Is That Seat Taken ….

The ground below me is a checker board of farms and long highways …  I am flying the middle seat, 38,000 ft up to Oakland, California working a crossword puzzle. Finding myself stumped I cannot figure out a four letter word for “woman.”  At that time I kind of mumble under my breath (a character trait that my wife and most women do not like) and the lady sitting next to me inquires, “having a problem?” She has in her lap, coincidentally, a puzzle book too.

So I say, “I sure am, I need a four letter word for woman” and she says, “Oh that is easy … It is Aunt.  A-U-N-T.” 

I look at her and say … “Can I borrow your eraser?”

Really not all that crazy about air travel it could be the terminology that they use when they come on the microphone and say:  “last boarding call … final destination, the fact that you have to go to the terminal to catch your flight.”

Back in the old days, a time when they were bringing them down out of the sky, about every other day with heat seeking missiles.  They would ask you when purchasing your ticket, “smoking or charred beyond recognition?” 

As I have pointed out … I don’t like flying.

When a airliner goes down with an Okie onboard he or she as the case may be, that poor Okie really does not know if they are going to heaven or hell, they just know that they are going thru Dallas first.

When people file past me during the boarding process, I try not to look up.  I do the same thing on trains, in waiting rooms and, as best as I can recall, high school cafeterias … lowering my eyes, avoiding any eye contact, trying to discourage anyone and everyone, from sitting next to me.

More or less like the patient waiting room at the Proctologist.  Have you ever noticed how everyone just sits there and stares at the floor?

You may or may not know this. 

But looking down or in some cases is a good social tool.  Take the direct stare for an example.  This is very effective at the movies when you desire a certain seat in the theater. 

Come in, choose a seat right next to a complete stranger who is occupying the seat you wish to possess.  Sit sideways in the seat and stare at him (or them as the case may be).  When they ask you “What are you doing?”

You reply:  “I have already seen the movie, I am watching you.”

Works every time.



2 thoughts on “Is That Seat Taken ….

  1. Back in the ’70’s we were living about 40 miles north of Philly, PA. Got a late night phone call from the Mother-in-law that the Father-in-law had a stroke and died on the way to the Stanford Medical Center. Had to arrange a flight for the wife ‘n kids to go on out and do what needed to be done. Had to inform my boss (s) in Chicago and they said don’t worry, go and do what ya gotta do. So I arranged for an American Airlines flight out of Philly. Got as far out as Pittsburg, PA and the pilot comes on the air to explain that A.A. had received a “bomb threat” somewhere. We were diverted to New York for some stupid reason that I’ve never been able to understand. Anyhoo, while sitting on the outside seat, I looked to my left and into the eyes of the two guys sitting next to me. Nothing was said, but we just clasped our hands together trying to stop those horrible thoughts running through our heads. Gotta tell ya that a feeling of total helplessness comes over you. I’ve flown all over the US of A and must admit that at one time the only bad feeling I’ve ever had then was the “take-off” The “bomb threat” changed all that. Now, with all these planes going down all over the world, the hassle to even GET to the counter for your ticket, and even out of whatever airport, don’t think I’ll EVER get on a plane again. Except maybe that ol’ “goony bird” that flies you from Long Beach to Catalina Island !!!


  2. In 71 returning to Vietnam from a leave home, we touched down and almost immediately took off again at full power. Dead silence on that plane as we were all wondering if the airport was under attack, was a mortar round or rocket going to hit us? The pilot finally comes on the intercom and said “sorry about that, there was another plane on that runway that was taking off”. Don’t know how close we were to it but we must have gone over the top of it as we never veered off to one side or the other. Not a good feeling when you thought of what could have very easily happened.


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