say hello to my little friend

June 22, 2011

I spent the last couple days in Sunny San Diego. Stay classy San Diego.

Anyway. On the return flight last night, because we have a travel budget that barely covers Greyhound, much less airfare, and we flew Southwest, we had to stop in Phoenix. Those of us going on to Salt Lake City stayed on the plane, and in that window of time after some get off and before some get on, we moved forward to, you know, improve our situation. And I ended up with the best seat in the house:

Look what I can do:

Try not to focus on my 8 chins, and just notice that it’s the exit row with no seat in front of me.

Heaven, right?

Except, now I’m suffering from PTSD, because once the plane re-filled, a young mother and her 2 year old kid sat behind me. From the moment he sat down, it was like sitting in one of those electric massage chairs.  But not in a good way. Even with headphones, I could hear him yelling. Even when I leaned forward, I could feel him raising and dropping his tray table. If the flight hadn’t been only 74 minutes, I would have laid down in the empty space in front of me.

Look, here he is, like a poltergeist, over my shoulder:

I still see him, there, sometimes. I can hear him. I can feel him breathing on me.


14 Responses to “say hello to my little friend”

  1. The Flyin' Ute Says:

    My favorite recent airplane story is about the guy who reclined his chair into some other guys space and a fight broke out. it happened a few weeks ago. Maybe you heard about it. read it here:

    As a 6’6″ human being I am very sensitive to rude, yes I said rude, jackholes thinking it’s their right to lean their chair back into my very limited space. FYI those recline buttons are only to be used if nobody is behind you or if it a little kid or if you ask permission. If it someone who is 6’6″ and looks like they are going to pound your head then note the above story.

    While flying with the football team it is a well known rule that you do not lean those seats back into your teammates space. That goes for 300 lb offensive tackles. You just don’t do it.

    So what is wrong with the rest of you short silly people? (only speaking to the offenders of course) if you thought it was your right then you now stand corrected. Please take note and stop your wicked ways.

    Enjoy your diet coke and keep your chairs upright.


    • bob Says:

      As one who flies too much, I’m leaning the chair back, from the 2nd row of exit row seats, which means, lean back seat, twice as much leg room and the seat in front of me can’t lean. Selfish, yes, comfortable, more so.

      If the person behind me no likey, well sorry. we are 30k feet in the air “Flying” for gods sake.

      any flight to or from SLC is full of potential infant in arms with dire ramifications for those of us not with kids. the directs to/from tokyo/paris can be brutal in such cases.

    • dug Says:

      mike, for the record, my seat was NOT reclined–just my body, into the negative space in front of me.

      but wait. you’re saying it’s NOT my right to recline my chair, and those are to be used ONLY if the seat behind me is unoccupied? (not talking about 300 lb linemen here–that reminds me of the joke: “where does an elephant sit . . . wherever he wants”)

      let’s take a poll. who thinks you have to ask permission to recline your airplane seat?

      • ShedBiker Says:

        I’m with Ute. If the guy in front of me reclines, I make a point of repeatedly “accidentally” bumping against his seat back, you know, just to annoy him/her as much as he/she is annoying me. Air travel is annoying enough without seat leaner backers.

      • bob Says:

        I’m dumbfounded that the entitlement era has come to this. I pay for a seat that reclines, I’m gonna recline it.

        • dug Says:

          i dunno if it’s an entitlement thing. it’s just a “i hate people reclining their seat into my space” thing.

          i guess the dispute is, is that really your space?

          i have never, in 25 years of flying, had anybody ask me if they could recline. i have never, in 25 years, asked someone if i could recline.

          reclining happens. it will always happen. if someone like mike, behind me, leaned forward and said “hey, excuse me, but i’m 6’6″, 230, and i would really appreciate it if you didn’t recline” i would be, er, inclined to not recline. i’m really nice that way.

          but reclining my seat is still my right. it’s up to me. you may kick my chair, you may spit in my hair. you may even start a fight. but that makes you a bully, not a freedom fighter.

          • CB Says:

            I fly a ton each year (sadly) and I’m the same camp as Dug on this. If my seat reclines…I recline. There are some seats that partially recline…or don’t recline at all. My suggestion to those that don’t like reclining seats into “their space” (a different debate altogether): Find the seats that don’t recline and sit behind them.

  2. Jeff Says:

    Eric and I are laughing out loud in rio right now. That could be the single funniest post in your blog history. That kid silhouetted, lurking is classic

    • dug Says:

      i think it’s rosemary’s baby, or something from paranormal activity. i see him when i close my eyes.

  3. bikemike Says:

    that kid is well on his way to being a lawyer or politician.

  4. JB Says:

    I’ve never asked permission to recline my seat. I didn’t know I was supposed to sit like I’m in a straight jacket the entire flight. Plus, recline is a pretty generous word to describe the seat moving back mere inches.

  5. stevebpt Says:

    The button is there for me to use or not use, regardless of 300 lbs linemen. You tall guys need to reserve the emergency rows or bulkhead. Sorry, there is no rule regarding button use except to raise the pitiful couple of inches when taking off and landing. If I am asked politely to keep my seat up by a kind tall person I will certainly be more than happy to oblige. Just my take on “the button”

  6. stevebpt Says:

    Wait, I was distracted by something shiny!!! I have seen that kid before. I thought I had burned that memory away. No, wait, it was one of my kids and I was trying to duct tape her to her seat before the person in front could leap over the chair and pound both of us.

  7. tohellandack1st Says:

    Nothing wrong with turning around and asking if it’s a problem if you recline the seat. The upright position is insanely uncomfortable. I need at least a slight recline to be at all comfortable.

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