Wheel Skills

Plus: Painting Miss Violet; Pontius Pilot

Do you like abstract art?

No. I think it has its place. I think some people have the urge to paint, and they like to dream up things that are cerulean, and I think for some it's OK. But I don't like distorted things. I'm a realist.

Do you still paint?

Of course not. I'm sitting here waiting for the Great Reaper! [Laughs] Yeah, but I'm not morbid about it!

Has Willard Scott ever announced your birthday on the Today Show?

I don't remember that. Especially if they did say it, I wouldn't listen.

--Merritt Martin

Pontius Pilot

On February 6, an unidentified American Airlines pilot asked Christians on a flight from Los Angeles to New York to identify themselves and discuss their faith with their non-Christian passengers. Many people, who are obviously heathens and will burn for all eternity in a lake of fire, were alarmed by the pilot's actions. Not us. We do appreciate this courageous cockpit commander's attempt to move beyond the banalities of in-flight small talk. We've come up with a few more icebreakers.

Meet your seatmate of indeterminate ethnicity: This little in-flight game is not only good, it's good for you. Say there's a guy in coach whose country of origin you just can't pin down. Maybe he's from Pakistan, or maybe he's just from Greece and has a really excellent tan. Why take a chance? He has a beard, and that is clearly against the Patriot Act. So before the beverage service begins, invite his neighbors on Row C to say hi...and frisk him.

Discuss, in as much detail as possible, your favorite plane crash: Everyone's thinking about it, so just put it right out there on the table. If possible, get the rest of your flight crew to help out--doing different voices, making sound effects, that kind of thing.

"Is anyone onboard a member of the Mile High Club?": A home-run hitter among the 17-to-34 demo, this query gives your flight the crucial dose of sex appeal that puts asses in the seats. If you think the folks in your cabin are down for it, trot out this saucier alternative: "Anyone here fancy a shag in the loo?"

--Zac Crain

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