The Tantrum


The peace is shattered in an airplane by a five-year-old boy who picks the moment after the plane has taken off 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.

Suddenly, from the rear of the plane, a man in a Marine uniform is seen slowly walking forward up the aisle. Stopping the flustered mother with an upraised hand, the courtly, soft-spoken Marine leans down and, motioning toward his chest, whispers something into the boy’s ear.

Instantly, the boy calms down, gently takes his mother’s hand, and quietly fastens his seat belt. All the other passengers burst into spontaneous applause.

As the Marine slowly makes his way back to his seat, one of the cabin attendants touches his sleeve. “Excuse me, sir,” she asks quietly, “but could I ask you what magic words you used on that little boy?”

The Marine smiles serenely and gently 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 plane door on any flight I choose.”

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