Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Travel Tales, Part III
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.
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