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Going "nuclear" was the best option
A minute after Baxter broke out his paperback novel from his carryon, a drop of water splattered on the page. He looked up but saw nothing dripping from the ceiling or from the overhead compartment.
A fluke. One of those unexplainable anomalies that happen in life. Nothing to get upset over.
Drip. This time on his arm.
Again, he looked up and could see nothing leaking or even forming a drop.
While considering what all this meant, a third drop wet his arm.
Unless he removed his seat belt and physically investigated the drip, a third look would be fruitless.
Still, it puzzled him.
Baxter now had three options, four if he decided to go nuclear.
One, he could ignore the drip, which would irritate him to no end. The water wouldn’t stop just by him ignoring it, and the drip could increase.
Two, he could make a federal case of the drip, but would the flight attendant jump to a conclusion that the leak was important enough to escalate to the flight deck? If the pilot turned the aircraft around due to a perceived emergency, he’d irritate and anger 200 passengers. Who needed that headache?
Three, he could get up, investigate the drip, and figure out how to mitigate the drip for the remaining two hours.
If he got up before the seat belt sign was turned off, though, the flight attendants could call him out on it and tell him to remain seated until the Captain had turned it off, at which point he could inform them of a small drip that was shattering his serenity, which brought him back to him complaining and making a federal case out of it.
With three so-so options staring him in the face, he decided to go nuclear.
Baxter reached into his backpack and pulled out a small black umbrella. He knew superstitious people would complain louder than if the Captain had turned the aircraft around. As soon as he snapped it open, his suspicions were right. The umbrella was small enough to hold in front of him. He’d have to move it away if someone walked down the aisle. The complaints would come, but he’d be dry for the entire flight. And he wouldn’t anger the majority of the passengers.
For ten years he had lugged the umbrella all over the world with him and never used it. Today it would protect him from the drip and the spit-splattering tongues of superstitious passengers, a two-for-the-price-of-one in Baxter’s book.
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