Getting Even : Flying Entitlements
As a crowded airplane is about to take off, the peace is shattered by a
5-year-old boy who picks that moment to throw a wild temper tantrum. No
matter what his mother does to try to calm him down, the boy continues
to scream furiously and kick the seats around him.
From the rear of the plane, an elderly man in the uniform of an Air
Force General slowly walks up the aisle. Stopping the flustered mother
with an upraised hand, the soft-spoken General leans down and, motioning
toward his chest, whispers something into the boy's ear.
Instantly, the boy calms down, gently takes his mother's hand, and
quietly fastens his seat belt. All the other passengers burst into
As the General slowly makes his way back to his seat, one of the cabin
attendants touches his sleeve. "Excuse me, General," she asks quietly,
"but could I ask you what magic words you used on that little boy?"
The old man smiles and says, "I showed him my pilot's wings, service
stars, and battle ribbons, and explained that they entitle me to throw
one passenger out the plane door on any flight I choose."