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I could tell you stories ...

Having spent time struggling to make a living in the transportation business (a decided challenge for anyone who has tried), I have a vast collection of travel tales. Although most folk find them amusing, it's hard for me to rate them properly, as they're true and therefore cross the "humorless" line once you've lived through them.

One "highpoint," if it can be properly so called, was a certain flight on British Airway's Concorde from London to Washington a number of years ago. Travel on the Concorde is fast, which is why people put up with it. The trips are outrageously expensive and the planes seat around 100 people. Hence they aren't exactly luxurious...they're downright cramped. I was squeezed in the back of the plane, in the middle of the smoking section (back in the days when that was an issue).

On this particular trip the pilot was chatty. The flight took an extensive delay on the tarmac at Heathrow, owing, as the pilot explained, to a computer problem which was causing problems with finalizing the weight calculation, and which they were resolving by performing the math by hand. For some reason, whether my limited confidence in the fellow's algebraic skills or something else I've forgotten, the idiocy of modern society finally caught up with me at that moment.

"Here I am," I thought, "stuck on the fringe of London's major airport, with my life about to hang on the pencil scribblings of some fellow I've never met, huddled together in a hollow tube with 100 other souls, each of whom paid thousands of dollars for the privilege, surrounded by thousands of gallons of kerosene, and about to fly at 60,000 feet above the surface of the earth at twice the speed of sound ... and in a few minutes people will start lighting cigarettes."

Have a great flight,


BTW: Today's tale (found below) is about as true to life as they get.

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When the young woman arrived at the airline counter, she was immediately impressed by the lovely Christmas decorations. Looking up, she saw that passengers engaged in the act of checking their bags were standing directly under mistletoe ... doubtless so they could kiss those bags goodbye.

As she presented her ticket to the agent, the woman remarked,

"I'd like you to send my green suitcase to Hawaii, and my red suitcase to London."

The confused agent replied,

"I'm sorry, we can't to that."

"I am so relieved to hear you say that," continued the traveler, "as that's what happened last year ..."

----------------A Final Thought ...

"If a foreign country doesn’t look like a middle-class suburb of Dallas or Detroit, then obviously the natives must be dangerous as well as badly dressed."

- Lewis H. Lapham (b. 1935), US writer, editor