Friday, May 19, 2006

Freaks on a Plane

I had to go the Washington this afternoon. I am amazed that American flies as many aging regional jets as it does. These little planes are really close quarters. The whole time I had my notebook open, I was worried that the guy in front of me would lean back and crush my display. Why is it that airplane seat backs are so perfectly designed to catch a display in the cavity where the tray table stows? It seems almost intentional.

Across the aisle was a plain enough, slightly geeky looking guy with an iPod and a notebook stuffed in the magazine pocket. I am pretty sure that is a violation of some FAA rule. Shortly into the flight, I noticed that he had a large stack of 3 x 5 cards in front of him. These cards were printed with a reproduction of the cover of the business book of the moment, Freakonomics. I have not read this book. I tend to avoid anything written by anyone who describes themselves as a rogue. I tend to think "rogue" is an adjective to be applied by others.

Soon, my aislemate pulled a blue Sharpie from an envelope and started signing the cards; one after another after another. The guy was signing "Steven Levitt," although the signature tails off at the end and is pretty illegible. His co-author, Stephen Dubner, had already signed each card.

I wanted to strike up a conversation but figured he was busy. Also, I am pretty sure he did not need to talk to a guy's whose best comment would be, "Congratulations on the book, which I have not read." In fact, my closest contact with the book was hearing a talk by a well regarded NY political consultant (whose name escapes me) who called it the "stupidest book of the year." But, I have no basis on which to judge it. So, I left him alone and did my own work.

Which brings me to Samuel L. Jackson. Why, you ask. Because all day I have been saying something very close to "We got mother-lovin' freaks on this plane." If you have to ask, visit here and then here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The very name of this new movie makes me wanna see it.