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Worst flight ever


Well, maybe not the worst flight ever (qualified with a "that I've ever been on," of course), because that flight happened like eight years ago. That worst flight was a Southwest flight from San Jose to Burbank where the turbulence was so bad the flight attendants were puking, and we had to land in Ontario because there was a dog on the runway in Burbank, back when you could travel with hockey sticks in the cabin, as I was doing. Today's flight, however, one ranks up there with the sucky suck flights I've taken.

When I boarded the plan, after spending half of my 10 minute layover dashing to the next gate (the other half seizing an opportunity), my seat was occupied by the person who should be in the middle seat. Rather than getting up and moving to his seat when I hovered over the row, fishing for my boarding pass to confirm that yes, I was in the aisle row, he sat there staring up at me.

Perhaps he was thinking if he ignored me long enough, I would go away. Or sit in the middle seat for him. Or maybe sit on his lap.

That he didn't move, but started talking louder on his cell phone, should have clued me in that this was going to be a bad flight.

After finally finding the right paper for this flight, and conifming, yes, I had the aisle seat, the glorious I-can-go-pee-any-time-I-need-to-go-pee seat, the guy finally moved to the middle seat.


Instead of sitting in his seat, he sat in his seat and part of my seat. He hadn't dropped the arm rest between us, which meant if he sat casually, he could occupy both his seat and about six inches of my seat. That would be one quarter of my seat.

I haven't been that skinny enough to sit tandem in a seat since high school. I mean, what the heck? I looked over to the seat next to him, the window seat, and realized that part of the reason middle-seat guy was in my seat was because the man in the window seat was spilling over into the middle.

Great. Just great.

So, I had to wonder. How aggressive should I be about this whole seat thing? Should I be passive-aggressive about my space? This middle-seat guy was sitting like he had balls the size of bowling balls: legs spread wide, his feet practically in the aisle. This whole, societally-imposed concept of "don't cause waves" I think grossly contributes to women being unable to deal with conflct in a constructive way.

Middle-seat guy also spread out with his arms, taking up, I later noticed, not only the entire arm rest on my side, which I dropped fairly quickly since I really, really, really wanted my personal space (which is normally 24" around me, not 24 mm) back. He was also taking up the enire armrest on the other side. I'm sure he was thinking during his attempt to be the most annoying person ever, "Curse you for getting the coveted aisle seat, I'm goint to annoy you the whole flight anyway."

I'm sure he didn't realize before the flight that, you know what, my legs bounce the entire flight. Flights make me nervous and I have a lot of sugar to burn. I assure you, quite unconsciously annoy you more than you annoy me. Which might has contributed to his becoming more annoying, though.

So, this annoying flight didn't have the annoying screaming baby that the last flight had. I was reading various magazines on the first flight so I didn't notice the screaming baby two flights in front of me until I ran out of words. When I did run out of words, the cacophany of screams hit me full force. I couldn't help but start singing the "Nobody cares!" song that Mark and Megan taught me to sing to Mirabelle when she's screaming uncontrollably for no reason you can tell or fix. "Momma doesn't care. Poppa doesn't care. Kitt doesn't care."

I just wish the mother had employed Mark's startle technique of screaming, "Baby! Shut Up!" to the screaming kid. Works like a charm.

Ah, well.

At least that flight had some ultimate players on it. I suspect they weren't too happy with sitting next to me: I sat there with a huge grin on my face the whole flight. Hey. I'm a National Champion.

Back to the most annoying flight ever, which continued in the bathrooms.

In both of the bathrooms on the plane, the back ones, which are the ones I find most convenient, someone, perhaps two someones, thought it was okay to pee on the floor. The smell of the realization of what the liquid on the floor was made me also realize that, yes, my sense of smell that I lost then partially regained in the sense it works wtih only crap, also works with urine.


In one of the bathrooms, the "lavoratory", why can't we figure out just what this little room with toliets are supposed to be called, anyway? It's a little poop room. That's the best term for it. In one of the poop rooms, the floor was all sticky. So, great, someone pissed on the floor, and someone else came along and spilled their drink on the the floor. After I washed my hands, I had to wash my shoes, too, and then wash my hands again. Oh, joy, oh, joy.

Did I mention the second screaming baby?

So, there's take-up-space-guy, sticky bathroom floors, and screaming toddler torture. Wow, this flight sucks.

After the flight landed, and people were choosing to wash their hair and dry it because that would be quicker than actually getting off the plane at the pace they were moving, the window guy said in a loud voice, "I think they should just get rid of the overhead bins. If you can't fit it under the seat, you can't bring it on the plane."

It took ever fiber in my being to resist my retort: "Well, I think there should be a 180 pound weight limit: I can bring on up to 180 pounds of crap including myself. If you weigh more, you need to buy another ticket. You know, like for that second seat you went ahead and occupied during this flight anyway."