Never be afraid to get dirty, but be sufficiently sure-footed to avoid the abyss of contamination.

Apple Juice

Long before orange juice became my juice of choice, there was apple juice. This affinity lasted through most of elementary school, and in the first grade, I once blamed “sitting on apple juice” as the cause of a very different kind of accident.

Perhaps it was for these sentimental reasons, or maybe it was just because Minute Maid’s orange juice leaves a bit to be desired, but when an Air Canada flight attendant came by with a beverage cart today, something possessed me to request a glass of apple juice.

I’m staying at a friend’s place in Toronto tonight, and his father shared the following story with me. Recently, Y ended up going to Saudi Arabia as a representative for his company. Now Y has a fairly impressive mustache, and this appeared to earn him a lot of respect among the locals. In fact, when security personnel saw his mustache, he claimed he was able to clear checkpoints without submitting to ID checks or finger prints.

Not surprisingly, there is no drinking in the country, but on the flight from Riyadh to Bahrain, the flight attendant came by to see if anyone wanted drinks. Y was traveling with a Saudi business associate at the time, whom he described as a “good Muslim.”

When the flight attendant asked the associate if he wanted a drink, he smiled and said, “I’m Muslim, so just apple juice for me.”

Y, who noticed champagne on the cart, picked up a glass and said, “I’m a Persian Muslim, so I’ll have some of this apple juice, too.”

“Sir,” the flight attendant observed, “that’s not apple juice.”

Thinking on his feet, Y responded, “Oh, this is Persian apple juice! I’m not sure why, but after having a few glasses of Persian apple juice, I can’t drive as well.” Y then proceeded to drink and let some of the “Persian apple juice” soak into his mustache.

The flight attendant may have given him a funny look, but Y’s business associate laughed so hard he nearly fell out of his seat.


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