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20160623_145126I’ll bet you didn’t know that in order to become an airline pilot, it is first required that you pass a class devoted to the in-flight PA communication technique known as “captain speak.” In order to pass the class, you must successfully display three particular competencies.

First, you must demonstrate the ability to manage conjunctions by taking several paragraphs of individual sentences and reconfiguring them into a single sentence. In order to learn this first skill, prerequisite study of Saint Paul is recommended. He was a master of run-on sentences. Just take a look at Ephesians 1:3-23 to see for yourself. It’s a delightful proclamation of the Gospel, to be sure, but by the time you’re finished reading it, you’ll be ready for a nap.

Second, you must be able to demonstrate irrational tempo changes while speaking the reconfigured sentence. In other words, you must be able to carry the lengthy run-on to its conclusion while speeding up and slowing down throughout. This particular skill is best learned by watching old Star Trek episodes. Tune in and close your eyes. Listen to Captain James T. Kirk’s suave enunciation with styling such as: “That’s… poppycock… the… peopleonmyship… are… free… todowhateverthey… want.”

Finally, you must exhibit proficiency with the PA system – namely, you must convince the listener that you are capable of putting the microphone both inside and outside of your mouth during the announcement. This final prowess is best learned by either sitting beside a typical fast food drive-thru intercom speaker or listening to recordings of Charlie Brown’s teacher. Both are excellent examples of proper PA microphone consumption and regurgitation technique.

And while all of this may sound reasonably doable to most, it is quite another thing to perform from the cockpit in a real life scenario. While prepping the plane for takeoff, the pilot is allowed to speak normally with the tower but must speak to the passengers in “captain speak.” Transitioning between the two and performing the pre-flight series of button pushes and switch flips is a challenging skill worthy of anyone’s admiration.

And you thought landing the plane was the hard part. Yeah. Whatever. That’s as easy for the pilot as it is for the discerning passenger to scoff at the in-flight drink menu.

Speaking of…

glenmoray10Stupid terrorists. You’re the reason I’m forced to suffer the crappy booze selections orchestrated for the masses by corporate executives out to make a buck. It sure would be nice to have a flask of the Glen Moray Chardonnay Cask Matured edition in my pocket. It sure would help me to find my happy place while enduring the off-rhythm kicks to my seat from the two-year-old behind me, a thumping paced to the hypnotic tones of “captain speak” oozing from the cabin speakers.

This is a calming whisky.

The nose is a light wash of the anticipated chardonnay with a slice of freshly baked Italian bread.

In the mouth, the bread you sensed in the nosing now has a thin glaze of butter and a freckling of cloves.

The finish gives over spiced fruit – nutmeg and warmed junipers – everything you need to survive a plane full of toddlers on their way to Orlando.

Except you can’t have this whisky on your plane. You have to choose something from this menu, instead.20160627_105354


If only the pilot would take control of his vessel and call out over the PA, “That’s… poppycock… the… peopleonmyplane… are… free… todrinkwhateverthey… want!”