It’s 4:23 a.m. where I sit, on the Left Coast, which makes it 7:23 where Mama and 3B are (and half-past a meter for you Brits). Although I miss Mama and 3B terribly, my insomnia is not due to their absence. Neither is it due to jet lag, since I’ve been here for the better part of five days. No, I’m awake now because I had this misfortune on the flight out here to sit next to Sniffly McSneezerson–aka, The Toxic Virus Atomizer, Meat Puppet of Death, or Typhoid Larry to friends.
Thanks to Sniffly, I’m now on an overnight flight that’s a code-share between Claritin and Sudafed. The Claritin is to ensure that allergies don’t add to my misery, and the Sudafed is to keep me from dehydrating through my nose. And while I’ve been up, I’ve composed a brief message for the Toxic Virus Atomizer:
If we’re going to survive as a species, we’re all going to have to get along on this little planet that we inhabit. To keep us from species self-annihilation, we’ve developed some rules of conduct during the course of human history. If you would like to prevent your own personal annihilation, you might want to review this following abridged list of behaviors that will keep your fellow travelers from drawing and quartering you and selling your entrails in the street for a pittance–or, at the very least, keep them from ramming red-hot pokers up your nose:
- Salad fork goes on the outside left.
- Turn signals are to be employed before you turn, every time you turn. They are not decorative items, meant only to balance the feng shui of your vehicle; they are meant to communicate your intentions to those driving around you who can’t bend spoons without touching them.
- Pestilence shall not be borne onto any airplane, particularly by anyone lacking basic hygiene skills, such as the ability to wash one’s hands, and who is repeatedly sneezing a fine mist filled with the Plague of 1,000 Aches without adequately enclosing their face with, say, a plastic bag for the duration of the flight.