A Row to Myself
They started doing this annual gathering of funny folks called the San Francisco SketchFest several years ago, and it’s turned into one of the best comedy festivals in the country. Where is it? San Francisco. I arrived yesterday after that rarest of coach flights: the kind where I have an entire row to myself. Did I take advantage? DID I!!! First item on the agenda: unbuttoning my pants. Not because I planned on doing anything naughty but simply because there was nobody beside to tell me not to. Once that was done, I realized there was no thrill if there was nobody around to notice, so I tapped the shoulder of the businessman in the row in front of me. When he turned around, I pointed at my trousers and winked. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t have to.
Once that was done, I decided to move over to the middle seat to maximize my elbow room because there’s no point in having a whole row if you’re not going to devote significant space to your elbows. There were a lot of ways I could have gone, but decided to go with chicken elbows, which is where I bend my arms and do a little chicken flapping throughout the duration of the flight. But, again, it was one of those situations where if I’m going to chicken flap, I want people to know it. So I let out a couple quiet clucks, just enough so the passengers around me, none of whom had rows to themselves and were thus unable to do their own chicken elbows, could see my good fortune and thereby experience the kind of jealousy that only a good, solid chicken flap can produce.
When the airplane ladies came around with soft drinks, I ordered three - one for each of my trays. I got a Pepsi, a Sprite, and a milk. Then I took turns sipping from each. Pepsi, Sprite, milk, again and again in round robin fashion. The tastes did not mesh well at all, but the situation was too rich to pass up. I did the same thing with the in-flight entertainment system. I ordered three different movies, then watched each for a couple minutes at a time. I can’t even tell you what I saw because between all the sipping and headphone shuffling, I couldn’t keep track of any of them. I’m pretty sure one of them was “Transformers 2,” but it could have been any movie where robots from space turn into cars.
At one point a nice older woman who was in a middle seat a couple rows behind me came up, pointed to the seat in my row at the end, and asked if anybody was sitting there. I said, “Yeah. Me, bitch.” I wasn’t trying to be mean, but if I’ve got three soft drinks and I’m watching three movies, it’s not because I’m looking for company.
After the movies ended, I decided to take a little nap. This proved harder than I thought it would be because all the caffeine had me pretty wired and the milk left me bloated and gassy. Having my pants unbuttoned saved me time at this point because I almost certainly would have gone ahead and done that if it hadn’t been done already. Not that unbuttoning my pants takes that much time but in a situation like that every second counts.
My discomfort only intensified when I tried laying across all three seats. Those airplane seats are just not meant for sprawling. Eventually I found a solution: I asked the stewardess if she would spoon with me. After some token protestations (“I can’t,” “I’m on duty,” “I could lose my job”) she agreed. Aside from being a little too smelly in the perfume department, it worked out great. Don’t worry, there was no hanky panky. I wasn’t looking to join the Mile High Club (again). I just wanted a warm body to wrap my strong, beefy arms around. Some of the other passengers complained because obviously if the stewardess was laying down with me she couldn’t attend to them, but why should their needs come before mine? There were literally three other stewardesses on the plane who knew how to operate the defibrillator.
I awoke just in time for our final descent into the Bay area, then did a couple clucks and flaps to get the blood moving again. The pilot executed a perfect landing. As we taxied to the gate, I kind of snuck down the aisle so I would be the first off the plane. It was kind of hard once I hit the first class section but I whispered “air marshal” to everybody and that seemed to do the trick. Finally we rolled to a stop, the door opened and after slipping the pilot five bucks for his good landing, I got out of that death trap ASAP. Yes, I forgot to button my pants back up and yes I paid the price when they fell down in baggage claim. Oh well, everybody had a good laugh and I was a good sport about the whole thing because that’s the kind of guy I am.