I Know a Man

He had been sitting there without making a single comment for the best part of an hour. The banal conversations carried on by witless people feeling a need to listen to their own voices was mind-numbing. Worse, the content was universally facile and meaningless. Some of the comments were obviously falsehoods, even if they were declared to be "Gods own truth", as contended by one of the most insistent babblers.

He looked docile enough but in his mind he said, "I'll drop a bomb in a minute and shut the lot of them up for good!"

He waited for the right opportunity to present itself, then lent forward and spoke softly but very distinctly. "I know a man that single-handed captured an illegal immigrant."

The mere act of a man breaking the silence commanded immediate attention. Gasps of "Really?" and "Oh my!" encouraged him to continue.

"He was flying from Beijing to Frankfurt at the time." He then thought 'They may not be bright enough to grasp that' and added out loud, "China to Germany flying Lufthansa."

The chattering group was struck silent by this disclosure and leaned forward, willing, even eager to hear him relate his tale.

"He was sitting in a business class seat close to the entry to the plane and just as the steward was closing the hatch, a large black fly streaked into the cabin and whizzed past his head."

"Heavens!" exclaimed an overdressed matron sitting opposite. Others nodded in sympathy.

There was a dramatic pause while the purveyor of this astonishing information adjusted his seat before continuing. "Now consider the following. In this age of miniaturised electronic engineering, it is conceivable that this was in fact a radio controlled robotic spy, cleverly disguised as a fly. It could have been sent into the aircraft to listen to conversations or even photograph documents being read by one of the passengers. The information could be transmitted back to a command post."

Now the listeners all nodded in unison.

"Or, the fly had been injected with a highly infectious viral strain and placed on the flight with the intention of introducing catastrophic disease into the country of destination."

This resulted in a cackling that would be expected in a hen house at egg-laying time. When the atmosphere was again favourable, he continued in a matter of fact voice, "Of course the fly may simply have been seeking a new home in which opportunities to feed, and potentially breed, were more favourable."

Another pause ensued and one of the listeners attempted to interject but was quickly silenced by, "Such an idea is of course ludicrous. A fly is unlikely to posses the intellectual capacity to consider such alternative life choices."

There was audible agreement to this observation and he decided it was time to bring his tale to a conclusion.

"All of this is meaningless conjecture of course. Said fly landed on his cheese plate during dinner and he crushed it with the In-Flight magazine."

He then rose and without further comment departed, leaving them sitting there, wide-eyed and wondering about the fate of the migrant fly.

© F.C Mickey Benefiel