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“Folks,” the captain said, “we’re havin’ jus’ a liddle problem with the public address system in the back of the plane. Bear with us for just a few minutes while the fellas from maintenance take a look. But don’t worry. They’re tellin’ us we’ll have a good tailwind today, so we should still get you to Boston on time.” “A few minutes” turned into half an hour. Then another half an hour. When people began asking why we needed a public address system in the back of the plan in the first place, a stewardess (stewardperson?) replied, not very soothingly, that she had to be able to reach the captain if a fire broke out in one of the aft restrooms. After two hours the captain announced that the flight had been cancelled.
Feeling sorry for myself as I sit in the airport, waiting to get rebooked, I sent a text just now to Dr. Savage, entrepreneur, man of the world–he just attended some sort of high tech conference in the unlikely location of Buckingham Palace–and avid pilot. His reply: