would look little better than a barefoot peasant—her entire outfit ruined, rendered irrelevant without the heels. Her heel-less image would be forever immortalized not just to the world, but to David himself. She couldn’t bear the thought… and that’s when she proceeded to remove her seatbelt and tried frantically to get off the plane as it was already taxiing. 

Needless to say, it was to no avail, and she was strapped right back in with marked disdain by the same flight attendant who had taught them how to put their seatbelts on “properly.” As if they didn’t already fucking know. But goddamn, even something as supposedly “freeing” as travel had to be paternalistic. With her wrists presently in restraints, Frieda’s hands were now quite literally tied. There was nothing she could do to stop them from forcing her to take her heels off if they crashed. Why, oh why didn’t she just drive there? She could have made a little mini-break out of it, stopping off at places she had always wanted to see… like Antwerp? But it was too late now, and Frieda was absolutely certain that the plane was going to crash precisely because she didn’t want to remove her heels under any circumstances, even emergency ones. Some might call that grossly narcissistic, while others know that the universe is constantly conspiring to work against people through no fault of their own other than wanting what, for whatever reason the universe decided, they can’t have. 

About forty-five minutes into the flight, the universe had, indeed, made its decision. Although the plane wasn’t yet over the English Channel, the crash that ensued somewhere over bumfuck-nowhere Belgium (a large portion of the country constituting such a classification) was enough to warrant deploying the slide for evacuation purposes. The flurry of panic and chaos that followed was perhaps only ever witnessed at American Black Friday sales, or American school shootings. And as she watched everyone defect from the plane in their “smart” (read: hideous) flats, she continued to sit in her seat even though the flight attendant had been “so kind” as to remove her restraints so that she could not only take off her heels, but get out of the plane more easily. Well she wouldn’t. Refused. She’d rather die fashionably—held in David and everyone else’s memory as someone beautiful and stylish—than live with anyone having the vision of her looking so gauche. 

Unfortunately, the two flight attendants remaining on the plane did not agree with her sentiments as they proceeded to forcibly drag her toward the exit. And, as one of them held her arms behind her back, the other tried to take her heels off. But she was craftier than they were, squirming and kicking violently until breaking free. With nowhere else to run but the slide, she hopped right on, her heels making contact with a direct hit that ruptured the erstwhile escape route. But no matter, it wasn’t as though they had landed on a body of water and she would end up “marooned.” Help would come sooner rather than later. And, even in spite of the broken legs she incurred after landing so brutally without the slide’s aid, at least they remained outfitted in the heels that could still make David cum on command—if he happened to visit her at the hospital.  

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