Equality Air

by Mark C. Wallfisch

The perky young woman sitting next to me in the Economy cabin whispered to me, “I always try to toot my horn when I walk through First Class.”

“Excuse me. You what?”

“Try to toot my horn.”

I looked at her blankly.

“You know, let a breeze out the back door, play the o-ring oboe, release a squeaker . . .”

“You do what?”

“Break wind, pass gas . . .”

“Oh,” I half-smiled, never before having heard a confession to one’s intentional flatulence while walking past the more privileged passengers.

She gave me a devilish wink, enticing me into making this a conversation.

I cautiously complied, responding, “How’d you do today? I mean, were you successful? Did you let one loose?”

“Oh, god, yes, I even feel a little sorry for the poor shlubs who were walking behind me.”

“Those poor shlubs” I said, “were just passing through while you were passing gas. But the people actually sitting up there were trapped in your gas chamber.”

“Not my chamber. It’s theirs, bought (or rented) and paid for; they paid way more for their seats than we did for ours.”

“Is this class warfare?”

“Of course, but I’m only a pawn. The kings and queens started it. I didn’t divide the plane into classes. I only expressed my opinion about it. Really expressed my opinion.”

It didn’t take any more than those few lines for our conversation to run its course, and so the imaginative discussion of flatulence-based Marxism never found its full voice. Oh, and I didn’t tell my seat neighbor that, earlier that day, I had had a huge plate of beans for lunch. Economy and First Class were about to become much more equal.

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