The false vegetarian meal

On my flight to Puerto Rico, an elderly man from Canada was sitting beside me. He said he had ordered a vegetarian meal, but the stewardess said that they had no record of this.

He said, "No, I confirmed it. It was registered on the computer." He was mad, mad, mad. So they had a fight.

Finally, after fifteen minutes the stewardess said, "We made a mistake. Your name was found. Unfortunately, we don't have even one vegetarian dish."

Then the head steward came and said, "We found your vegetarian meal."

But when they gave him his food, it was not vegetarian. There was no difference between his food and everybody else's. He was old but very smart, so he knew that it was the same meal.

Then he said to me, "My wife fell down in Miami Beach. Now she is in the hospital paralysed. I have only one son, but I do not know where he is. This is my fate!"

I deeply sympathised with him.

— 13 October 1988