Wednesday, August 02, 2006

take to the skies

We are in a holding pattern hundreds of miles from our destination (my own personal hell), and I am understanding less and less of how, exactly, an airplane stays in the air. Perhaps I shouldn’t be spending so much time considering this at the same time that I am sitting in one, you might say, but for some reason this is calming me down.

And so I will go ahead and highlight another thing I just don’t understand concerning airplanes:

Out of sight, out of mind.

For some reason, a few people feel inclined to act like complete assholes on planes. My best guess is that since they stand little chance of seeing another person ever again, they figure they can dive into their own personal, self-obsessed, others-obliterating universe whenever they damn well please.

I just returned from the bathroom in the back of the plane, and when I was done, I forgot to shut the door. Honest mistake, I tell myself, as I realize the error and turn back to correct it. Lest my abrupt halt and about turn was misunderstood, the gentleman next to the door – less than 10 inches from the toilet – is pointing at the door with his eyebrows raised, as if to say, “Forget something, dumbshit?” I raise my hand and nod my head, again recognizing the lack of judgment. But he’s not done. He watches me close the door, shaking his head and turning to his neighbors to make sure they understand the severity of what I’ve done. He was truly inconvenienced, I’d say. If he was so inclined, he could have reached over with his hand and closed the door – a monstrous task that would have taken a full two seconds to accomplish. Or he could have, when I turned around, smiled politely, acknowledging what I had already acknowledged – my “oops” moment. But, no. His flight was on the verge of being ruined, and he was not going to let me get away with my senseless act of violence against his sensibilities.

I’m sorry. I really am. Now stop trying to shame me, and show a little empathy.

That’s really it, I guess. I was going to go into some other rant, but we are approaching Atlanta. This is my favorite part of the flight: the end.



At 8:30 AM , Blogger LauraLu said...

Yeah! I've noticed that too. The thing that gets me is how people try to act all cool. Cooler than everyone else. A regular jet-setter, obviously. So as they push other people's stuff around, without caution, in the overhead bin, or ask flight attendants for a drink before lift off, I'm amazed.

And I guess I should be. After all, I am in the presence of someone who is so much better than me, because they can waltz onto an aircraft, strut into COACH (because we aren't rich enough to afford first-class), act annoyed when there isn't a spot overhead with a shining light from Jesus saying "Yes, this is a place just for YOU", and there is no cocktail waiting on their seat.

They sigh, they make weird "I'm annoyed" faces, they huff and puff if someone brushes against them as they inch toward their seat. And then, of course, they pass out, and continue to get annoyed if anyone in the rest of the plane disturbs them. Beauty rest, I guess.

God. Those people.

At 12:55 PM , Blogger david said...

I once sat next to a guy that refused to share the arm rest between our seats. In fact, he actually took over a good 1/4 of my seating area. He wasn't an immense person, just an extreme jackass who thought he was entitled to it and feared no repercussions.

At 6:05 AM , Blogger Jason said...

THANK YOU for identifying with me, friends.

At 1:32 PM , Anonymous Matt B said...

Never had anything like that on a plane, but my experience points to people being like that nearly everywhere. I know you've mentioned it in your experience as a waiter, and I certainly experienced it at the bank.

People are jerks, and I think David is on to something with the "not fearing repercussions" thing. I have a hunch people act worse in places where they feel they are safe from being laid out by a well-timed punch. Like an airplane, or when they bother you while you're at work.

I think the problem is that people don't get decked enough in modern society. If every person who was inconsiderate experienced a right cross to the jaw, maybe they would be nice. Maybe we should bring back the duel...

At 9:53 AM , Blogger Jason said...

Amen to that, dear friend. Maybe we all need to act as if it's a party and we're drunk and we actually say what's on our mind.

And I, for one, have ALWAYS wanted to backhand someone across the face with my glove.

At 12:38 PM , Blogger david said...

Yeah, Gandhi and the other great "pacifists" were against the kind of violence that got people killed, not the kind of violence of going upside the head of a jackass on a plane.

At 6:03 AM , Anonymous Matt B said...

I'm glad Gandhi approves, because after working in customer service and having to absorb insults, arrogance, etc., with a smile on my face, I've promised myself that the next time someone acts like a little shit to me while I'm NOT at work things are going to escalate.

Oh, there may not be punching. Not at first. First, an insult. "You sure talk a lot of shit for a fat guy", or, "You wanna dance, old man?" Just to give them an equal reaction.

Then, maybe punching... and then community service and maybe a fine. But hey, I've got negative energy that needs to be released.

At 2:37 PM , Blogger Jason said...

Fuckin' a. Let's just go now and LOOK for that situation.

I'm getting itchy for some self-contained violence that could land on one of those corny Sunday morning police video shows.

At 1:04 PM , Blogger david said...

Next time on COPS

Three white middle-class college graduates climb aboard a Chicago metro looking for trouble.

After three officers and SWAT Team infiltrate the train car, the young men relent, awash in the blood of half a dozen ass-holes.

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