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On the second leg of my trip from D.C. to Portland, Ore., my plane out of Charlotte was an hour late on its way in from San Diego. Once we all, grumbling, took our seats, they announced there would be another short delay—-to replace A LIGHT BULB. The new bulb was screwed in in about 10 minutes.

Then the stewards announced there would be another short delay: to fill out PAPER WORK about the burnt-out bulb. Thus passed another 45 minutes. Then we took off on a bumpy five-hour cruise with no in-flight movie, no free cocktails, and a really boring seatmate who wanted to talk about his job as a medical-equipment salesman.