The flight from New York to Los Angeles is a long one even under the best of circumstances. Normally, I am one of the few people who can actually enjoy their time on an airplane. I find the time to be completely devoid of responsibility. It’s six hours where you are free to waste your time sleeping and watching bad movies. When you factor in that I was on the flight because someone else was paying for it so I could go on national television and talk about being The Bitchy Waiter, you’d think I was in Heaven at 34,000 feet. Not this flight.
The flight was a full one with not open free seat. Since I didn’t buy the ticket myself and had no say in my seat assignment, I ended up smack dab in the middle of the plane. No window or aisle seat for me, thanks. Two rows in front of me was a baby who wanted his presence known. This adorable crotch dumpling (thank you for the word, reader) cried for half of the flight. It was not a little whimper and sniff kind of cry. It sounded like there was a circumcision happening in aisle 33 seat B. I kept wondering when I would see a doctor throw the foreskin into the bag of trash that the flight attendant had as she walked down the aisle. I looked at the plastic bag my American Airlines blanket had been in and wondered if the baby would like to play with it despite the warning on it that said “this bag is not a toy.”
To the right of me was a very large man who looked like he had just come from doing extra work on Yentl. Oy. He poured himself into his seat and his odor drifted into my seat along with a portion of his extra body mass. You know what your gym shorts smell like after you do cardio and you maybe had just had a bowel movement where some baby wipes would have been helpful but you didn’t have any so you settle for “clean enough” but who cares since you’re going to the gym anyway? I wish he smelled that good. Something about layers and layers of black wool being worn on a hot muggy day creates an odor that is very special indeed. Add to that a big gray beard that goes to your chest and holds onto sweat the way I hold onto a margarita glass and you have a really miserable seat mate. And why does he not realize that the arm rest is for both of us to share? Of course he fell asleep almost instantly after having three phone conversations as we taxied down the runway. When he got up once to go the bathroom he returned with whatever stench had been living in the toilet. He fell asleep again but this time he made sure to face me so his foul breath could come in my direction as he snored. I was holding on to a fart for about two hours but eventually let it go in a futile attempt to freshen the air.