The flight back was atrocious, possibly the worst ever in my tenure above the clouds. Some ethnic family of maybe 4 or 5 children, all below 7 years, had somehow divined exactly what I hate most about air travel, cobbled that nightmare into a three and a half hour play, and performed it flawlessly in coach class just behind me. Kicks, whines, screams, tattles, erupting infants and 'organic' stinks, assailed me from pre-takeoff until post-landing. I've mentioned how I get wound up after working out and I like to visualize mauling incidental annoyances in a fit of cathartic, rectifying justice, to scores of applause from bystanders (like in '80s movies). But I was so worn out and frankly unable to turn my neck much that I just put in my headphones and listened to my audiobook (there's a briefer history of time available for those of us whose pretense of intellectualism can be carried on only so long) that I just yielded and even the smacking of the crustachioed teenager next to me as he ate his mommy's popcorn didn't get more than a brief glare from me, although that was mostly because they were kicking his seat more than mine.
I drove home and dropped dead. And then went to work the next day.