The Pleasure of His Company

I HATE TO FLY. But since I fly a lot, I have developed several techniques to steel myself against the cramped seating, the stale air, and the terrors of turbulence. Escapist reading material and a tape player with a headset do nicely. The overall desired effect is to implode into myself until I get off the plane. For this reason I rarely engage in conversation in flight. Besides, the effort involved in looking at a seatmate gives me a crick in my neck. If I want to ward off a gregarious fellow traveler, I open my Bible in my lap.

Such was my mood as I sat awaiting a flight in the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. So I was dimly aware of the well-dressed couple standing in front of me. Each was shouldering a large leather attache bag, fumbling with papers and tickets inside and chattering to the other. I guessed them to be attorneys. Maybe it was the tasseled loafers the man was wearing.

In the middle of the conversation, a strange thing happened. The woman puckered her lips ...

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