If you're like most people, however, you probably don't want to kill anyone except, of course, your boss. But he doesn't count. Everybody wants to kill his boss. Personally, I can't remember the last boss I didn't want to kill. And that's a problem since I'm now self-employed.

But let's forget about bosses for a moment and talk instead about human beings. If you want to reduce your chances of killing an actual person (as opposed to a boss), let me offer you a little tip: Choose your travel companions carefully.

True, people change. I am not, for example, the Mr. Side Trip Guy I used to be. I look at maps now, and not just when I am hopelessly lost, but also when I'm only somewhat lost. Still, tigers can't change their stripes, and Mr. Side Trip Guys cannot ever fully plan anything in advance.

I realized this during a recent road trip to Orlando from our home in Texas. Going there, my wife and I took the most direct route, along the Gulf Coast. Except for stopping for a muffuletta in New Orleans, that was the extent of our trip planning. We returned by a more northerly route, which took a little longer but provided us the chance to see different sights. We departed Florida with no earthly idea where we'd spend the night. We considered Savannah, which is east of Orlando, which is to say, in the exact opposite direction of our destination. (For those not following along on a map, Texas is west of Orlando.) We thought about Atlanta, which was more or less on the way, given that, except for being north, it wasn't entirely the wrong way from where we needed to end up. We also contemplated Montgomery, Alabama, which, because it was the farthest west, made the most sense, which in turn made it a long shot because rational thought is the sworn
enemy of Mr. Side Trip Guy.