Honesty is the best navigational policy

March 25th, 2008
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“Welcome to Air Canada Flight 160, in the direction of Montreal” – opening announcement by friendly pilot

I must commend the fine gentleman not only for his honesty but his courage, for he spoke plainly in our age of euphemism, when catastrophic decompression is described as a “change” in cabin pressure, and the prohibition of everything down to standing to stretch your legs in the aisle is described as “your safety is our first concern”.

After all it’s true that, in advance of actual arrival, the flight is merely in the direction of Montreal. It’s not foreordained that it shall be “to” Montreal. Even in our age of computerized autopilots and GPS navigation, it’s still possible to mistake Vernon for Kelowna and make an unscheduled stopover.

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