Sean Penn, Robin Wright Penn, and their two darling blond children were on our flight from Miami to San Francisco on Thursday. We sat a few seats down from them at the gate before they invoked their first class privilege to board before everyone else. After my initial star-struckedness died down I realized that if our plane crashed, the news story would be that Sean Penn died, not that the plane crashed. The rest of us would be the other six astronauts on the Challenger. And this made me sad, because if I'm going to die in a plane crash I'd at least like the common dignity of my fair share of ink.
Earlier in the trip I came up with what I believe to be the most selfish thing that ever crossed my mind: "I want the world to end the day after my funeral."