By Donald Denoon
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Additional info for Afterlife: A Divine Comedy
Disarmed, I had to improvise. ’ I murmured to the back of Althea’s head at the wine bar in the interval. ‘Delighted to see you again, by the way,’ I had meant to say. Actually I blurted out ‘delighted to be you, in the way’. So paralysing was that gaffe that it drove my next line right out of my head. (Thank Christ I’ll never be 17 again. ) Althea’s poise was ruffled only briefly; her studies had prepared her to cope with such mundane problems as the attempted theft of her identity. ‘Do I know you?
That was naive but I never regretted the mistake. After Honours in economics I took a course in public administration. Then, after a stint as a bookkeeper at Noble’s, a providential scholarship flew me to a mind-expanding, life-changing MBA in Chicago. Even more than St Barnabas’, this was my Damascus Road. St Barnabas’ gave me style; Chicago gave me substance and direction. Like medical school, the MBA program was a vocation, demanding passion and conviction. That’s what I gave it. I went by myself and was immersed in the society of fellow students as well as the classes.
Or badly shaved execution. Not such a bad exit, but terrible for the other passengers and worse for the hostie. Some years ago, while investigating overmanning in the airlines, I noticed that cabin crew were not qualified to determine the cause of a passenger’s death. So they must not move the body. On the other hand, they could hardly leave the corpse in the loo for several hours, nor could they haul it out without electrifying the rest of business class. No doubt the purser apologised discreetly to people in nearby seats and topped up their single malts.