In the wake of the tragic death of Luke Perry on Monday, celebrities and regular folk have been sharing anecdotes of their interactions with the famous actor. He appears to have been a genuinely decent human being who people loved to work with and be around. In one story shared by actor Colin Hanks via Instagram, fans also learned he had a pretty genius flying hack that we should all emulate. In fact, Luke Perry's trick to make kids happy on a plane is so good, you'll be wondering why you never thought of it.
In Hanks' post, shared shortly after Perry passed away, we learned that the actors only had occasion to meet one time, but that interaction left Hanks with a profound impression of Perry's creativity and character. He tells the story of a plane disrupted by children, weary from travel and of each other, screaming and fighting towards the end of a long ride. The parents had tried everything to no avail — nothing could stop the juggernaut of attitude that was happening. Out of first class came a man in hat and glasses, who proceeded to stop before the kids and pull balloons out of his pocket and blow them up. Handing the balloons to the children, they instantly calmed, and the flight was saved. Hanks later figured out that the man was Luke Perry, and they would chat about the industry. Hanks recalls being blown away by both the gesture, and the actor's kindness.
Perry would go on to tell Hanks that he always carried balloons on planes with him in the event that such an incident occurred. What a simple idea with such lovely results. We've all been there, whether it's on a plane, bus, train, or even just a public event where a disruption could cause tempers to flare and people to begin to behave poorly. We've heard of parents giving out goodie bags to the passengers surrounding their seats when they're traveling with a baby. and as parents, we do everything we can to keep the peace when we're out with our children, even if it can feel a little like the trials of Odysseus.
Traveling is hard on children. It's a confined environment with little room for their wiggly bodies to move, and they're expected to be quiet and reserved for the duration of the trip, no matter how long that may be. It goes completely against the active and expressive nature of childhood. The interruption of Perry into the battle between the brothers provided just enough disruption and distraction to allow the children to recenter themselves, and take their minds off whatever was ailing them.
If you think about it, Luke Perry's trick to make kids happy on a plane is something we could all emulate, both with our own children, and also in support of other parents. Personally, when I'm on a trip, I like to stuff my purse full of things like scratch-off art sheets and extra stylus tools. They're different enough from coloring books and crayons that they can usually be counted on to make kids happy for a few minutes. It's the novelty of it. I am also a huge fan of super sour candy and loom kits. Essentially, anything that isn't something they'd usually do at home, because those aren't always the best distractions from the drudgery of travel.
Whether it's balloons, sour candy, or scratch art, is inconsequential. What matters is that a stranger had the forethought and experience to do something kind for someone else, and in turn, it improved the flight for all aboard. That is something we can all get behind.