‘We all know that flights can be long and slightly uncomfortable journeys. They certainly are for me because of All Of The People…
I’m not a huge fan of being around strangers and I’m even less of a fan of being sat *right* next to hundreds of them in a small tin can for prolonged periods of time.
Anyhoo, since I don’t have my own private jet, I am resigned to the fact that I’m stuck with the situation for the foreseeable future. As an introvert and someone who is in constant fear of being judged, I tend not to say too much when I’m flying. This is mainly because I know I can easily be overheard by those sitting around me. If I want to chat with Les (which does happen on occasion), I tend to chat quietly.
I never speak of anything controversial or personal because I’m not a monster. As well as conversation, I’m also very aware of my actions overall. This means making little noise, being polite to everyone, and never *ever* hogging both armrests. I won’t even use the bathroom on a flight. THAT’S how awkward I am. But enough about me…
I find I seem to be quite alone in my Weird Person’s Code of Conduct. Many of my fellow passengers think nothing of discussing a myriad of subjects that, to me, would be completely off-limits. Others have no issue with being loud and, quite frankly, a complete pain in the arse. Allow me to demonstrate…
Liverpool to Madrid, March 2018 (during extreme weather across the UK and Europe)
Chantelle*: I hope we get there ok
Barney*: Yeah, we don’t wanna get diverted anywhere horrible during the storm
Chantelle: *laughing* I know. Imagine ending up in some shit place!
Barney: Some flights have been diverted to Glasgow already as they couldn’t land in Manchester
Chanetelle: Christ, who the fuck wants to go to Scotland??
Me: *silently planning Chantelle’s demise and vowing to push her down the escalator when we arrive. Or, in front of traffic if I can get away with it without going to jail*
Liverpool to Malta, March 2019
I sit in my seat and realise that girl from The Ring is sitting on my headrest, staring at me. After a few seconds of sheer panic, I realise it’s actually the freakishly long, black hair of the woman in the seat in front. At some point in her life, she decided that it was perfectly acceptable to flip it over the back of her chair and into the unsuspecting face of the passenger behind. That passenger is me. That passenger is *always* me.
In order to see my laptop and, you know, not have some strange woman’s hair up my nose and in my mouth every time I take a breath, I push it aside. She seems annoyed and swishes it back. I push it aside again, with slightly more aggression. She swishes it back. I have a quick word and she moves it out of my face and, presumably, on to the shoulder of the poor person next to her. I got my own hair problems, lady; now kindly fuck off.
I give her my best Death Stare as we disembark and hope the next person she does it to dips her hair in their lumpy airplane gravy.
Manchester to Kyiv, June 2019
On a Ryanair flight to Kyiv, I was sat in the aisle seat next to two young lads from Manchester, who were part of a large group of guys going on holiday. They were dressed skinny jeans with full sleeve tattoos and I fully admit I rolled my eyes (metaphorically, obvs) as I took my seat. A little over ten minutes into the flight, this conversation started:
Dave*: So, did you get tested, then?
Kev*: Yeah, I ‘ad to after she called me
Dave: Oh, yeah?
Kev: Yeah, well she’d been with everyone, adn’t she?
Dave: Yeah, well, she’s a bit of a slut
Kev: Yeah, but it was really embarrasing cos I had to tell all them other lasses that I might have a fookin’ STD
Dave: Fuck, mate. That’s ‘arsh.
It went on in more detail, but it wasn’t pleasant. Anyway, I managed to glean that Kev had been quite a busy lad. He didn’t think this was much of an issue, though. However, one of the girls he’d slept with contracted an STD. She got this because she’d ‘been with everyone’. This, obviously, made her a slut. Kev, on the other hand, was OK. He’s not a slut; he’s just a regular bloke who’d had to tell all the other women he’d slept with in a fairly short space of time that he may have an STD. Kev did NOT see the hypocrisy of his argument.
While my heart went out to Kev for the terrible position this poor slutty girl had clearly tricked him into, I couldn’t help but wonder why the HELL he thought it appropriate to discuss it right next to me, a 41-year-old woman who had, much to my complete and utter dismay, forgotten to pack any earbuds.
Liverpool to Cluj-Napoca, September 2019
Dad: Harrison, put your seatbelt on
Dad: Oh, come on, Harrison, you need to put your belt on before the lady comes along
Dad: You have to sit in your own seat for now, but you can sit on Mummy’s knee once we take off.
Dad: Harrison, would you like a sweet?
Harrison: *quiet for 30 seconds*
Dad: Right, now you can sit on Mummy’s knee
Me: *inwardly* Thank the Lord
Mum: Would you like to watch Paw Patrol?
Harrison: WAAAAA- Yes.
Mum: Would you also like to kick the living daylights out of the woman sitting in front of you??
Harrison: Would I! Hell, yes! Also, WAAAAAAAAAH!
Cut to Harrison kicking the back of my seat for an hour while watching Paw Patrol with the sound up full and no earphones.
Me: I have *got* to get that private jet sorted.
In defence of Harrison, he eventually tired himself out from all the WAAAHing and kicking and took a nap until just before we landed. He did, however, clean his teeth with an electric toothbrush before he went to sleep, which I initially mistook for him using a Black and Decker to drill through the back of my seat. The entire flight, just across the aisle, sat a chubby little baby boy who constantly grinned at his Mum. I liked him immensely.
What interesting conversations and or behaviour have you overhead/endured on a flight?
* Names have been changed to protect the identity of various dickheads.
** I don’t include Harrison in the list of dickheads because he’s a toddler. Harrison is also his real name and he was in seat 24B, then 24A, then 24C on a flight from Liverpool. Sorry, Harrison, but it’s only fair people are given fair warning.