Told Between Puffs

In which our hero broods on holiday
by Verily Veritas

Some people harbor paralyzing phobias of planes and flying—V.V. was not one of those people. In fact, V.V. relished every opportunity to escape his earthly tethers and claim his rightful place above all other living creatures. He was willing to fly anywhere. Today, he was flying back to the allegedly hallowed halls of Columbia from Chile. He’d migrated south three weeks ago with the express purpose of determining whether Cape Horn was as frightening as every coward in history made it out to be. Now, snuggled up on his private jet in his second favorite pashmina and his finest sailor gear, V.V. had the distinct pleasure of knowing that he was stronger, more graceful, and more powerful than the most distinguished maritime fellows who’d ever lived.


The decision to take a spin around Cape Horn was an arduous one. V.V. always struggled to pick a destination for his school vacations. Going home was out of the question. V.V. had no home! Staying at Columbia had some appeal; every now and then he enjoyed having the campus to himself. Yet once in a blue moon the travel bug took a mighty bite out of V.V.’s divine flesh and he had no choice but to abscond.


As his flight attendant carefully removed his boating shoes and began to cover his feet in honey and manatee fat, V.V. leaned back in his seat and let his mind drift, considering all the places he could have traveled this break. There was Berlin, where he liked to buy darling trinkets for each of his eight German Shepherds. Then there was Rome, the site of his first and last animal sacrifice. And Paris, the home of his first love. How long it had been since V.V. had reminisced about his prepubescent jaunt down love’s tricky path! A shiver of dormant pleasure ran down V.V.’s back. The orgasmic interlude came to a grinding halt when V.V. surveyed the Patagonian landscape below and remembered that he was glad he had gone to Chile. He was tired of the Continent.


But the whole idea of having three weeks off in the middle of winter to celebrate the major holidays and travel the world … how it disturbed V.V.! He couldn’t compose himself once he started thinking of how ridiculous the whole tradition of winter break really was. He dismissed the flight attendant and paced up and down the central aisle of his aircraft, careful not to slip on his own larded tracks. Why did his peers deserve this paid vacation? What sort of coddling institution insists on giving children whose whole lives are a permanent vacation vacations? The impunity! The waste. V.V. couldn’t—wouldn’t—stomach it.


V.V. decided that as soon as his plane landed in New York he would head straight to Low with the first picketing implement he could pick up at Hermés and demand a change in the system. He could not stand idly by and watch the Ivy League students of the world continue to live out their fantasy lives in complete and utter disregard for common decency. V.V. knew that his life so far had been defined by apathy, but he was determined to change his ways and fight for the masses. Yes, the masses might fight him on this at first, but he knew he was in the right. ‘Till next time, well, hopefully there will be no next time, V.V.