Name rage

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In the past week my new credit card had been sent by courier service to someone called "Pullem"; a student paper had cited a linguist named "Pollum" for work of mine; and a kindly administrator had sent out an email to a large list in Edinburgh congratulating "our own Geoff Pullman" on being elected to the British Academy. Things had not been going well. But now the general quality of life was improving. United Airlines had asked me to switch to a later (and delayed) flight via London Heathrow on my way back from San Francisco, and for this had given me an upgrade to business class. Definitely a mood-changer. No longer the 247th economy-class passenger from the left in the departure lounge: I'm an F.B.A., and I'm sitting in business class sipping free champagne over the Rocky Mountains. Dinner is coming up soon, with a smoked salmon starter and real metal cutlery. Life is sweet. The long, long wait to board is forgotten, and I'm actually mellow. And now the purser was coming down the aisle with a seating plan on a clipboard so he could ask each passenger by name about their menu choices ("Mr. Fortescue, Mrs. Fortescue: can I ask you about your main course preferences tonight?"). He arrived at my seat and checked his clipboard. "Mr… Pullman?"

I snapped open my seat belt buckle in a half second and sprang up, grabbing him by his scrawny throat. Propelling him back down the aisle I slammed him into a bulkhead and held him there with his heels eight inches off the floor.

"What. Is. My. Name?" I demanded, in my James Earl Jones voice.

"P… Pu…", he choked out weakly, his clipboard now flapping like the wing of an injured bird. But it was too late; he had displeased me. With a twist of my arm I snapped his neck and hurled his twitching corpse against the door of the starboard side toilet.

No I didn't. I just sighed and told him that the rosemary chicken with fresh spring vegetables would be fine. But sometimes…

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