Airman's Odyssey by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

By Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Three vintage event tales, reminders of either the romance and the truth of the pioneer period of aviation: evening Flight; Wind, Sand and Stars; and Flight to Arras. advent via Richard Bach. Translated through Lewis Galantière and Stuart Gilbert.

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At holidays, Eric sits at the table, his arms folded across his chest, holding forth on the big issues of the day. He’ll talk about the historical precedents for John Ashcroft’s crusade or dissect the psychology of investing in a 401k. He says everything with such confidence, we all just nod our heads, taking mental notes for some imaginary quiz. I hate that feeling. I want to be the one giving the lecture. Or at the least, I want to be the one who knows enough to heckle Eric. And that’s not to mention another humiliation: games.

So I’ve officially passed you,” I say to my dad, as we take out the holiday detritus. ” he asks. “I was just reading about broccoli. ” My dad nods his head. “I’ve got a good fact for you,” says my dad. ” “Yes. ” My dad tells me that he has calculated the speed of light in fathoms per fortnight so that he can be the only person in the world who knows that particular piece of information. 98 x 1014” he says. “Wow. ” My tone is definitely snappish, aggressive. My dad looks a little hurt. I’m not sure why I said it the way I did—I guess I felt he’d one-upped me—but it wasn’t in the holiday spirit, that’s for sure.

The encyclopedia is giving me lots of good ideas. bearbaiting A popular form of entertainment in 16th-century England. A bear was tied to a stake, and trained dogs were set upon it. Other variations included a bull tied to a stake and a pony with an ape tied to his back. Sounds like Fox has itself a new TV show! bedlam My growing collection of facts keeps overlapping with my life. I knew it would happen, but I’m surprised at the frequency. Several times an hour, a little internal “ding” goes off in my mind.

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