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I WAS flying from San Francisco to Los Angeles. By the time we took off, there had been a 45-minute delay and
everybody on board was ticked. Unexpectedly, we stopped in Sacramento on the way. The flight attendant explained
that there would be another 45-minute delay, and if we wanted to get off the aircraft, we would reboard in 30 minutes.
Everybody got off the plane except one gentleman who was blind. I noticed him as I walked by and could tell he had
flown before because his Seeing Eye dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of him throughout the entire flight I
could also tell he had flown this very flight before because the pilot approached him and, calling him by name, said,
"Keith, we're in Sacramento for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?" Keith replied, "No
thanks, but maybe my dog would like to stretch his legs."
Picture this: All the people in the gate area came to a completely quiet standstill when they looked up and saw the
pilot walk off the plane with the Seeing Eye dog! The pilot was even wearing sunglasses. People scattered. They not
only tried to change planes, they also were trying to change airlines!
MY SISTER adopted a scraggly black puppy just before she was to catch a flight from Kansas to Florida. She made
special arrangements with the airline to take her new pet on the plane. At the airport my sister prepared to board,
carrying the puppy in a case tucked under her arm. To the amusement of fellow travelers, she was wearing a T-shirt that
"Dear Auntie Em,
Hate the farm
Hate Kansas
Taking the dog
TIRING of the inconvenience of the drive from airport to country cottage, a man equipped his small plane with
pontoons so he could land on the lake directly in front of his cottage. On his next trip, he made his approach down the
airport runway as usual. Alarmed, his wife cried out, "Are you crazy? You can't land this plane here without wheels!"
The startled husband abruptly yanked the nose up, narrowly averting certain disaster. Continuing, he landed the plane
on the lake without mishap. As he sat there, visibly shaken he said to his wife, "I don't know what got into me. That's the
stupidest thing I've ever done in my life!" And with that, he opened the door and stepped out, falling into the water.
MY NIECE, a business executive, booked an early flight to Dallas to attend a 9 a.m. meeting. After takeoff, the plane
was diverted to Lubbock to pick up passengers stranded by weather the night before. Outraged, my niece protested that
she would be late for a very important meeting.
"MY dear," the elderly woman next to her asked with concern, "are you really going to a big meeting?"
"Yes, I am," my niece replied, still seething.
"Well, then, I'd better tell you," said her seat mate. "You have your sweater on wrong-side out."
THE departure check-in area of our local airport is kept pleasantly quiet, and even the Salvation Army volunteer found
that her familiar bells weren't allowed. As a result, she attracted very little attention during her first day's duty. The
following day, her business was brisk as she waved two signs in the air. One read "DING," the other "DONG."
I WAS flying home to spend Christmas with my parents, my suitcase stuffed with gifts. As it bumped down the baggage
ramp, it half opened and my tooth-brush fell out. I hastily retrieved my suitcase but couldn't catch up with the
toothbrush. As it continued around the baggage carrousel I overheard a passenger say, "My, that person travels light."
ON A cross-country flight I tried a technique a friend had recommended for controlling fear. I asked the flight attendant
for a magazine, some paper and a pencil, and proceeded to copy the words on each page of the magazine. It was
tedious, but effectively distracting. Several articles later, the attendant approached me. "I admire your thrift," she said.
"But please, just keep the magazine -- compliments of the airline."
WE WERE changing planes at Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport and found ourselves coping with long distances between
gates. Gratefully we headed towards a moving sidewalk. As we were about to step onto it, a grizzled gent in a cowboy
hat and boots approached. Wearily shifting the two bulky bags he was toting, he asked, "Can you tell me if this sidewalk
goes to Houston?"
I WAS about to take my first airplane trip and expressed my anxieties about flying to the ticket agent, who reassured me
by quoting safety statistics. Feeling a little better, I took his suggestion and chose a window seat. Then the agent
handed me my ticket. "Now take this to Gate 22," he said with a solemn face. "That's where we hand out the helmets,
scarves, goggles and parachutes."
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