Most reporters would have jumped at the assignment, with gusto.

"For our 'Tokyo rooftops' package," my editor said, grinning, "I'd like you to book a seat on a sightseeing helicopter and give us a description of the bird's-eye view of the capital.

"Give us a different perspective," he said -- "all expenses paid. And besides, helicopters are great. It'll be fun!" he insisted, with almost childlike glee.