The unfortunate aspect of Bill's enthusiasm meant that we would have a delayed departure. No big deal. If my copilot wasn't ready, than neither was the airplane. The safety of 188 passengers depended on it. In the midst of my earnest attempt at providing guidance, my efficient pace was often interrupted by routine requests from flight attendants, gate agents and ground personnel. The requests came with the territory. "We're short on first-class meals." "It's too cold in the middle of coach." "Can I close the door, now?" "Can I remove ground power?" "How hot is it in Vegas?" Etc., etc. Rub belly. Pat head. Repeat. We began our pushback 11 minutes tardy. In the scheme of airline life, that still wasn't a bad performance.