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Soothing a Temper

As the crowded airliner is about to take off, the peace is shattered by a five-year-old boy who picks that moment to throw a wild temper tantrum. No matter what his frustrated , embarrassed mother does to try to calm him down, the boy continues to scream furiously and kick the seats around him.

From the rear of the plane, a man in the uniform of an Air Force General walks slowly forward up the aisle. Stopping the flustered mother with an upraised hand, the courtly, soft-spoken General leans down and, motioning toward his chest, whispers something into the boy’s ear. Instantly, the boy calms down, and sits quietly as his mother fastens his seat belt.

All the other passengers are relieved and grateful; they smile and nod at the General with gestures of thanks as he slowly makes his way back to his seat.

One of the cabin attendants approaches the General. “Excuse me, Sir,” she asks quietly, “but could I ask you what magic words you used on that little boy?”

The old man smiles serenely and confides, “I showed him my pilot’s wings, service stars, and battle ribbons, and explained that they entitle me to throw one passenger out the door on any flight.”

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