We have all been there. There is always that one human that makes your flight close to unbearable or, in some cases, the most entertaining flight you’ve been on.
I absolutely love flying. The anticipation of adventure awaiting is my favorite feeling in the world. And then there’s the mystery aspect to traveling. Who will you encounter on the plane? Here are some of my favorite human interactions to date!
The Axl Rose Wannabe: Whoa, this fella was on fire on my flight home from L.A. to Chicago. Imagine an Eddie Van Halen look alike, and not only in the face but in his entire appearance. He was full on heavy metal/hair band. His lady got chilly because she wore a straight up tank top on an airplane. A tank top. So, to warm her up, he took off the cut off t-shirt he was wearing and gave it to her. Nips and all. I died I laughed so hard. The flight attendant had to explain to him why he couldn’t be on a plane with his hairy nipples hanging out and eventually, with much persuasion, he put his sleeveless shirt back on. To ease his pain, he threw on his foamy earphones from 1996 and turned up some Guns and Roses. I could literally hear every single word to “Welcome to the Jungle”, which didn’t bother me because I love that song. Now, you know that one part of the song where Axl screams:
“You’re gonna diiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”?
Ummm, the guy screamed that. And I mean screamed it. The screeches that came from the kids were so sad but so funny, I couldn’t handle it. Those poor mothers. I will never forget this guy.
Hey, a guy that likes to sing and keep his lady warm? Could be worse.
Broken Toenail Girl: Imagine if you will – I board the plane, all warm and fuzzy on the inside from the Bloody Mary I had prior to the flight. I get to my seat, ready for a four-hour nap and snuggle into my seat next to the window. I pull out my leopard print neck pillow, throw it on and cozy up as close to the window side as I could. I never get the window so I was extra excited. Just as I put my elbow on my elbow rest, something stabbed my arm. As I looked down at what caused the stabbing, I saw the most gnarly set of toenails I had ever seen in my life. They literally looked like something from Tales from the Crypt. You guys, even after my arm touched her “toes”, she left her foot there for four full hours. That’s ballsy. I like it.
The Guy with B.O.: The man that sat next to me on our flight to Vancouver didn’t think to consider his neighbors the day he boarded that plane. At first, I was actually really excited to sit next to him, I mean, he was wearing a 90’s windbreaker with neon, geometric shapes all over it. Everything was going well until he decided to take off said windbreaker.
That jacket did such a powerful job of keeping the stink inside his zipper that when he took it off, I thought I got punched in the face with a potato sack full of vintage B.O.
Under his windbreaker, he was wearing a thick, and I mean thick, sweater from the late 80’s. The smell that had been living in that sweater for the past thirty years was coming out to party. You know that old vintagey clothing store smell? Mix that smell with outrageous body odor and sit next to it for 3.5 hours…you will never be the same.
The Restaurant Owner: We sat next to this fella a few years back while coming home from Coachella Music Fest out near Palm Springs. After we seated, the guy next to me started talking instantly and he would not stop until we landed…four hours later. Within 47 seconds, I knew this guy was 56 years old, he had a wife and daughter back home, owned a restaurant downtown and he “loved good product” – whatever the hell that meant. He asked us what we were doing out west and when we said we were at Coachella he responded, aren’t you a little old for that? About two seconds later, he took his phone out to show us a photo of his two – month old.
It took everything in my power to not respond, “aren’t you a little old for that?”
I kid you not, he opened his photo album on his phone and never put it away. I saw his new Italian loafers, a copious amount of photos of his wife, charity events he had attended, other Chicago industry folks, his home renovations, oh many, many photos of his kid. He was incessant. For hours he spoke about himself. Eventually, I waved my little white “shut the hell up” flag and pretended to fall asleep. Didn’t stop him though. He spoke over my body to my husband in the aisle seat. That guy sucked.
The Swedish Ninja Child: 2006 on our family trip to Italy to visit family over the holidays. Just as I boarded our flight my cramps kicked into high gear. Like many women, mine are brutal, roll into fetal position type cramps. We were a couple hours into our flight when a miniature demon child from Sweden began to ninja kick the back of my seat. He was kicking me so hard I would fly forward, but since I was strapped in, I would snap right back to the chair. When I kindly asked his mother to have him stop, she told me maybe I should move my seat if her son was bothering me.
Worst flight ever, worst kid ever.
Eat Xanax and Get Straddled: The first time I flew to Australia I planned out a regimen of Xanax to essentially keep me asleep for the duration of the flight as I wanted to be well rested upon my arrival. I left specific instructions on a post-it note for the flight attendants to wake me for every meal. I love airplane food. I was basically half dead and not at all lucid for probably 99.7% of the flight. When I would eat, my hands felt like bricks presenting food to my mouth in super slow motion. After coming out of my self-induced coma, shortly before landing in Sydney, I finally met the wrestler-looking fella who sat next to me for 13 hours. Well, apparently during the flight he had to use the bathroom, but there was one problem – I had medicated myself to death. He said he tried for many, many minutes to wake me, but no such luck.
Out of pure desperation, he had to straddle on top of me to pass thru the aisle and just as he had a leg on each side of me – I came to. We were face to face.
It was only for a quick moment because I immediately passed away again and I have absolutely no recollection of this, but the poor guy was beyond embarrassed and felt that telling me was the right thing to do. He apologized profusely and I did the same because, I too, was semi mortified.
Gotta love the thrill of flying and the folks you come across. I know I do! Happy and safe travels to you all!
Jennifer Pohl says
Lauren, your post had me literally laughing aloud. I thought I would share a funny story of my own:
“TIPSY MAKE-UP TIPS AND TRICKS”
You may remember my partner in crime for this story from a previous TSP blog entry where she was praised for what a wonderful person she is, and that’s great because she really is exceptional. However, I find her to be one of the most hilarious people on Earth—mostly when she isn’t trying to be funny at all and definitely when I am making her laugh at an inopportune moment where it ultimately makes her look rude for being so inappropriate.
A long time ago, my friends and I took a trip to Denver. The majority of us were on the same flight which made me excited, until I realized that I have a bunch of Xanax-popping, scaredy-cat flyer friends who don’t fully appreciate the wonders of alcohol and its effects on the body whilst flying. So, said friend and I sat next to one another and decided to make the most of the flight.
We promptly ordered two cocktails each and got the giggles in record time. Poking and scaring our anxious friends soon became the funniest thing ever. After a few more giggles and cocktails, we realized we would soon be arriving at our destination and that we needed some “touching up”. While I am the least-likely advisor on other’s make-up, at that moment I felt the confidence of a veteran MAC cosmetologist. I emptied the contents of my Walgreens-purchased make-up pouch onto the tiny airplane tray, narrowly missing a disastrous spill from my over-filled plastic cocktail cup.
I am not sure if I have ever laughed so hard with someone for such an extended period in my life. The plane was dead silent and she and I had to stifle our laughter, which resulted in series of snorts and involuntary howls as I attempted to apply thick, clumpy coats of mascara to her eyes with the shaky and uncoordinated hands of a drunk. I’m certain there was no real turbulence, but each time my hand would inadvertently dive in the wrong direction and I drew heavy lines of mascara across her cheeks, eyebrows and nose, the more I laughed. The more I laughed, the more she laughed, the more we tried to not laugh. More snorts, howling, drooling and crying ensued.
Eventually, we landed and our comatose friends arose from their slumber to find their sad, drunk friends looking like they got in a fight with Tammy Faye Baker. Ah, I’d relive that flight again, any day of the week.
Maryclare Trela says
Good read. Like you, I’m the xanax girl on any flight!