Happy New Year, one and all.
Naturally at this time of the year, one’s thoughts turn to New Year resolutions, and I’d like to inflict one on everyone. Let’s make 2018 the Year of Common Sense.
I think I showed admirable common sense on the last day of 2017, in that, before retiring well before the hoarded bottle rockets were launched at midnight, I dutifully opened every cupboard which might possibly have harbored anything remotely to do with water, knowing that the forecasted 10 below wasn’t going to be kind to my pipes, so to speak.
Never gave the water valve and meter out in the front yard a minute’s thought, now did I? Sure enough, I awoke to one paltry flush of the toot, and one dribble of water from the faucet, which signaled a “danger, danger, Will Robinson” moment at 6:30 a.m.
To cut a short story even shorter, thank you Lee’s Summit Water, the fire department, and one extremely bright and cheery chap dressed to his eyeballs in fleece, aluminum foil, and pocket and sock warmers who planted himself face down in our yard to burrow elbow deep in the dirt to uncover the frozen culprit, fix the problem, and pack it all up in insulation before you could say “oh look we have water again.”
I don’t know who he annoyed at the Water Department to have pulled the Jan. 1 shift, but I’d like to inform his bosses that he is now off the hook for any cold or unpleasant duty for the rest of his life. I only wish I’d caught his name.
To balance the scales, let me retell the tale of a case of such a failing in common sense it rather beggars description, but describe it I shall.
Imagine if you will, boarding your flight on ABC Airlines in Los Angeles for your 11-hour haul to Tokyo. Four hours into the flight some bright spark realized there was a person on board who was actually holding a ticket for XYZ Airlines, a partner, by the way of ABC, from Los Angeles to – yes, you guessed it – Tokyo.
Did common sense prevail? Oh, heaven forefend, no. The pilot did a quick u-ey and headed back to LA so the matter could be sorted out on solid ground. Never mind that the passenger evidently had a reading problem, never mind that the ticket scanners at the gate didn’t find anything amiss, and naturally never mind the other 300 or so passengers who innocently had to sit back for a four-hour return, the inconvenience of unloading, waiting for a new crew and no doubt a new plane to take them to their 11-hour away destination, now starting off 8 hours in the hole.
I’ve done my fair share of long-haul travel, and I can assure you it is no picnic. Had I been any one of the passengers, even the wrong one, I would have been glowing with incandescent rage.
Don’t bother hoarding your fireworks after the Fourth of July, dear reader. Just find any one of those passengers and they will still be able to light up your sky on Dec. 31 this year.
-- Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org