Friday, January 30, 2004


Since I moved away from the Midwest, I have found myself flying more than ever before-flying back to Chicago to spend time with my family and friends from high school, flying to Indiana/California/Michigan to see friends from college, and of course there are the true vacation oriented flights-Hawaii, Europe, Mexico, etc.

Flying is always an experience. I find it's nice to have a pleasant neighbor on flights. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen often. Unless I am flying with my girlfriend, it seems I never get stuck next to my ideal seatmate-a young and attractive woman who finds med witty and amusing, while finding herself unable to avert her gaze from my chiseled countenance.

No, I am not purposely trying to set myself up for disappointment, I just have high hopes. That's not so wrong!

Unfortunately, people that fit my ideal rarely exist on planes (or in life), and my seatmates range the typical gamut of flyers-yellers, snorers, nosy talkative types, larger than the seat specs, and smelly.

On my last trip, to Hawaii, I got a new one-a Born Again Christian. He was a very nice guy, but fortunately he didn't break into religion talk until we were about 45 minutes from touchdown. I finished my Tom Robbins book and decided to forge my way thru more Nietzsche. I pulled my book out, set it on my lap, and closed my eyes and took a minute to remember where I was heading. As my face broke out in smile, I was hit with some lame come-one line about my book. It became quickly apparent that he wanted to let me know what he felt about life and religion (even though he professed to care about my opinions). We started discussing, but it soon broke down. Not into violence or yelling and arguing. No, it broke down because he turned into the religion teachers I had in high school-he stopped listening to what I was saying. He would respond with a completely unrelated statement if he didn't like what I had to say. I think this breakdown occurred after about 15 minutes. I then started begging the pilot to get us there quicker, or even land (I can still swim. Besides, there was a life vest under my seat, according to the flight attendant) a little early so this guy would stop lecturing me. Since the pilot decided that landing on the runway was the best option (wuss), I was preached too, feigning interest now and then like you would to a yakky girlfriend during a good football game (some well timed "uh-huh"s, thoughtful "hmmmm"s, you know how it is).

Finally we landed, and I got to leave the plane and the lecture. Unfortunately, I was followed and kept hearing some talking/buzzing until I found my bag and made my escape.

Nice guy, but whew! What a way to start my trip!

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