He used to assess the medical fitness of pilots for the renewal of their commercial licenses and sometimes he suspected borderline mental illness. Not of the stark raving mad type, you understand, but just the occasional tenuous link to reality that could make passengers nervous. So, one day he discovers that patient who is the most difficult kind to assess; a pilot who is almost sane. He is articulate, logical and knows his stuff but, still, the Doctor is not so sure; something about the pilot is bothering him. The airline company decides not to take the risk and the whole affair ends up in an industrial tribunal where the pilot answers all questions with knowledge and calm authority. The Doctor whispers to the company lawyer, “Ask him if there are any reasons he would divert the planned course of an aircraft.” The lawyer asks the question. The pilot says with barely a pause, “Yes, there are times when I might divert the plane’s course for any given reason.”
“And what reason might that be?” asks the lawyer.
“I avoid flying over church steeples as it interrupts the connection between God and the Earth.”
“Uh huh,” murmurs the lawyer, “And are there any other reasons?”
“Not really,” says the pilot, “except when I have to alter course to avoid impact with angels.”
(For Average Jane)