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Friendly skies

Yesterday on an airplane I was seated next to a man who wanted to talk. Apparently he also wanted me to hurt him.

At first the conversation was innocuous, but then he started to rail about his ex-girlfriend. I conspicuously brandished my wedding ring.

And then he complained about being sent on a business trip to Florida, "where there's the highest concentration of AIDS in the country — I was afraid to get out of my car." I asked him whether getting out of his car really required the use of his penis, his anus, or his mouth, then instructed him, friendly-like, about the normal vectors of HIV transmission.

And then he told me about his ex-wife and why he divorced her: "She lost two babies, and it changed her. She just wasn't the same person I'd married after that."

Realizing there was simply no way, in our cramped coach-class row, for me to deliver the roundhouse cockslap he deserved, I stood up, gesticulated wildly at my seatmate, and bellowed, "There's a terrorist on the plane!" And enjoyed my ringside seat for the savage beating that ensued.