That pearl of wisdom came to me while flying high above the Atlantic. I was reading Hugh Hefner’s obituary in The Economist. The cabin steward delivered my full English breakfast just as I was reading: “Hef in his dotage would retie his silk dressing gown, shuffle into his velvet slippers and get one of his nubile assistants to adjust his hearing aid, since too much Viagra – ‘the fountain of youth’ – had made him deaf.”
Now, that is a sentence with punch.
I could not say the same thing for my breakfast. Or my chateaubriand last night. Even though I flew first class from Mexico City to London, in-flight meals are subject to the “Playboy for the articles” rule. If you want good food, you do not book a seat on British Airways. You book a table at Noma in Copenhagen.
The only true luxury of flying international first class is the seat. The Mexico City-London leg of my trip was just over nine hours in the air. Too long to stay awake the whole trip -- especially, on a night flight.
I have trouble sleeping on aircraft. For a pilot, that is a virtue. For a passenger, it is an annoyance.
I cannot sleep sitting up. And, if I am to avoid wandering the aisles in the night like an air-borne Lost Dutchman, I need a seat that flattens into a bed. That means a first class seat -- along with a duvet and black pajamas that look as if they are from Viet Cong war surplus.
That is the theory. And, it usually works just as it should. But, not last night.
Because a few older passengers complained the first class cabin was “freezing,” the purser stoked the heat to what my father called “cremate.”
They slept. I didn’t. I sweated. Until I started wandering the aisles like -- you guessed it -- an air-borne Lost Dutchman.
After a quick layover in London, I was on my flight to Copenhagen. And that is where I am now.
It is evening, and I have met up with my friends Nancy and Roy. I am ready for bed. But not before I share just one more thought.
One of these days the crankiness that comes with old age will most likely catch up with me. Maybe it has already. Until then, I am going to keep the airlines in shekels and the flight attendants in stitches.
As for Hef and his Viagra-induced deafness, everything has a cost.