A pair of items on Airline Travel
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 97 19:19:02 -0700
Subject: A pair of items on Airline Travel
Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: "Keith E. Sullivan" <KSullivan@worldnet.att.net>
Sitting in the first row of coach class during a lengthy flight, my wife
and I were able to hear a flight attendant as he pushed a wine cart down
the aisle in the first-class section. "Would you care for chardonnary or
burgundy?" he asked the high-paying passengers.
A few minutes later the attendant opened the curtain between the two
sections, offered wine to one final first-class patron, then wheeled the
same cart forward to our aisle. "Excuse me," he said, looking down on at
us, "would you care for a glass of wine? We have white and red."
William V. Copeland
THE PECKING ORDER AMONG FLYING CHICKENS
By Bill Hall, Lewiston, Idaho, Tribune, March 16, 1992
It's called a pecking order among chickens and also among flying humans.
Chickens allegedly peck on their lesser comrades. If you're the biggest,
strongest rooster in the flock, you nail anybody who gets in your way by
pecking him with your hard, bony beak.
But people who fly also look down on each other. I learned that the hard
way while visiting Lewiston International Airport. The patrons of
airports lord it over each other on the basis of how exotic their
destinations are. Of course, a human pecking order doesn't involve actual
pecking. And a good thing, too, because we aren't built for it. After
all, what is pecking? It is bashing your pointed face into another bird
hard enough to hurt him. No wonder chickens are so stupid. Their brains
are rattled from constantly bashing their faces against those they imagine
to be inferior.
Kind of like human bigots. Except bigots tend to reverse the pecking
order of chickens. And let's be brutally frank about this: Bigots are
not generally the brightest members of the human race. In fact, it is
mostly the dumbest white people who think they're better than other
At least there is some correlation between the pecking order of chickens
and actual superiority. For instance, the bigger the chicken, the more
likely he is to be at the top of the pecking order. At least he has more
of something, even if it's only chicken fat.
But it is impossible to say whether it is the smartest or the dumbest
chickens who peck on their own kind because the difference between the
brightest chicken and the dumbest one is the approximate difference in
intelligence between a rock and a brick.
But among humans, the pecking order is based on how far a person flies.
And the odd part of all this is that humans have evolved to the point
where they can now fly, whereas chickens actual birds have evolved (or
deteriorated) to the point where they can't fly more than a few feet.
Neither can I of late and that's what the pecking order was all about at
the airport the other day.
I encountered a friend standing in line waiting to check in at an airline
"Where are you headed?" I asked.
"London," she said casually.
"Oh," I said, feeling provincial.
Meanwhile, another friend had entered the line in time to hear the London
"Where are you headed?" I asked.
"Missoula," she said, glancing toward our friend the London passenger and
looking a little embarrassed. After all, Missoula is a lovely city, but
it ain't London. In fact, it's a lot like Lewiston when it comes to
I tried to quit while I was ahead. But the friend I had just humiliated
by establishing that she was flying merely to Missoula instead of London
owed me one. She took a shot in the dark.
"Where are you headed?" she asked, a nasty smirk forming on her beak.
"Well, nowhere ... today," I mumbled.
"You're not traveling any place at all?"
"Well, I thought I might go all the way across town tonight to that new
"Wow," she chortled as others in the flock laughed and shook their
pointy faces at me.
"But ... but I'm thinking about going to Paris one of these days," I
stammered, "or maybe Tokyo."
"Mister World Traveler," she scoffed. "But what are you doing today?"
"I'm here to meet my grandchildren," I said. "They're due in on the
"Oh," she said as others in the line averted their beaks and went back
to minding their own business.
"Do you have any grandchildren?" I asked, smirking triumphantly.
"Well, not really," she said, "but I am flying to Missoula."
"Wow," I chortled.
Some chickens should know better than to cross beaks with an old
© 1997 Peter Langston