I don’t travel often, but when I do, I fly Southwest.

This is my story.

Aisle seat! Yes! Okay, now, don’t make eye contact with anyone walking down the aisle…Don’t make eye contact…Don’t make eye contact…

Wait! She’s hot! Jedi Mind Powers – Activate! You WILL sit here! You will sit here! Look at me! Make eye contact! This is the seat you’re looking for… You want to sit – no, not there! Come here! Sit here – there’s a middle seat right here!


Old sunburned biker dude! NO NO! Don’t look at him! You looked! Stupid eyes! Look away! Look away! He smiled!


“Can I sit there?”




*Get up*

*He slides in next to other old guy who is already sleeping*

*I get back into my chair and with finality, put my seat-belt on*

“You from Reno?”

AAAAIIIGGGHH! He’s a talker!


Don’t look at me, don’t look at me, don’t look at me, don’t-

“Where are you from?”

AAAAIIIGGGHH! Bleh! He stinks of cigarette smoke!


“Oh I’ve been to Denver.”

Of course you have.


“I didn’t like all the pot smokers.”

“They don’t bother me as much as the cigarette smokers.”

What are you doing?! Don’t engage! Don’t engage!

“Oh. You’re one of them.”

One of them? Who them? Why them? I always thought of myself as more of a they. Oooo – she’s pretty. OH SURE – YOU MAKE EYE CONTACT WHEN HARLEY DAVIDSON HAS ALREADY TAKEN THE SEAT DESTINED FOR YOU! NOW WE WILL NEVER TELL OUR GRANDCHILDREN THE STORY OF HOW WE MET ON A PLANE LEAVING RENO FOR VEGAS! Oh, SUUUUURE! Sit next to muscle boy. Your children will be stupid cuz of the steroids!


“Liberals who want to take away our right to smoke!”


“I didn’t say that. I just don’t like cigarette smoke. They-“ HA! “Have proven that it’s unhealthy. For me, it irritates my eyes and I get congested when I’m around it too much.”


*Sometime later*

“…is no smoking on this flight, that includes the lavatory. Federal law prohibits tampering with smoke detectors…”


Pretend to be trying to go to sleep! Pretend to be trying to go to sleep!

*Nudge* “Do you care that they are taking away all our rights?”


Oh, it’s they now, huh? What happened to them?

*Non-committal shrug*

*Sometime later*

“Would you care for something to drink?”

“Dr Pepper please.”

“And you sir?”


*Flight attendant walks away*

*Nudge* “They used to give you a whole meal when you flew anywhere.”



“For what we pay, you’d think they would give us a decent meal.”

I remember those meals. They were many things. Decent isn’t one of them.

“You’d think Congress would do something about these airlines.”

Aren’t they busy taking away all your rights?

“Look! They still have the spot where the ashtray goes in the arm here! Cuz people used to SMOKE on planes.”

People used to do a lot of things they don’t do know because they know better.  Now I’m hungry. Peanuts!  I want peanuts!

*Later-Reading my Kindle*

“Don’t know how you can read on one of those things.”

Usually I use my eyes, tracking the words from left to right.

“It’s not so bad. I’m getting used to it.”

“I just want a book, not a gadget.”

Clive Cussler thanks you.

*Puts in earbuds & starts listening to music while reading*

*Sometime later*

“From the flight deck, we are now beginning our descent into Las Vegas…”

*We land*

“Well, it was nice talking to you.”

Wait – what? WHAT?

“Have fun in Denver!”

. . .


  • Patrick Hester (@atfmb) Posted August 22, 2011 11:54 am

    Please take a moment to read my Random Thoughts: Travel Edition

  • Clifton Hill Posted August 22, 2011 12:22 pm

    Awww, the poor guy just wanted to make friends.. 😉

    No, I know what you’re talking about. You know what works pretty good (though not always as one BART passenger proved, curse that lost writing/reading time)–> ear plugs. Gives a better impression of I don’t want to talk, then mere headphones.

  • Patrick Hester (@atfmb) Posted August 22, 2011 6:33 pm

    For the PM crowd, check out the Travel Edition of Random Thoughts:

  • ganymeder Posted August 22, 2011 9:39 pm


    Another thing that works usually is to say that you’re really into your book and… oh, who am I kidding? Sometimes even earbuds don’t work.

  • Paul (@princejvstin) Posted August 23, 2011 12:57 pm

    Some people are aggressively social and miss the social cues to leave others alone.

  • Patrick Hester (@atfmb) Posted August 23, 2011 3:55 pm

    Random Thoughts: Travel Edition

Comments are closed.