“Is this seat taken, young man?”

“Nobody! I’m nobody! I mean, uhh… no! Please, be my guest.”

“Why thank you, dear. Did you want the aisle seat?”

“Sorry lady, but I need the window seat. Gotta keep an eye out for the pigs.”

“Pigs, dear?”

“What I mean is, umm… farms. Yeah, that’s it. I like to look down at all the farms. Pigs, cows, horses. Can’t get enough of ’em.”

“Oh. And I see you’ve brought along your bowling ball? I didn’t know they allowed those as a carry-on.”

“Huh? What are you— Oh, you mean this in my lap. Yeah, it my… lucky bowling ball. They uhh… made me chain it to my leg so it wouldn’t roll around.”

“Well that’s surprisingly responsible of the airlines.”

“You said it, lady. I thought I’d never get through security.”

“Is something the matter, dear? You’re sweating an awful lot.”

“No, no. I’m fine. I just have… umm… some medical thing.”

“It’s alright. You don’t have to play coy with me.”

“W-what are you talking about?”

“Constantly looking outside, sweating profusely, holding onto a ball and chain. I may be a senior but I still know a thing or two. It’s fairly obvious what’s going on here.”

“Oh God! Don’t rat me out, lady! I swear if you keep quiet I’ll cut you in on my share. Just please don’t—”

“There’s nothing to be ashamed of, young man. Your secret’s safe with me. It’s not as if everyone else on this plane hasn’t been in your shoes before.”

“Really? Forty to life without parole? I find that hard to believe.”

“No, silly. I mean flown for the first time.”

“Oh! Haha, yeah! Right, my first time! Yup, I certainly have a case of cold feet. Whew!”

“It’s quite understandable how someone would be nervous. But don’t worry, dear. This is the safest method of travel in the world. And I promise I’ll be here for you if you need a shoulder to lean on.”

“Wow thanks, lady. You’re the nicest person I’ve met in years. I feel better already!”

“Well I’m glad to hear it, young man. Just be sure to pop your ears from time to time and remember: the inside of my purse won’t stop a nine millimeter Glock.”

“I— what?”

“The officers waiting to meet us at LAX didn’t specify dead or alive so don’t tempt me, dear.”

Underwater Flight at Uneetee