I’m the Guy Who Claps on Planes, and I Don’t Know What to Do With Myself Right Now.

I am the guy who claps when we land.

You know who I am.

I’m the guy who’s always seated a couple rows in front of you on your flights, who plays a vital role in getting our plane, and all planes, really, safely on the ground.

I am the guy who claps when we land.

“Claptain America,” if you will. (And no, that doesn’t mean that I got gonorrhea from the Mile High Club.)

But one little sweep of this measly pandemic and suddenly planes are more grounded than a rebellious teenager. It’s especially hard for me, because I was brought up to clap. My father was a clapper and he taught me everything he knew. His father before him was unfortunately born with only one hand, but he lived a very happy life as a snapper. Much less stigma.

I just don’t know what to do with myself. I’ve binged every airplane-related movie on Netflix and I can’t figure out how to hook up my dusty VCR to watch Top Gun. Which might be for the best, since most of those movies make a mockery of the glorious art of flying.

Seriously, what’s this unrealistic obsession with exploding planes, crash landings, and carelessly released snakes?

The only thing I truly enjoy about watching those movies is turning the volume up so loud that I can lean my head against my basement window and feel that familiar shake. Apparently, it’s called 4D, which also happens to be my favorite seat number.

The only drawback is the effort it takes to drown out Samuel L. Jackson’s profanities and also my neighbor who keeps pounding on the wall of my house. I don’t know if that’s just his own weird version of applauding something, but surely, he should realize how what a monotonous and pointless sound it makes.

I tried purchasing a flight simulator game, but unfortunately it turned out to be all about flying the plane. Plus, you have to use both hands to play, which ruins any chance of bringing my hands together in sweet rhythmic unison.

Recently, I’ve been sharing my woes on Twitter to help shed a light on this flightless fight for any kindred spirit out there. So far, the only one who’s contacted me is a recruiter from the White House. Apparently, they’re “always in desperate need for applause.”

Anyway, I’m @claptainamerica, in case you’re in a similar situation and want to talk. And when everything goes back to normal, we could meet up in Scotland and take the 57-second flight between Westray Airport and Papa Westray Airport over and over again to minimize time and maximize landings!


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