Saturday, April 27, 2013

The biggest asshat I've ever sat next to on a plane

I saw this story on AoSHQ about e-cigarettes and it reminded me of my flight out to Arizona last week.  Now let me preface this by saying that I've done a fair amount of air travel, both for business and vacations.  I know the drill.  Go to the bathroom right before you board, bring something to read, stay awake for the meal and then sleep when you can.  Most of all, don't be a jerk to other passengers.  This became 10X truer after 9/11.  We're all stuck in this tin can for a couple hours so just keep it together.

This was a flight to Las Vegas so it was mostly older travelers but there's always a couple of kids on board (including mine) so it's a good idea to watch your language and demeanor.  Not this guy.  He was cursing it up with his like-minded dad while he puffed up his head pillow.  Vegas, baby! F-yeah!  Then he prepared these adhesives to the back of the seat in front of him so he could attach his IPad and watch his own in-flight movies.  Ah, very clever, I thought.  Then he proceeded to watch parts of "The Departed", "Casino", and one of those "Harold & Kumar" movies, complete with violence and nudity, for all to see from his aisle seat.  At least he kept his headphones on so the only profanity you could hear was his personal brand.

Then, THEN, he "lit up" an e-cigarette.  I was dumbfounded.  Seriously?  What the hell is the purpose of that thing other than to draw attention to yourself?  The flight attendant came over quickly and told him to put it out.  And this jagoff actually said: "Hey, we're all adults here" which is exactly the tagline from the commercial for the Blu e-cigarette.  Wow.  Like he's striking a blow to the man.  Oh well, back to Malin Akerman taking off her shirt.

By the end of the flight, my annoyance had gradually turned to pity.  I have never seen a man so needy to show off his testosterone level.  His buddies must have caught him flipping through Vogue while eating a cucumber sandwich and watching "Steel Magnolias."

Hey, let's make this a weekend open thread.  Anybody have a similar experience?  By the way, on the flight back home, I sat next to a quiet guy (an RPI student I think) who placidly read his Mad magazine and occasionally chuckled to himself.


Branson Family Theater said...

I was that guy (by accident). I was on a Virgin Airways flight to London, clicked on their video screen to watch "Hot Tub Time Machine," and then BOOM! Any child, nun, Westboro Baptist churchgoer, or boobphobic passenger with working peripheral vision could get an unwilling eyeful of the unedited movie. Two eyefuls, actually. That airline might need to change its name.

Eric said...

Heh. Usually they edit or blur out the nudity, in my experience. I remember seeing the Richard Gere movie "Red Corner" (it was a long flight and this was the last movie left to watch) and a shower scene was all blurred.

Spam Donaldson said...

This can also be terrible, because the variety of options sows panic and confusion, thereby shattering all possible hope of a unified society. Really, who can say?

David said...

Several years ago (I don't fly anymore - refuse to inflict the TSA and their security show on myself or my family) I was on a completely full flight.

I had the window seat and my plan was settle in and sleep. (flight was only two hours so no meal and I could live without the peanuts and drink.

Business man in suit and tie had the aisle seat. He settled in with his walkman and headphones in his pocket waiting for take-off, briefcase under his feet and and a handfull of work reports in his lap to read.

The we saw him coming down the aisle - our middle seat occupant - young kid (maybe 21 or 22) saggy jeans, torn and stained Iron Maiden tee shirt, flip flops, dirty worn cap with fraying marijuania leaf logo on it, headphones on but music so loud you could hear it 10 feet away from him, putting on his best bada$$ impression.

He stepped over the guy on the aisle's legs and flopped into the seat between us. Looked at me and said, very loudly, "Change seats with me Dude." I shook my head and said "I don't think so." He turned to the business man and asked "How about you?" He also declined.

Slumping down into his seat in a huff he shoved his elbows onto both armrests, hitting both of us in the ribs. Then he slammed down the tray in front of him and started drumming on it with his hands.

At this moment the flight attendant came by and politely asked him to stop hitting the tray. Then she reched over and jerked the headphones off of his ears and added in a very stern mother lecturing an unruly child "You will also turn down that music, sit up straight, stop elbowing the gentlemen on either side of you. You will sit still, and sit quietly, or I will personally drag you out of that seat and throw you off this airplane."

Everyone for about four rows either side of us started applauding her actions.

The kid sat up. Turned off his music, and actually tried to start up a conversation with the two of us. Afer several failed starts he finally revealed that it was his first time on a plane (we weren't surprised), that he was really scared of flying and that he was on his way to Salt Lake City for a job interview.

This is when the guy in the aisle seat lost it. He started laughing so hard he almost choked. Turns out he was a personnel manager. He spent the rest of the flight trying to educate this kid about how to dress, and handle himself at his interview.

I don't know if it helped. But to his credit the kid did seem to be listening to him.

Anonymous said...

And that unruly kid grew up to be Timothy McVeigh. So now you know the rest...

...of the story.

Anonymous said...

No unruly travelers, but; on a day made for flying and a 3.5 hr flt ahead I found myself on an a/c lit only by the interior lights, as all aboard had nailed the shades shut so they could fool with their ipads, notebooks, whatevers.

Not a bit of daylight penetrated the cabin. Next time I'll just book passage on a submarine.

Idiots, self important, masters and mistresses of the universe who give not a crap so long as they have their toys.