We live in a country divided on a number of issues: gay marriage, abortion, jeggings. However, I’ve noticed that there is one thing the American people can agree upon: how much air travel sucks. Yes, we all love to hate flying the friendly skies.

Which apparently has become a little too friendly for some folks. This whole brouhaha with the new security measures fascinates me. I get why travelers are upset. People don’t want their junk x-rayed and/or handled by a disgruntled guard who got up at 3am that morning for a paycheck. What do I think? Meh. I don’t really care. In fact, I’m very curious about that x-ray scanner. What exactly can you see? Everything? Cool. Then there’s the pat down if you opt out of the x-ray… I kind of want to see what that’s like, too. (Get your mind out of the gutter.) I think it would be funny. For me at least. I mean, come on, do you really think those poor people thought to themselves, “I really love my job!” upon reading the memo for the new pat down procedure? I doubt security guard Rhonda would be pleased by my chuckling as she frisks me, but that’s exactly what I would be doing. Plus, if it at all lessens the chance of my plane blowing up as I leisurely sip my watered down airplane coffee, then that’s an added bonus.

But I mostly agree with the general consensus. Delays are a pain. Those baggage fees are bogus. And I’m pretty sure all the airlines have doctored their scales so that your bag somehow doubles in weight during check in. Which, guess what? Now requires you to pay an extra hundred dollars. Each way.

I feel terrible for the flight attendants, though. If it weren’t for the enforced security measures, there would be a lot more dead travelers upon landing. I wouldn’t blame the attendants for packin’ either. People are on their worst behavior when flying. Once we pass through those terminal doors, it’s like we’ve regressed back to preschool except with more temper tantrums. Nothing pleases us. Nothing can make us happy. You only serve Coke on this flight? I wanted Pepsi. We’re delayed by bad weather? How can that be? I’m only flying into O’Hare in December. I love people watching at the airport, but it’s bittersweet. On the one hand, hilarious. On the other, I weep for our country.

Case in point… Like many of you, I too was traveling over the holidays. Our flight had been delayed three hours – due to bad California weather! – but the entire crew was rolling like clockwork once okayed to depart. I was stoked not only because we were finally leaving, but also I was about to score an entire row to myself. Until he shows up. You know those people who are always breathing hard not because they’re two hundred pounds overweight, but because they’re just that mad all the time? He was one of those guys. Crabby McCrabison. I had the aisle seat; he takes the window. “Okay,” I think to myself, “It’s only an hour flight.” He’s deep in conversation with someone via cell phone; apparently a great injustice has been done to him. Because I can’t not listen, I learn that he didn’t hear any of the twenty or so announcements regarding our delay, nor did he think to check the monitors stationed all throughout the terminal. He almost missed the flight. Of course this is the airline’s fault. To quote: “I went up to the counter and yelled, ‘When in the hell did you make those announcements because I didn’t hear a damn thing!’” Charming.

He finally shuts off his phone, which is lucky for him, since I will go postal on those peeps (I’m talking to you, Josh Duhamel!) who keep their phones on despite the dozen requests to turn them off prior to takeoff. I don’t care if you need to discuss last night’s “Biggest Loser.” Shut it off. But then this guy begins to mess with my head; he takes his carryon, already stowed under the middle seat, and moves it to the empty space in front of him. I look over in surprise. He chirps, “So you can have more leg room!” Come on, dude. Don’t be nice to me. I already made up my mind about you.

Though a short flight, we still get our freebie drinks. I notice that my rowmate says neither please nor thank you upon ordering and receiving his coffee. Okay, he’s back on my list. FYI… If you’re exiting a door that a brown-haired, blue-eyed gal is holding open, and you don’t say thank you, you will most certainly hear an irritated, “You’re welcome!” shouted at you because that gal is probably me.

Anyway, I am content that the evidence against this guy outweighs the good. One nice gesture on my behalf does not make up for his jerky behavior toward the flight attendants. Especially Lynda. Lynda sings! How can you be mean to a singing flight attendant? Check her out! My rowmate refuses to clap for her.

We land at last. I make a call to my family. The poor foursome has been waiting at the airport for hours. Apparently eavesdropping is something my rowmate and I have in common because as we deboard he asks, “So you’re the last one into town?” I tersely reply, “Yes. They’ve been waiting all afternoon.” His response? “Well, I’m sure they don’t mind. Now they get to see you!” Damn you, McCrabison! As I begrudgingly say thank you, he hits right where it hurts. “Have a wonderful time with your family! Happy holidays!”

People confuse me.

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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6 Responses to “That’s My Armrest”

I think the fact that you are cute girl didn’t hurt. I bet if you had been a dude, he wouldn’t have said two words to you.

January 6th, 2011

Are you saying that I would make an ugly dude? 😉

January 7th, 2011

You know, this blog is going to responsible for the discovery of two great talents now: Anna the writer and Lynda the singing flight attendant. After hearing her story, I love you for sharing her link! 🙂

January 7th, 2011

Of course, J! And thank you so much for the kind words!

January 7th, 2011

I dunno… the whole being in a giant tube of metal flying hundreds of miles above the surface of the Earth to cross distances that in a horse and carriage or boat would take anywhere from 3 months to 2 years. I can deal with said annoyances.

The Dude
January 7th, 2011

I completely agree. I think. Not sure I understand what you mean. Think I do. So yes, I agree! 😉

January 8th, 2011