light attendants occasionally try to make the in-flight safety lecture and other announcements a bit more entertaining.

Here are some real examples heard by or reported to Insider:

• "There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only four ways out of this plane," said a Southwest attendant during an arrival announcement.

• After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments, because after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."

• The captain really had a tough time during a final approach into Amarillo, Texas, on a windy day.

After an extremely hard landing, the flight attendant announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo. Please remain in your seats while the captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate."

• A pilot reported that he had "hammered" his plane into the runway really hard during a landing.

The airline's policy required the pilot to stand at the cockpit door while passengers exited, smile and thank the passengers for flying his airline.

In light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment.

Finally, everyone was off the plane -- except a little old lady with a cane.

"Sonny, mind if I ask you a question?" the little old lady asked.

"Why no, ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?"

"Did we land or were we shot down?"

Last-minute luck?

An Insider correspondent recently decided that he needed a last-minute economy motel room for a Friday night.

His destination was the Old Saybrook, Conn., shoreline, and just about every affordable (less than $90) chain property in the area was booked solid.

Man in shower.Because of the short lead time, it being a summer weekend and the low commission involved, he didn't want to bother a travel agent.

After about an hour on the phone and surfing the Web, Insider's correspondent found a unit for $85 at an independent motor inn along U.S. 1.

He booked it sight unseen after asking a few questions concerning the availability of a shower, air conditioning and the type of beds.

He had agreed to a nonrefundable credit card deposit to hold the room. Cancellation for any reason was not acceptable.

The check-in was uneventful. The first-floor unit assigned was large and clean with a cable-fed TV mounted on the wall. And the remote control hadn't been stolen.

Had our correspondent lucked out?

Alas #1. The air-conditioner compressor was broken, but the stay was salvaged with a move to a room a flight up, where it did work.

Alas #2. The remote control in this room was missing.

Alas #3. The bathroom had no shelf space and, even worse, there was one paper bathmat for two occupants.

What were they thinking? That the first person to bathe would stand on only half of the bathmat?

Our correspondent discovered a way around this -- an unused washcloth is about the equivalent of half a bathmat. And is far more absorbent.

Branson touts its gas

Gaspump.Insider just heard from the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce that not only are the shows affordable in the southwest Missouri community, but gasoline can be found there priced at $1.15 per gallon.

In New York, a gallon of regular gas costs about $1.65; in New Jersey, about $1.50.

Insider thinks travelers should rent a fuel truck in Branson, then fill it up for the return drive.

Why didn't the Branson chamber think of that?

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