Muscling our way down the aisle of an Airbus 320, Studley and i were pretty happy to have wrangled seats on the same flight home after a weekend getaway. Even though Row 35 is not exactly prime real estate? i was glad to have a chance to drool on the shoulder i know, rather than the shoulder of a stranger.
We stowed our bags and got comfortable while we waited for the other 98 passengers to board the overstuffed plane. One of the few perks of “kiss my ass” status on an airline? Early boarding. This means you can stow a bag in the overhead bin before they are crammed full.
We were mildly entertained as a raucous family of four occupied Row 34 – a mother, probably about my age, her two adult sons, and the cute blonde girlfriend of one of the sons. Mom and one of the brothers were across the aisle, and the young couple parked directly in front of us. Wearing a cocked baseball cap, he was channeling his inner Jersey Shore goomba. Badly. But they were having fun, horsing around and playing.
As expected, the overhead bins were soon filled. People struggled to stuff bags into the few remaining voids. As we prepared for push-back, the flight attendant offered a warning: “Ladies and gentlemen, some of these bins will not close! If we have to pull your bag and check it, there will be a fee. Please do your best to get your bags into the overhead compartments!”
The bin over Row 34 was in obvious violation. A late arrival in Row 33 had hopefully put his small roller bag into the compartment, directly under a hinge. There was no way the door would close.
The young man in front of us decided to help. Standing up, and making a rather big deal out of it, he tried to force the door to close. When it didn’t break, or close, he then began chiding the owner of the protruding suitcase that he’d better deal with it…
“Yo, brother! You’re gonna need to do somethin’ about the bag! They’ll delay the flight if you can’t get it closed!”
The passenger in Row 33 got back up and started trying to rearrange the bags in the compartment. He tried to stow the bag. The goomba felt compelled to provide running commentary and advice.
“Move that little one, dude. Turn it around baby! No, other way, fella – it’s like Jenga, baby. JENGA! Move the blocks. No, other way. Geez, you never play Jenga?”
It went on. Louder and louder.
Meanwhile, a man across the aisle in Row 36 stood up and checked for space in the bin over his head. i had noticed this man when he boarded – primarily because of the amount of blue ink on his hands and knuckles. Prison tattoos. Including the teardrop* under his right eye. Without saying a word, he cleared space for another bag.
Goomba got louder and Row 33 passenger became a little more frantic. Studley got his attention and pointed to the space over Row 36, now cleared. Problem solved. Both Studley and i caught the attention of the quiet man in Row 36 and thanked him.
Goomba wasn’t quite done, though.
“There ya go, baby! Stick with me! I got ya covered!”
beautiful image found here
* May be legend, but it is believed that a tear drop tattoo signifies that the bearer has taken a life. There are other possible meanings. But the blue ink? Definitely implies time behind bars.
I love the title of this ..just goes to show you
my initial reaction to the tattooed man? “uh oh. gang. shit.” nope. bad call daisyfae. bad call.
Yo! That dude was on my flight from Spain. Yeah! baby. He was workin’ the mojo, man.
Or so he thought…
he was horrid! loud, laughing at his own jokes and completely douche-tastic. fortunately he was sleepy, and didn’t keep us awake on the flight.
I ditto sausage’s comment!
Glad hubby wasn’t on that flight…he’s not too patient with loud mouths and neither am I. 😉 I can be a bitch when needed….haha, I’m old and I’ve earned it!
i was in the middle seat, but Studley was poised to get up to assist. worst case? that suitcase could have gone under the seat in front of him. unpleasant to end up in a battle at the beginning of a four hour flight, but had it become necessary? i think we’d have had half the plane with us….
Flying used to be so elegant. I remember the first time I walked on a plane. A real pleasure. Now? It’s about as dignified as a bus. Then again, they used to smoke on planes, too. The wheel turns.
i don’t care about elegant. i want efficient. you want to talk ‘inelegant’? that’d be going cross country in a car. sure, you’re in control of when you stop and go, but interstate highways are pretty lousy. never mind being stuck in a car with increasingly gamey humans. we did a two week camping trip through the atlantic provinces of canada once. 5,000 miles in 2 weeks. the car smelled like hell for the next three months. no amount of vacuuming or bleaching seemed to help….
You have much more interesting/less horrifying passengers on your flights. At least, on this one flight, anyway. I’d have a hard time not rolling my eyes and sneering at little Jersey Boy. But putting bags in the overheads really is like Jenga. Or maybe Tetris. Also, I saw a guy on the subway just the other day with a bunch of prison tats, including the teardrop under the eye. He gave up his seat for an elderly lady. Book covers indeed.
Usually it isn’t that bad. We were really glad when the happy couple decided to nap, or there might have been a rumble. One of those people with no “inside voice”. And it’s Tetris. Studley caught the brunt of my passive-aggressive hissing – “damn it, it’s TETRIS, not JENGA, doucheywaddler!”
We travel quite a bit due to my step son working for one of the airlines. I am always the last on the plane – but usually get the best seats up front – but after seeing FLILGHT with Denzel I am conflicted about flying lol – I always give my bag to the guy outside the plane door, he stuffs it in the belly of the plane and then when you land they get it for you. Granted, you have to wait a bit. Good story. People are nuts.
Hi Alpha – thanks for stopping by! If i’ve got no carry on luggage to stash? i will wait until the plane is loaded before boarding – or, if there’s gate check (for regional jets, this is pretty common now). Beats the cattle drive when they first board the plane! And yes. People are nuts. Same as it ever was!
I have known several ex-cons. Something about surviving prison makes you quiet and polite, unless you are a recidivist. But then, those don’t wind up on plane flights. Goomba needed to have his goombas punched.
My flights are generally boring, thank heavens.
i’ve known two ex-cons – one got out and did well. quiet, balanced and most definitely working hard not to call attention to himself. the other? broken. institutionalized. no idea whether he went back or not, but i wouldn’t be surprised. sad story. one i still need to write, as he was DQ’s first husband….
Quiteness and some scary tattoos always calm things down. Everything can get magnified in such a confined space and a slight threat of violence can come in handy. Obviously not something I’d ever inspire in anyone with my 9 stone frame!
The douchey one remained completely oblivious to the quiet inked man behind him. He never gave him a look. This is why the quiet man was so amazing… i was far more likely to engage in violence. My contingency plan was about to be launched, which was to suggest that the man with the overhanging bag (not a euphemism) stow it under his seat… and in the process i was hoping to whack Douchey on the head and knock his cutesy baseball cap clean off of his head.