Monday, October 18, 2010


I love humankind.  I really do.  Except on airplanes.

On airplanes, dozens or hundreds of us are packed into rows of seats like corn on the cob, and then instructed to "enjoy" our flight.  I think I have a very different concept of enjoyment.

Now I'm not a small person, but I don't overflow the airplane seat like some people I know.  Who sat next to me.  On a recent long Delta flight.  You know who you are.

So I spent many hours with my upper body listing to port at a 72 degree angle.  That meant I was encroaching on the space of the petite woman on the other side of me, who slept in the most contorted positions imaginable for most of the flight.  It also means I still stand like a hockey stick.

Both seatmates seemed unable to endure the arctic blasts of the plane's circulation, so they covered themselves head to toe during take-off with the blankets provided. It was like traveling between Sulley and Mike Wazowski clad in fire engine red burkas.

Meanwhile, the man in front of me decided to recline his seat back as far as possible, so I could stare at his scalp during what amusingly passes for the in-flight meal.  And if that weren't enough, he decided to raise his arms and stretch during all the climactic moments of what amusingly passes for the in-flight movie.

Between the overflowing burkas and the recumbent stretcher, I felt like that first dollop from a new tube of toothpaste.  Ok, it wasn't like being trapped in an underground mine for three months, but they're out now, and I'll have to get on a plane again.

So no, air travel does not make me feel philanthropic.  Nor does rush hour traffic.  Or restaurant waiting areas.  Or any waiting areas. Or the beach. Or ...

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