O Captain, My Captain

               A friend stopped Lisa and me during our morning walk. “Are you running for office? Need my vote?” “No,” I told him. “I saw that yard sign too, but it’s some other guy.” I figure this other David Smith needs all the help he can get, and the more I can let voters know it’s not me, that can only boost his candidacy. Smith? That lame-brain flunked me in calculus! I hope he drowns in the reservoir.

            But it reminded me of a flight years ago where I’d spoken at some church and was just landing back at LAX. I still had on my suit, was seated in, like, Row 3, but my carry-on was way in the back of the plane. So I got up to stretch my legs and wait for everyone to disembark. Sigh.

            A nice lady with two kids eyed my suit, and then gave a little wave. “Thank you.”

            “Oh,” I said, startled. “I’m not the pilot.”

            “Oops.” She grinned and passed by.

            Twenty seconds later another passenger nodded appreciatively. “Good you got us home on time. Thanks.”

            “Um, I’m not . . . I just had a speaking appointment.”

            By now I figured it was no use. When a third weary flier thanked me for the flight, I decided to roll with it. “Sure. Thanks for flying with us.” She didn’t bat an eye.

            Soon I was really getting into it, bowing and scraping and offering to autograph people’s luggage claim stubs. “Yes, thanks so much.” “Glad to have you with us here in the friendly skies.” (This was Southwest.) “I’m telling you, that was some heavy turbulence up there.” “It’s a big old bird but we brought her down okay, I think.”

            I waved to one of the flight attendants. “Well, I’m off to Maui. See you ladies again soon.” I turned to the remaining passengers. “Anybody need cocktail coupons for your next flight? Frequent-flyer application forms? Want to see the cockpit? Take a spin around Griffith Observatory?”

            Two security guards showed up in the jetway and a passenger pointed right at me. “I was just kidding around,” I managed feebly. “David E. Smith. Running for Water District.”

About David B. Smith

I'm a math professor at San Bernardino Valley College - awesome place! - and author of adult Christian fiction. Lisa and I have two grown daughters and four grandkids.
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