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They say if you want to know someone, take a trip with them.  I wonder if this saying includes the plane because people tend to do strange things on the plane. Here are three cases that stand out in my mind.

The Climber:

I just came back from a trip to visit family.  Because of my biologic make and model, I prefer isle seats so I can come and go as the need arises.  On this particular trip, I woke up at one point to a conversation going on behind me.  “Do you mind if I climb over your seat?  I just don’t want to wake up these folks.”  I looked around and noticed that the woman who was sitting at the end of my row was no longer in her seat.  Is that her out there now? I looked back.  Yep.

How the hell did she Houdini herself out anyway?

She went on, “well when you and your kids went to the bathroom, I climbed out through your row.” The mother now listened with a horrified look on her face as this lady wanted to retrace her steps back to her seat via their row.

The man in the middle seat of our isle was still sleeping, head on the tray table.  I got up.  “Here you go.”  I said.

She said:  “I’m climbing over.  Do you mind?”

No you insane woman.  Do what you want. Just hurry. 

“No.  Go ahead.” I said.

She stepped on my seat, over the sleeping man and on to her seat, then plump, she sat down.  The mother and I looked at each other, mortified, and without words communicated is she really doing this? crazy, shrug.

The Dreamer:

Last year I was on a flight to Iran with connection to Amsterdam.  On the first leg of the flight a little man sat next to me.  We were on the side with two seats per row.  Right at the beginning of the flight he took out a small bottle, put two drops of the liquid from the bottle in water, drank it, then placed his sleep mask on and off he went into dreamland.  About two-thirds of the way through, his elbow gently tapped mine.  Thank God, he’s not dead.  I looked over and noticed he is very much alive with his down there standing at attention.  Oh shit.  We still had some ways to go and my attention just did not want to stay on my book.  Despite my head position (down), my eyeballs stretched so far to the left that I started feeling eye pain and dizziness.  Some time later he woke up, took a few more drops out of his bottle, covered his “down there” with both hands and went back to sleep until we landed.

How about a blanket for those long flights, so the rest of us can be spared the dizziness?

The Screamer:

Mom, dad, and their two children occupied one row.  Mother took her two-year-old daughter to the bathroom and came back.  Now it was dad’s turn with the four-year-old son.  He picked the boy up and started walking. Suddenly we all heard: “Ouch, my nuts, my nuts.”  Did I mention he was four? Giggles waved through the back of the plane.  Needless to say on the way back and on subsequent trips the boy was no longer carried by dad.