A SALUTE TO THE FIENDS
The average fiend is one part lover and two parts tiger, with a dash of sangfroid, a dollop of Joie de vivre, and a hunk of weltschmerz thrown in for good measure. He lies with a perpetually irritated bump on the bridge of his nose where his oxygen mask rubs, is slightly deaf from listening to loud engines and radios all his life, and has low blood pressure and even lower pulse rate, is uncomfortable on the ground in anything but a tight fitting phone booth, has trigger reflexes, eyeballs on the back of his hard hat, broad peripheral vision, a rock-like bottom, and extremely articulate hands (with which he demonstrates innumerable combat maneuvers each day - between cigars.) He also has the habit of looking at his fingernails often to see if they are turning blue (the basis of high altitude oxygen management.)
He believes passionately that the only degree worth having is a PHD in flyology, and is just as firmly convinced that the world is three drinks behind and that there would be no more wars if people would only catch up. Many think he is to be replaced by some sort of flying univac, but to this he replies: "Where else can you find another non-linear servomechanism weighing only 160 pounds and having such unusual adaptability that can be produced so cheaply by unskilled labor?"
When he eventually spins in and 'Buys the Farm', he wants to do it with his boots on (Wellingtons, modified with zippers: $23.50) and live forevermore in a land populated by blondes…. "Where whiskey flows from telegraph poles, and there's poker every night."