While I was at the Air and Space Museum last week, I took in an exhibit about the early days of flight, using old footage and the like and accompanied by a newsreel-like voiceover. I sat in the darkened room with seven or eight other people. One of the sequences was an excerpt from this “race” at the 1914 Iowa State Fair, between flyer Lincoln Beachey and race driver Eddie Rickenbacker. (Beachey and his opponent — often Barney Oldfield — would agree in advance who the day’s winner would be.)
As Beachey lapped Rickenbacker, winning the race, the announcer said something like, “Better luck next time, Eddie — maybe you should learn to fly!” I laughed — but then I realized I was the only one in the room who got the joke.
And people wonder why I get self-conscious.