Friday, August 17, 2007

My good luck ran out

I've flown several times in my life. Often enough that I feel like there's nothing really involved in air travel that can suprise me. I know that you can get stuck sitting in front of a kid who won't stop kicking your seat or a crazy old lady who won't stop talking to you or a rather large man who thinks that just because he's sitting in the middle seat he's entitled to use both armrests. I've been in all these seating situations and none of them were really that big of a deal. In fact, as soon as I got off the plane I forgot about them. I've been very lucky in that for most of my life I have never had a really bad seatmate.

All that changed when I recently flew from LA to Minneapolis. My good flight luck ran out. I was seated next to the most disgusting I have ever had the misfortune to "meet".

It all started out ok. As I sat in the waiting area I couldn't help but notice that there were about 40 or so young, obnoxious Army guys waiting for the same plane as me. I was worried that I was going to end up sitting right in the middle of all of them. Even under the best of circumstances I'm not a big fan of large groups of rowdy 18-22 year old guys. Not to mention, and I'm ashamed to even admit this, that there is still a little bit of Air Force snobbery left in me. I look down on the Army. Look, it's not right but I can't help how I feel. Air Force rules, Army drools!

Anyway, I didn't want to sit by the grunts. So you an imagine my pleasure at finding out I was seated no where near them. Yippee! I was even more pleased to find myself seated on the isle next to a man furiously scribbling out a complicated mathmatical formula on a notepad. He seemed like the perfect person to sit next to. He probably wouldn't try to talk to me as I read my book or did the crossword puzzle in the back of the in-flight magazine. My happiness lasted about as long as it took for me to get my seatbelt buckled.

Then the smell hit me. It was like sour milk combined with moldy fruit. "Please" I thought to myself "Let that be a random odor drifting from somewhere. Please do not let that be the guy next to me."

It was. If the flight hadn't been full I would have jumped up right there and asked to be moved to another seat. But the flight was full and I was stuck. I decided to read my book and suck on a hard candy and concentrate very hard on not paying any attention to the guy next to me.

Here's the thing though. When someone is sitting 2 inches away from you it's hard to ignore the. That's why I couldn't help but notice that the man next to me started to dig in his nose. He had damned near half his hand in there. Every so often he would pull out his finger, inspect it and then flick whatever he found to the floor. And it wasn't like he was being discreet either! He was openly just jamming his finger into his nose over and over and over. And after he finished with one nostril he went to work on the other. At this point I would have happily sat on a grunts lap if it meant getting away from this guy.

Then it got worse. Yes, worse. He started to dig in his ears. Oh god, I tried not to watch. He would pull out large gobs of wax and then wipe it on his notebook paper. He didn't even try to fold up the paper or throw it away or anything! He just left it sitting there like he was proud of it! Like it was part of the mathmatical equation he was working on!

Next he started digging in his teeth. Whatever he found in there ended up on the floor with his nasal trophies. (I wonder how he decided what to flick and what to wipe?) Then he started in on his eyes. All through his picking and wiping and picking and flicking routine I told myself to be calm, it would all be over soon. After all, the man only had so many holes on his face that he could clean out. It couldn't go on forever.

Then the scratching started. He would lift up hsi arm so that his pit was about .4 cenimeters from my face. Then he would start to scratch. And he would scratch and scratch and scratch. Then he would do the other side. (I should mention that as bad as I had it the woman on the other side of him had it worse. I noticed that at one point he had taken his flip flops off and had his feet under the seat in front of her. Why she didn't say something I don't know, I would have.)

There was still more scratching to be done! After all, what's a flight without a solid hour of scratching your balls? After the ball scratching he started in on the face picking again. Oh, it was so horrible. And to top it off, as we were waiting to get off the plane he nearly knocked me unconsious when he hit me in the head with his carry on as he wrestled it out of the overhead compartment. I didn't even care at that point. All I cared about was getting off that plane, finding a bathroom and scrubbing down the entire right side of my body.

It was so terrible. I figure whatever bad flight karma I wracked up out to have been wiped out with that one flight though. Now I can go back to having reasonable pleasant, booger flicking free flights.


melody is slurping life said...

OMG, I really have no words, but can easily *gag*.

nell said...

Yuck! I have to fly to LA on Thursday, I'm crossing my fingers from now until then that this doesn't happen to me.

(Your title had me worried for a second though - I thought it was going to be about the pregnancy. At least this guy was temporary!)

Absolutely Bananas said...

ew ew EWWW!!! I don't think I could handle that. But what do you do? You're stuck on an airplane. This is truly a nightmare. I'm just glad you survived!!

Christopher said...

I don't mean to be prejudiced (alright maybe a little), but the fact that they guy was sitting working out maths equations for fun should have been a major clue that his personal hygiene might be suspect.

The two tend to go hand in hand...

Anonymous said...

I would have knocked myself unconscious in order to not witness the scratching and picking...gag.