Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Linus May Have Been On to Something

In the immortal words of Linus Van Pelt: "I love mankind. It's PEOPLE I can't stand!"

Linus Van Pelt - that blanket-trailing, thumb-sucking, font of pre-school wisdom, from the beloved Charles Schulz comic strip Peanuts.

Linus was wise beyond his years.

Dispensing advice to his long-suffering friend, Charlie Brown, Linus always knew the right thing to say. Whether it was a problem with women (in the person of Peppermint Patty), whether Charlie Brown should trust Lucy, (Linus' sister) to not pull the football away when he tried to kick it, or the deeper, esoteric questions about the nature of Man's existence, Linus had the answer.

C'mon, admit it. You choked up during Linus' soliloquy about the True Meaning of Christmas, in the holiday classic A Charlie Brown Christmas.

No? And you didn't cry during Old Yeller, either. Yeah, right.

It's hard to believe it's been nearly 43 years since A Charlie Brown Christmas first aired.

Since it's debut, the debate over Christmas has changed. It's no longer whether the holiday is too commercialized, but whether the expression "Happy Holidays," or "Merry Christmas" should be used in the marketplace.

Just to be clear where he stands in this debate, during the holiday season, The Flying Curmudgeon is proud to greet his passengers with a hearty "Merry Christmas!"

In his travels, TFC comes into contact with people from all walks of life. Poor people, rich people, the famous and not-so-famous. The overwhelming number conduct themselves with decency and respect.

Occasionally, he has a person get on his aircraft like the "gentleman" who came onboard the other day.

"Did you get over your being drunk last night," he asked TFC upon boarding the aircraft.

"Excuse me, sir? What did you say?"

He repeated, "I said, did you get over being drunk last night?"

Incredulous, TFC responded, "Sir, if you would like to fly to (our destination that day), I would suggest you not say that again."

At that, the man didn't say anything else and proceeded back to his seat. Had he pushed the issue, TFC may have had to delay the flight, in order to have an FAA mandated urinalysis, to prove his sobriety to perform his duties.

It's amazing how presumptuous people have become these days.

Before TFC became a pilot, he would have never dreamed of saying something like this to the captain of a commercial flight he was boarding.

Unfortunately, thanks to the past actions of an irresponsible few, from time to time, the rest of us have to deal with the occasional smart aleck like the man above.

When it comes to folks like him, Linus may have been on to something.


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