Smackdown On Flight 3900

My travel companion…OK so he was wearing a golf shirt and eating a large deli sandwich, not strolling through someone’s tropical paradise back yard barefoot and naked. Also? Why would you spend $98 on this item from Sky Mall…WHY? Especially when  you can have The Meerkat Gang Sculpture for just $89.

When I traveled to Detroit last Monday I lucked up on my 6:30 departing flight from Nashville. I had a window seat on a row I shared with a small older Asian man seated on the aisle and the center seat was empty. In other words, SCORE! I was able to curl up and catch up on my sleep as I woke up before the alarm went off at 4 a.m. all a dither because I realized my ID, which, uh, hello is vital to air travel, was in the pocket of our pool bag.

I didn’t have quite the same luck on the flight home the next day.

First of all, it was a small plane with just two seats on each side. And it was full, very very full. When I checked into the kiosk in Detroit to print my boarding pass I saw that there was a window seat available and I moved my seat.

I ended up sitting next to a very, very large guy. A very, very large sweaty guy. A very, very large sweaty guy eating a very, very large turkey sandwich with very, very large amounts of dripping  mayonnaise less than 10 inches from my face.

And this was all before the plane even left the runway.

So much for me being smarty miss travel pants getting the window seat.

I curled up as best I could with my face planted against the plane window since he was all up in my personal space and I just needed the illusion of breathing air not shared with Mr. Mayonnaise Man.

Soon my flight buddy fell sound asleep and I rummaged around in my purse for a book to read, but then realized it was in my carry on suitcase.

I had pretty much exhausted my SkyMall fascination with things like this Big Foot Garden Yet Sculpture (for the love of God WHY?). I had nothing. I couldn’t relax. I couldn’t imagine sitting on the plane like that for the next hour so I needed a distraction. I scanned through the pictures on my digital camera. I cleaned out my wallet. Peanuts and a Coke suddenly seemed very appealing. Anything to take my mind off very, very large sweaty sandwich eating guy. I listened anxiously for the flight attendant and the beverage cart.

And then the unimaginable happened.

(No the guy did not fart…that would be imaginable.)

The guy next to me let out a snore from the depths of his diaphragm, jerked violently awake, and SMACKED ME with his flailing very, very large arm.

Oh yes he did.

I glanced around to see if anyone had witnessed this WTF moment in air travel but everyone on the plane was zoned out, including my flight companion. He had fallen back asleep after mumbling “sorry!”, snoring, and folding his arms.

And then I spent the next hour curled up with my body pressed firmly against the side interior of the plane, praying the very, very large arm would not smack me again.

Delta, you owe me an hour of my life back.


  1. Stephanie says:

    I always thought that getting seated next to the “talkers” was worse. They wanna know who you are, where you’re going, what will you do when you get there, who was your college roommate, do you know so-and-so from _______?

    Then I got on a flight (with my 15 month old) that was extremely full of peeved holiday flyers. My kid fell asleep about halfway thru the flight, but they kept looking at him like he was a terrorist. If looks could kill, as they say, even though he didn’t do anything.
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Flutter-By =-.

  2. Jamie says:

    I felt like I was on a Seinfeld episode.

    Stephanie, I can be a talker but I try to be empathetic and realize when the other person is not a talker.

    I just wanted to sleep or read on this flight…no dice! 😉

  3. Jennifer says:

    NEVER, EVER go for the window seat. You are completely trapped. Always take the aisle of available. That is what three years of non-stop travel for work taught me.
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..The Bucket List =-.

  4. amy2boys says:

    I pictured him sorta like John Candy, which is big and sweaty but still kind of fun — but I guess not. It really does sound like Seinfeld!

  5. Jamie says:

    He was a nice enough guy (when we did end up talking toward the end). Just the whole no space, sandwich eating, smacking me thing threw me off. SIGH! 😉 I couldn’t relax the entire time he was sleeping which was for about 90 percent of the flight.
    .-= Jamie´s last blog ..Smackdown On Flight 3900 =-.

  6. Linda Sullivan says:

    Totally a what the ef moment. And there’s nothing worse than no one else noticing it, including the one who did the smacking. I agree with Jennifer, avoid the window seat at all cost. you could get trapped between an endless stretch of clouds and a sleeping person (possibly a sweaty big one who could smack you on the face apparently accidentally anytime)

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