Thursday, August 17, 2006

13 Things that Annoy Me About Air Travel

I, too, was struggling for a Thursday 13 topic, but Paula's Snakes on a Plane post sent me here.

13. Seats made of concrete. Honestly, would it cost the airlines that much more to use something a bit softer in the seats? A jumbo bag of cotton balls is only $0.72 wholesale. When my ass hurts, I get ornery.

12. Safety instructions. I would feel differently if seat belt and oxygen mask technology was as widely varied from plane to plane as audio file compression and playback is varied from mp3 player to mp3 player. But it's not. IT'S THE SAME SIMPLE GODDAMN LATCH MECHANISM ON THE SAME SIMPLE GODDAMN SEATBELT ON EVERY GODDAMN PLANE IN THE UNIVERSE. And do you really think you have to tell human beings to put their own oxygen mask on before helping the child or cripple sitting next to them? Hello?! When in danger, our true colors come out, and those true colors are to save our own asses first.

11. People who can't grasp the wheels-first concept of putting your carry-on into the overhead. Wheels to the back, handle facing out. It's that goddamn simple. Don't put it in there sideways taking up 3/4 of the bin so the poor old lady sitting in the row in front of you has to cram her knitting bag (sans needles, of course, wot with terrorism and all) under the seat in front of her. Wheels first. If it doesn't fit that way, check the bag you self-centered shitpie and wait at the baggage carousel with the rest of us.

10. Blaming terrorism for not feeding me anymore. The airline industry has been mismanaged for decades, but 9/11 happens and now, oh woe is me, we can't give you anything but a Baggie® half-full of trail mix we vacuumed up from underneath the cushions of our sofa. It's not that I relished the opportunity to eat a cold roast-beef sandwich with a side of runny coleslaw, but at least it helped settle my stomach after having to sit within a row of...

9. Silently flatulent guy. Dude, put some Beano® on your food for chrissakes! You're in a small, enclosed environment that is just recycling the same air that's been in the cabin for seven years! At least fess up. And if you really are so chicken shit that you don't want anyone to know it was you, don't look around with that "Who the hell did that" look on your face, either. Because you can't act. And while everyone else is looking around honestly wondering who the hell did it, I'm looking square at you. I know it was you. And someday, when you're sleeping, I'm going to sneak into your house and clog all your toilets.

8. Loud cell phone talkers. The second the plane touches down on the tarmac, they're yelling into their phones, "YEAH, WE JUST LANDED. I'LL CALL YOU WHEN WE GET OFF THE PLANE!" Why don't you just wait and call them when you get off the plane? Is the pre-call call really necessary? Is that their cue to get ready for the real call, when you're going to give them news that will change their life?

7. People who don't wait until everyone in front of them has gotten out of their row, gotten their carry-ons and started down the aisle toward the door to exit. Unless you are going to have to run full-sprint to make your next connection, wait your goddamn turn. Here's a newsflash: We all want to get off the plane. We've all been smelling #9 above, and we're all lightheaded. Don't try to sneak in front of me. They may have taken away all our sharp objects, but I'll stab you with a magazine, so help me God.

6. People who can't figure out where their seat is. I know they're using a secret code on your boarding pass, a two- or three-character code consisting of a one- or two-digit number followed by a letter typically within the range of A through F, though sometimes going as far into the alphabet as K, but here's where they screwed up: They put the same code on the plane! Seriously, I shit you not. You'd think that you'd need to have government clearance, or at least a box of Fruit Loops®, to have access to the secret decoder ring necessary to decode the code on your boarding pass, but no! You just need to match the code on your boarding pass with the IDENTICAL CODE UNDERNEATH THE OVERHEAD COMPARTMENTS! No wonder the terrorists are having such an easy go of it.

5. Captains who talk to us over the shitty intercom system. Is he using an old speakerphone up there? Is he talking with his mouth full? I have no idea what he's saying, and I never have.

4. Loud breathers. You've been sitting motionless for an hour, why are you out of breath? I can't hear myself think because you sound like you just ran up the bleachers at Fenway. Bring a hose, attach one end to the vent above your head, wrap your lips around the other end and breathe deeply.

3. People sitting at the window who have to get up and use the bathroom five times when I'm sitting at the aisle trying to sleep. Either stop drinking so much or get a catheter. I have a difficult enough time sleeping on a plane in the first place. On the rare occasion I actually do doze off, let me be!

2. People who don't wait for their row or zone to be called before they get in line to board. This was mocked in Meet the Parents. Brian Regan does a funny bit about it. Everyone I know complains about it. So who the hell are these zombies? Why are you in line? They should have to go to the very back of the line and board after everyone who followed instructions has boarded, found their seats, stowed their carry-ons and bought one thing from SkyMall®.

1. People who recline their seats all the way back when someone -- me -- is sitting behind them. Admit it, you do this one, don't you? Isn't this the ultimate selfish act? "I know your knees are already pressed into your chest because the rows are only three inches apart, but I can't be expected to sit all upright during this flight from Chicago to Indianapolis! So I'm just going to lie back directly into your lap, completely impeding your ability to do such worthless things as read, use your laptop computer, or retain blood flow to your feet." Then the icing on the cake is when I try to shift my weight just a tad and bump the back of your seat, and you act like I'm rudely disrupting your comfort. Just so you know, when you die, it will be from strangulation.


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