boarding the plane last when, unexpectedly, two rows ahead, a woman shrieks:

- He has a knife! –  immediately joined by alarmed exclamations and calls for the stewardess, as if slim, friendly girls in tight navy-blue uniforms are equipped to deal with an imminent terrorist threat.

- A knife! A knife! – the woman keeps screaming unable to escape her seat, having trouble with her safety-belt buckle.

- What do you think we should do? – Nasha asks Oblak.

He shrugs his shoulders then sticks his head out in the aisle.

- A knife! A knife!

- What do you think he’s gonna do with it? – she asks wiggling in her seat, peeping across the rows.

Finally the screamer bolts out free, yelling:

- A knife! A knife! – only to collide with one of the security guards storming the plane.

Immediately the woman is incapacitated by expert use of a stun gun, dropped on the floor, tied with plastic straps, under the boots of the guards approaching the man with the knife.

There’s a feeble attempt at a clarification:


- But it’s for my book! – before the man gets shocked by a surge of high voltage. His eyes flicker and go out.

Hurriedly his body is pulled out of his seat. A single silver butter knife ends up in a resealable plastic bag along with a thin, hand-crafted volume.

With the weight of two victims divided among themselves the guards stomp off the plane in the murmur of passengers and the rattle of plastic cups distributed by pale stewardesses:

- Refreshments anyone?

- What do you think they’ll do to him? – Oblak asks peering through the thick round window.

- I think he’ll choose not to fly. I think next time he’ll drive.

- But you can’t drive to America.

- I think he’ll start building a bridge.

Nasha doesn’t eat during the flight. Resents the fact that Oblak does. Takes her meals too, stuffs his face with double portions of microwaved green beans and carrots.Reminds her of Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood, only thing missing is a leg of lamb for him to chew on.

At LAX, once they land, there are only frowning customs officers to meet them, ready to start


... blowing trumpets...