Friday, February 8, 2008


“Excuse me, sir, I would like to fly a plane to an island off the coast of South America, please,” said Mischa to the first uniformed person he saw at the airport.

“I’m just a janitor; I don’t have the authority to give planes to people impersonating pilots,” said the man. “Try the security guard.”

“Thank you, Comrade!” replied Mischa.

He ran over to the security guard the janitor had been pointing to, Rupert close behind. Rupert grabbed Mischa by the shoulder right before they reached him.

“You’d better let me do the talking. I’m better at it than you are,” he said.

“Good thinking, Comrade. I will wait beside you quietly,” responded Mischa.

“Sir,” said Rupert to the guard, “my friend and I are impersonating pilots, and we want to fly a plane to an island off the coast of South America. Can you help us?”

“Yeah, sure.”

One hour later, they sat in the cockpit of an airliner, preparing to take it to the remote island containing the volcano in which they’d find the stem cell research clinic they so desperately sought.

But then, about a minute before takeoff, Mischa realized a fatal error in his plan: he didn’t know how to fly a plane. Mischa had just assumed he could fly planes well.

Luckily, it turned out he could. Within a few hours of takeoff, they were well on their way to that nameless island.

“I sure hope that island has an airport,” said Mischa, the thought just having struck him. “If not, we will have nowhere to land!”

“Don’t worry about it,” reassured Rupert. “If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s finding airports in places they may or may not exist. Not a skill I use often, but when I do, the results are spectacular.”

“Oh, good,” said Mischa, placated. “Would you like to fly for a while?”


Unbeknownst to the two travelers, this plane had some passengers who weren’t very amenable to the notion of being hijacked. Well, just one. He was actually the only passenger, and he was none other than –

“Captain Arousing! What are you doing here?” demanded Mischa as Captain Arousing burst into the cockpit.

“After you killed me, I swore revenge,” said the captain. “I’ve been following you this whole time, waiting for the opportunity to strike.”

“Oh, I see,” said Mischa. “So…is this that opportunity?”

“No, not yet. Now I’m just saying hey. All right, I’ll be back in the plane if you need me,” said Captain Arousing, turning around.

Suddenly, Rupert interjected, “Wait a minute: if you’re dead, how come you’re so alive? That doesn’t make sense at all!”

“You got that right!” agreed Captain Arousing.

He departed, leaving Mischa and Rupert almost as perplexed as when they first met the talking purple mountain. Not quite though. More hours passed.

“You killed someone?” asked Rupert. “That’s pretty impressive. I never would’ve considered you manly enough to kill somebody. On the other hand, he did come back to life, or something, so you didn’t really do a good job.”

“I did not want to kill him, Comrade. My companions at the time forced me to in order to prove that I was loyal,” answered Mischa. “Ironically enough, they are the ones against whom we will be fighting in that great battle.”

“What was that?” asked Rupert. “I wasn’t paying attention; you never say anything interesting, so I’ve developed a habit of tuning you out whenever you start talking.”

“Oh,” replied Mischa, hurt. “Well I guess it isn’t important then.”

They flew on in silence for a while, Mischa too scared of saying anything to offend his friend, and Rupert too scared of making Mischa think they were really friends. Finally, Rupert spotted something out the window.

“Hey!” he cried. “There’s a volcano!”

“Is it active, Comrade?” inquired Mischa.

“Well, it’s pretty hard to – ah look, it’s erupting! I think that answers your question. Come on, let’s land at that airport I suddenly see.”

No comments: