What I Saw on Sunday.
On the Sunday morning walk I saw something I hadn't seen in a while. No, it wasn't a friend vomiting into a box for three dollars—far from it, in fact. Someone had hired a skywriting plane to spell out WILL YOU MARRY ME? [plus a heart drawing] in the sky over our town. A tremendous and romantic gesture, to be sure, so I am of two minds about pointing out the following three shortcomings of its execution.
1. "MARRY" was spelled "MARY"
2. The total execution of the question took about fifteen minutes, and no doubt the lucky woman would have gotten the idea of the thing about three seconds after her boyfriend elbowed her and mentioned that now might be a particularly meaningful time to gaze skyward and read the slowly unfolding phrase which began, "WILL YOU M—." There's a lot of downtime while you're waiting for a little plane to arc back around and finish a complex letter. Maybe the pilot was the proposer himself, and called her once he'd started the message: "Okay, I've just written a 'Y,' do you see that? Ah, good. The completed phrase will read, 'WILL YARBROUGH PLEASE RETURN MY ROTOTILLER? - D.P.' It's for Dave Palmer over on Lorton. Whoops, I've just written an 'O,' do you see that? Listen, do me a favor and keep an eye on my skywriting for about ten minutes? I'm a bit rusty. Love you. Wait! Can you snap a few photos?"
3. It would have been so easy for the pilot to fly his little skywriting plane back across the equator of his heart drawing so as to create an arrow, but instead he made a beeline back to the airport. Perhaps he was low on gas. The last thing a newly engaged woman wants to see is the craft which has just skywritten her lover's proposal go chut-chut and take a strong header into solid earth at five hundred miles an hour. Particularly if he's the one at the helm, and she's accepted.
At any rate, it's better than my own marriage proposal, which was delivered on the memo line of a personal check.