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Snakes On A Plane

We all know the types. There’s the seemingly clueless who push something along the lines of a forklift down the aisle of the plane. They’re just following the old joke: carry-on is anything you can carry on. Your eyes haven’t even completed a full roll before you’re hit in the head with the bag they’ve got slung over their shoulder. They walk down the aisle just knocking out one person after another. The really obnoxious ones make sure the zipper on the bag is positioned so it rips at your skin and almost draws blood.


It only makes matters worse when they say they’re sorry. That pisses me off. They’re not sorry. They know what they’re doing.  

I want to ask the flight attendant for an ice pack after getting drilled by the swinging bag but I’m too annoyed at them for letting the passenger board the plane in the first place. I sit and stew in stony silence. And then just as my anger steadies into something manageable, the big oaf behind me has to use the back of my seat as a grip to help his fat ass out of the seat. His clammy paw almost makes my seat fully recline until he releases and then gives my whole seat a good hip bump before making his way to the restroom. On his return he’s gonna use the back of my seat to help lower himself down. And when he lets go I almost catapult into the seat in front of me.

You’d think I’d watch a movie, read a book, or just fall asleep but I’d rather get annoyed. So I notice people. It’s a terrible habit. Don’t do it. I notice the high maintenance type asking to change seats, asking for extra bags of peanuts, or for somebody to fetch their crap from the overhead. I wonder how another person could make so many trips to the restroom. I understand airplane johns are so luxurious, but really? When flight attendants give their spiel about lifejackets and emergency exits they should really tell people to learn how to hold it in. Or trips to the john should be like carry-on luggage – one per customer.

Gotta go again? That’ll be $35.

The armrest battle is something else. A decent human being will not use it if another person has equal rights to it. Tuck your arms in and suffer but don’t be a selfish armrest bully. Of course, if you’ve got the unfortunate luck to be sitting next to someone who has done an armrest land grab, you can play it a couple of ways.   You can wait until they reach for something and grab it as your own. But sometimes that just takes too damn long.

The other tried and true method is the steady snail. You position your arm so it engages in a slow takeover. You give the slightest elbow nudge and when the armrest bully gives a millimeter your arm takes that millimeter. You continue this until at least half is yours. But because he started it you can continue until you conquer that invading arm and seize the entire armrest. I’m sure there’s a chapter on this in The Art of War.

While I fly and hate I think my greatest disdain is held for those who rush up the aisle after the plane has taxied to the terminal and come to a stop. The worst kind of line cutters and I can’t scream about them now because this column must go through customs. And that’s another story.

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