I knew it would be a rough flight when I got a glimpse of the pilot—he’d missed a belt loop. Earlier, security had noticed something suspicious in my carry-on and sent it to be x-rayed again. Four guards convened and asked me what the black spot on my bag was. I could only guess. “A tumor?”
It turned out to be toothpaste.” They confiscated the 8-ounce tube because, as we all know, cleanliness is next to jihadliness. It’s a shame we can’t fight terrorism and cavities simultaneously.While sitting in my exit row window seat the flight attendant asked, “Are you willing to operate the emergency door in the unlikely event of a water landing?” “More than willing,” I said. “Doesn’t even have to be a water landing—be glad to do it anytime.”
Any idiot can volunteer for the exit row. A terrorist could sit by the emergency door, open it and cause an unlikely city landing–unless he gives himself away by packing Aquafresh.
As I’m contemplating all this, a well-fortified man plumps down into the middle seat. The walk down the aisle has worn him out. What’s he going to do in an emergency? Plug up a hole? As he sinks into his seat his arm invades our shared armrest, advancing into my territory. I feel like Poland in 1939. Where’s Churchill? I close my eyes and think of England.
Maybe he’ll fail the exit row interview. No such luck–he’s able to nod yes. Meanwhile, I can’t get him to move his arm. I try nudging. Nothing.
I’m thinking, “People like him are what’s wrong with America!” Then I catch myself: “Paul, Don’t condemn; look for the lesson. You need to speak up! Simply say, is it okay if we share the armrest?” I don’t. I just hate the sweaty bastard.
I have a cup of coffee, which makes me hyper then I crash. I have a dream: I’m playing basketball and the ball is coming toward me. My arms, not realizing it’s a dream, fly up to catch it. The armrest Nazi jerks his body away from me, glares at me as I try to explain: “I was catching the ball.”
He snarls, crosses his arms. So, I slide my elbow onto the armrest.
I learned a valuable lesson: follow your dreams.