Monday, October 8, 2007

Arm-Rest Whores / my flight home

I have returned triumphantly from Europe and I guess I could continue my recent string of thought-provoking essays on my adventures but that would seem almost too easy. You know people often stop me on the street and say "Hey Shakes, I like your work, I really do, and while we think your postings that are applicable to most readers are enjoyable we would like to continue to hear more of your thoughts on what annoys you and how others can change their ways to make it a better world for you."

I echo these sentiments.

And with that I shall skip over any lingering thoughts that I may have about Naples/Bratislava, kind words for the Italian people, or the lovely people at Kohinoor restaurant in Rome (Italy's top-rated Indian restaurant, although I'm not sure how much competition they have) who were very frank about the cruel experiences of Indians & South Asians in the city

Instead I shall focus on the women seated in seat 19E on my flight back to the Badha (hindi for "big") Apple. 19E would be the seat that was empty until about 30 seconds before the plane doors shut at Rome. 19E would be the seat next to mine. 19E would be a large elderly woman who shared much in common with Santa Clause's wife, Miss Clause. However after her behavior on the plain, I think the name Miss Claws is more appropriate.

(19E is also the person which the guy in 19F said "Oh fuck!" when she came storming down the aisle because in one fell swoop the visions of an empty seat between us vanished.)

For anyone who doesn't know me, hello, I'm Shakes and this is my blog. This is a bit of an awkward time to do introductions seeing that I'm in the middle writing a post and that you've somehow landed up on my blog. But in any case hello. For those of you that know me, you know that the preservation of my personal space is important to me.

However in the land of 3 airplane seats you have a classic case of limit arm-rests. Between 3 seats there can only be 4 arm rests. And therein lays the timeless question, who should get the extra arm-rest?

On one hand you can argue that the person in the middle should get the extra arm rest since the two guys on the end (19D & 19F) get the added benefit of sticking their legs in the aisles if they please.

However I would say that a more common development is for the slight sharing of arm-rest. One person takes the front half of it, the other the back half....and you know what, I'd be okay with this. Only Mrs. Claws/ Arm-Rest Whore 19E (ARW19E) had other intentions. ARW19E stuck our her elbows in a such a way that invaded my seat space. My seat space is like a no-fly-zone for other humans. As it is there is barely enough room for my knees to fit, and with the ass clown from seat 18D leaning back almost immediately after take-off I was infringed upon for nearly all of my 9 hour fun fest in the sky.

I tried to gently elbow her back, which worked occasionally, but time and time again she corked her elbows into my side. When a person buys a ticket and chooses their seat deep down this is the scenario we all hope to avoid. While one can freely change from seat to seat, the experience on a plane can vary dramatically based on the person next to you (am I sitting next to a kid? is the person going to be a cougher? what is their arm-rest etiquette?).

For the sake of journalism I managed to take a picture of ARH19E's old hand clearly on the arm-rest (she's the old white hand, in blue). You can't see her elbow because it's behind my arm. This my friends is a most egregious violation of my seat space and explicit proof of it.

As it turns out there isn't much else to mention in this story. There really wasn't much that I could do. I mean, she was like old and stuff. So to show how mature I was the only thing I did in retribution was to cut her off in the customs line. That's how we roll bitches.


Asha said...

Welcome back to the States! In the words of my former native Italian teaching assistant, "Naples is the armpit of the universe." Glad you knew what was what.

Shakes said...

phew! to be honest I was sorta wondering if I was too quick to judge it. evidently not =)

The Grouch said...

First, you are NO desi if you didn't manage to hog the arm rest. Shame on you!

Second, I only fly if I get a bulk-head seat or a seat by the emergency exit. extra legroom.

third, how many kidney beans did you eat during your vacae ?

Shakes said...

hmm, that's actually a very funny point. i guess maybe i've lost some of my desi roots after all. oh dear me. as far as kidney beans, i can verify that none were eaten either intentionally or unintentionally...why do u ask?