This is in the way of being an informational anecdote, providing you, the reader, with data from which to draw a portrait of Maggie:
On her flight here, Maggie was lucky enough to be seated in one of the coveted exit rows. For those of you who take trains, let me explain: an exit row on a plane guarantees the sitter a lot more leg room, and has the added benefit of putting one in a position to get one’s ass the hell out of the plane first in the event of an untimely water landing. So there she was, stretching her little peg legs (Maggie is short, like a dwarf or shrubbery) and exulting in the acres of badly upholstered space now available to her, when she heard a voice. (Here is a hint: it was not the voice of God.) “Excuse me,” said the voice. Maggie looked up. Standing next to her seat was the passenger who everyone knows, the Guy Who Thinks You’re In His Seat. In this case, the Guy was particularly unwelcome since Maggie was in what may be referred to without sarcasm as the Throne of the Skies – exit rows confer not only space, but status. “I think you’re in my seat,” the Guy said.
“I don’t think so,” Maggie said politely, and showed him her ticket.
“Yes,” he said. “Because see? This is 7A, but your ticket says 13A.”
“Oh,” said Maggie, re-examining. “That’s true.”
They looked at each other. Then she said the unthinkable. “Do you really care?” she said.
She said it in the voice you heard in high school from the popular kids. It was the voice that drips with boredom as it asks to see your Physics homework so it can copy it. It’s a voice that doesn’t care about being caught, a voice that implies this disinterest is the whole source of its coolness. This voice is the reason that the popular kids are popular and you are not. It is the essence of the cheerleader. The man was helpless before the voice.
“N-n-no…” he said desperately, though of course he DID care, it’s an exit row, it’s the Throne of the Skies, no one willingly gives up an exit row, NO ONE, but he did, he did…
And that’s Maggie. She is exactly that charming, and exactly that scary.
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