Because You Never Know When You’ll Be Sitting Next To A Rocket Scientist

So I’m riding home from the airport on one of those shared ride buses, and I’m sitting next to a rather dapper looking fellow with a tweed suit and dark rimmed glasses. He has wild curly black hair and a distracted look on his face.

It’s been a long day. I’m not really in the mood to talk. He doesn’t say anything, so neither do I.

An hour later we arrive at his destination, and he pays the driver with a credit card, and the driver asks, “So you’re a doctor or something?”

“Actually,” he says with a slight Russian accent, “I’m a scientist.”

I’m already kicking myself.

“What, like a nuclear scientist?” the driver asks.

“No, actually I’m a rocket scientist.”

Now I’m really kicking myself. “Darn,” I say, “I’m a science fiction writer! I should have been talking to you all this way!”

He looks at me, mouth open. “You’e a science fiction writer?” he says. “I love science fiction!”

But we’re at his hotel and he has to get off, and the driver has to drive me home. So it was a lost opportunity for both of us.

Lesson learned: Always strike up a conversation with someone you’re sitting next to, because you never know. It might be someone you’re actually interested in talking to.


4 thoughts on “Because You Never Know When You’ll Be Sitting Next To A Rocket Scientist

  1. That’s why I love flying solo.  I love layovers, I love changing planes… I love the whole bit, because usually I meet at least one or two interesting people.  People tend to open up to me, so I generally have a couple of interesting life stories to mentally catalogue when I get home from a trip. 

  2. Last time I struck up a conversation with a seat mate, she was the [former]Republican mayor of Modesto, California, who spent the rest of flight trying to cure me of my ‘liberal ailes’.

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