Always a Silver Lining

I haven’t posted much for the last few days because I have been very busy at work. At the moment, I am busily flying to Houston–on board a crummy little commuter plane that took off an hour late, jammed in cheek by jowl with my fellow passengers. I was in a surly mood because of the delay, made doubly so by the cramped, uncomfortable airplane that Delta chose for the three-hour flight: a “regional” aircraft, the first time I knew that Minneapolis and Houston are in the same region.

I thought the only thing that would improve my mood was a double Scotch and soda. That would be equal to around six months’ normal Scotch consumption for me, but I figured the time was right. So I ordered a double. The flight attendant gave me one, and bent over to whisper that the plane’s machine for taking credit cards is broken. Good news: the drink is free. Bad news: they will only give me one.

It has been that kind of day. A one-Scotch, two-peanut dinner fits right in. There is, however, a massive silver lining: I do not have to–indeed, cannot–listen to President Obama’s speech tonight. I will not have to hear Obama explain why his own series of miscues and his Secretary of State’s gaffe were really strokes of diplomatic brilliance that have combined to prevent war in the Middle East.

Well, sort of. That is, the war that was already going on will continue. But Obama, through the brilliant stratagem of threatening cruise missile attacks, has now–via Vladimir Putin’s deus ex machina–rendered cruise missile attacks unnecessary! Unless, of course, you actually wanted to punish Assad’s mass murder using chemical weapons, or impact the course of the civil war, or achieve some geopolitical advantage. In which case the administration is left looking rather silly. But if you assume the administration blundered ineptly into the Syria crisis and was looking for nothing but a way out, then–gold stars all around! Another triumph of “smart diplomacy”!

If I can miss all of that at the cost of a fellow passenger’s rear end in my face while he waits in line for the lavatory at 35,000 feet, I am way ahead on the deal.


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