Another Lesson in Shutting Up

Years ago when I was flying a lot, I took a friend of mine, Melissa Price, for a flight around the patch here in southeastern Oklahoma. She was a little apprehensive at first, to the point that she asked me, “Do we get helmets?” I thought that was pretty funny.

Some weeks later I was on the phone with an ex-girlfriend who was also friends with Melissa, and I told her of our little romp in the sky and how much fun it was. This ex replied in her renowned judgmental tone that

Flying a Cessna 172 around the Ada area, circa 1995
Flying a Cessna 172 around the Ada area, circa 1995

she was surprised to see Melissa “engaging in high-risk behaviors.” The implication was clearly that she believed it was wrong to fly in small airplanes because it was dangerous and that doing so was a psychological statement of self-destruction.

This ex is now a Facebook friend, and her status update today is as follows: “Freedom. Time to ride the Harley….take the curves of these mountains about 90 mph, lean the bike over close to the road, and feel the wind on your sunburn…”


  1. Flying small airplanes isn’t inherently dangerous. I count myself among the good pilots, by virtue of respecting the weather, the situation, and my own limitations. Good pilots never intentionally do anything illegal or dangerous, and I never have.
  2. Driving a motorcycle (or any vehicle) 90 mph is illegal on public roads in all 50 states, and is probably pretty dangerous, which is why it’s illegal.

So, which is it, brilliant ex?

I’ll tell you what it is; time to shut the fuck up.


  1. This is a hilarious example of someone opening their mouth and inserting both feet, yet it’s amazing how many people will say the same thing.

    “Oh, I would never fly — too dangerous.”

    Yet they get drunk that evening and drive 40 miles home. Or take a road trip on a holiday weekend. Or send their kids to public school.

    Sorry, that last one was a bit tongue-in-cheek.

    My point is, of course, the same as yours: people should consider the facts about something before saying something stupid.

    Despite your atheism, you’ll appreciate this Bible saying: “The foolish man tells everything he knows; the wise man holds his tongue.”

  2. “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” –Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of US (1809 – 1865)

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