Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Travel Tales, Part III

Note: Travel Tales are true observations witnessed by The Palm Springs Savant while on the road. Truth is, (as they say) stranger than fiction. Read these for yourself:
Yesterday's air travels yet again provided fresh fodder for my budding new series called Travel Tales. The first leg of my journey was an early morning flight from Providence. I boarded quickly and settled in to observe my fellow passengers make their way to their seats. Southwest has the easiest boarding process. Their open seating really speeds things up- not having to squint to find a row or seat number makes things substantially easier for everyone involved. Yet even this apparently proved too difficult for one chap who was confused and befuddled from the moment he stepped onto the plane. It all stemmed from his boarding group number, which was C 10. He seemed to think that he was entitled to seat C, in row 10. Somehow he missed the memo that Southwest was open seating. And somehow he didn't catch the point that he did not have a boarding pass stub indicating a seat number, or that no one else was sitting in assigned seats. Anyway he approached the seat marked 10C and proceeded to shout at a rather scantily clad woman who was already seated in 10C. She was clearly startled when he accused her of being in his seat. After they traded barbs and choice words, she flipped him a double-bird (two hands) and told him she wasn't moving. He responded by turning his backside to her and rather ceremoniously released a long trumpet sound of noxious flatulence in her face, turning his head back long enough to shout one last expletive at her. Unlucky for me, I was a bit closer to all this than I would have preferred. Let's just say the after-effects of his gas-passing hung in the air and lingered for what seemed like the entire flight. It was utterly gross.

The incident on my second flight was a dose of pure physical comedy at its finest. Once again, it was during the boarding process. The final group of passengers were making their way down the aisle, in search of any open seat. The flight was full, so there weren't many options available. I spied a guy approaching who was busy multi- tasking like I had never seen. He was talking on the phone with his head tilted to one side, while texting on another wireless device, while holding a Starbucks coffee and pushing his roller bag down the aisle! He approached the row where I was seated and saw an open seat across the other side of the aisle. He lifted his bag up into the overheard bin, still talking non-stop on the phone. He didn't stop to think. He lifted one side of the bag with one hand and "balanced" it with the other hand that held a cup of coffee and his BlackBerry. As he glided the bag into the overhead bin, he turned his coffee hand counter-clockwise, still never pausing his phone conversation. He was completely unaware that he was emptying the contents of his coffee down onto the passenger below, a Southern woman with a big poofy hair-doo wearing a flower on her lapel. It was a sticky mess; coffee dripping from the ovehead storage, all down the seats and into the aisle. The Southern lady with the big fancy hair-doo shrieked in horror and cried out "Sweet Jesus, my perm!" I was just across the aisle and tried to help by tapping the guy on the arm to signal that he was dousing the woman in coffee, but he jerked his hand back which caused a backlash motion sending more coffee in the direction behind him. It all happened so quickly I couldn't react any faster. By this time the Southern Lady was sobbing, her makeup running down her cheeks, from a combination of coffee and tears. It was quite the mess. Lucky for me I escaped any of the coffee splattering which was a good thing because I needed to head to work directly after my flight. The flight attendant made her way over and helped remedy the situation  as best she could. As soon as the plane was above 10,000 feet I whipped out my laptop and documented these two incidents while they were fresh in my mind. Nothing like some new Travel Tales to kick off the week, eh?

After re-reading both of these, I still they are worthy of a Travel Tales installment, don't you agree? At least no one was eating food off the floor this time. There's something to be grateful for anyway. Thanks for stopping by today, I greatly appreciate it.

-Rick Rockhill

16 comments:

Lois Grebowski said...

Ya know, Rick, this installment doesn't surprise me at all. Really.

Sharon said...

Rick, again I ask, what the heck is wrong with people? As much as your two recent tales both grossed me out and made me laugh, since I'm flying to Puerto Rico for a cruise in 4 days it also makes me very nervous about what I'll observe at the airport. I don't know whether to feel anticipation or be scared!

bunnygirl said...

Thank you for your continuing efforts to make me glad I drive when I go on vacation.

lime said...

egads, it sounds like a psychology experriment doesn't it? stick a bunch of people ina shiny metal tube and see what happens.

truth is stranger than fiction.

and belated happy birthday. :) how nice that you got to celebrate with your nieces.

A Lewis said...

Hehehe...all of the dregs of our world....all in one place, all at one time. Come fly with me....you'll have far more than a blog post of material to share.

KathyA said...

This is just further testimony to my feelings that the world has gone mad! What ever happened to manners? The first act, I think was worse, because it was purposeful. The second, on second thought, is bad because it just indicates how self-centered we've become.
Both were worthy of your travel stories.
PS -- We're flying to Florida tomorrow!!

Jeni said...

Holy Rip, Rick! These stories do make one think about what the heck is wrong with people these days -no sense of "common sense" or so it would seem. That poor woman with the coffee hairdo though! Considering the cost of a hair stylist, etc., plus wanting to look ones best and all, I can really sympathize with her. And the gas-passer -boy, sounds like he might be a distant relative of my ex-husband!

Jen said...

Oh my goodness! I can't believe it, yet I can. I think you run into everying with all the travel you do. It's making me nervous for my trip to the desert next spring!

Your stories just reinforce the fact that people seem to be getting more rude and more into themselves. It's amazing how often people don't notice there are others around....

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

well my word! daughter number one just flew home from my house and she had some problems as well, i hate airplanes!!! glad you made it safe and sound my friend...

smiles, bee
xxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Mona said...

Hi rick!

Belated Happy Birthday to you.

I wasn't around on the 8th, although I thought of you that day ! :)

C said...

Oh my goodness! I laughed so hard as I read this! Oh, Rick! I'm so glad your documented these stories while they were still fresh in your mind! Absolutely hilarious!!! People are so funny sometimes.

Hope you got my birthday greeting on FB. I sent you a virtual cake too...the kind with zero calories! XO

kenju said...

I am SO glad I was not on your flights!! If he had spilled coffee on me, they might have had to abort the flight take-off. I am normally a stoic, but that would have sent me over the edge.

© Karelian Blonde said...

Thank you for sharing these travel stories! People are weird which ever way you look at these situations :D

snowelf said...

oh man...that coffee thing happened to me too--but it was because I was trying to keep Prof Shorty from wapping people with his belongings, and I turned my hand the wrong way and spilled coffee on some poor business traveler! I was mortified and over apologetic. He was mad and I know he wanted to yell at me, but I could tell he knew I really was deeply sorry and it was completely an accident, and the lid did not come off, so it really only dripped on him, not poured. Still, I felt so, so bad. :(

That first incident though--holy moly--what a showdown!

--snow

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Reading these to "HORROR" stories makes me glad I am unable to travel anymore. What is wrong with people now??? I mean---there is no respect or care about anyone but themselves...And RUDE??? OY VEY!
It is worse than the Subway.
I remember when traveling was fun---about 50 years ago!!! (lol)
NOW, it just sounds like a nightmare!!!

Cheryl said...

Priceless stories. Hard to believe how self-righteous and manner-less some people are, but weren't you excited to witness such great bloggable events??

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