When I was about six years old, my family took a transcontinental airline trip, a red-eye. And I can only guess the pilot was of some Norwegian extraction, or had worked for my father's company, because my big sister and I got to visit the cockpit. Not only that, we got our wings -- pins for ... TWA, I think? Plus, most exciting of all, the pilot dubbed us Junior Stewardesses (this was the 60's, when they had stewardesses), and we would help distribute snacks to the passengers (this was the 60's, nobody sued).
Oh my god, we were jumping up and down in anticipation until the appointed time. Anne and I each got a tray of peanuts. I walked down the aisle and most of my customers were quite appreciative. But what to do with the ones who were sleeping? Surely, surely I could lose my wings if these gentlemen lost out on what was rightfully theirs.
So I whispered, "Excuse me." And when that didn't work, "EXCUSE ME!" As a last resort, I shook them. "WAKE UP AND TAKE YOUR PEANUTS!"
Halfway down the aisle, the stewardess stopped me and said, "You know what, Karin? As a stewardess, what we do is just show our passengers the peanuts, quiet as a mouse. And if someone is asleep, why then, we just move on. And this is going to make you very happy -- if someone is sleeping, you get to keep their peanuts!"
I don't know if I dared to believe her at first.
But it happens, you know. Sometimes when you think life can't get any better, it does.