Who I’d like to vote off the plane

Ashley Peterson
Aug 8 · 4 min read
Image by Stela Di from Pixabay

Planes are often a must for international travel. I accept them as a necessity, but that doesn’t mean I have to like them.

When it comes down to it, it’s an unfiltered mélange of humanity, along with plenty of germs and obnoxiousness, crammed like sardines into a small space.

You go in hoping that the person/people sitting around you will be low on the obnoxiousness factor, but the reality is that obnoxiousness is pretty much inevitable. Here are a few examples of the characters that would be my top picks to eject from the plane.

The Manspreader

Sure, men have more equipment between their legs than women do. But manspreading isn’t just about giving the boys a little extra room to breathe. Manspreading is an attitude of entitlement that means not only can he claim all of his seat, but also half of mine. Meanwhile, I’m spending hours half falling into the aisle because that’s all the space that’s left to me to avoid spooning with this doofus.

And may I remind my manspreading friends, I’ve got a bosom that gets in the way and chubby arms, but I’d rather strangle my girls than have my arms spread over anywhere close to being in your space.

The Talker

I’m an introvert, so the prospect of spending a whole flight next to someone yakking my ear off is a special kind of hell. Still, who on the face of the planet wants to be stuck listening to someone blather for hours? And who is so socially clueless that they think their neighbour cares about a single thing they have to say? One minute of talking time per hour of flight time is acceptable in my books; anything over that and you’re starting to piss me off.

The Frequent Getter-Upper

This isn’t an issue if you have with the window seat, but the window seat also leaves you completely trapped if a manspreader happens to be sitting beside you. No thank you — aisle all the way, baby. If I’m feeling polite I’ll get up and let my neighbour get out unimpeded. However, if they turn into a frequent getter upper, I’m not going anywhere, and if the person happens to fall victim to an unexpected knee or elbow as they’re trying to climb over me, well that couldn’t possibly be my fault, could it?

The Recliner

Combine the fact that I’m tall with the fact that there’s only enough leg room in the average economy class seat for a five-year-old, and I have zero tolerance for the person in front of me reclining. I’m willing to fight for my few inches of knee space, and I’m talking no a holds barred death match. I will brace myself in my teeny tiny space and jam my knees as hard as I can into the back of the seat in front of me. Initially they might think it’s a problem with the chair and try again to recline. Nuh-uh. Not going to happen — not on my watch.

The Mover

This is the dude that has had zero success on any of the dating apps. He thinks that because you’re a captive audience, it’s a chance for him to work on his moves. When he’s conglomerated with the talker and the manspreader, you’ve really got yourself an asshole.

The Smoker

This hasn’t been an issue for many years, but I still feel the need to complain about it. I was in grade 8 coming back to Canada from a school exchange trip in Japan. That’s about a 10 hour flight. My seat was up at the front of the non-smoking section, separated by the smoking section by a few measly feet of smoke-clogged air. If I end up getting lung cancer at some point, it’s because I inhaled a carcinogenic dose of cigarette smoke in that single round trip.

The Infectious Disease-Carrier

I’m a bit red-faced about this one, because this has been me. I was 15 years old and headed (on my own!) to another part of the country to do a French immersion program. Because I’m lucky that way, I came down with chickenpox a week before I was supposed to leave. I was mostly scabbed over by the time of the flight, but I was still scratching like crazy. I had no intention of missing out on my summer away from home, but in retrospect I’m not sure how I convinced my parents I was suitable to get on the plane. Anyway, there I was, scratching away, frequently slathering on lovely pink calamine lotion. I’m sure I was a fan favourite among my fellow passengers.

But hey, at least I wasn’t carrying Ebola.

The Vomiter

Okay, so this would also be me. It’s most likely to happen on landing (in spite of pills that are supposed to take care of that), and then the question becomes what to do with my barf bag full o’ barf. Do I put it under the seat in front of me and then it ends up spilling on my neighbour’s shoes? That doesn’t seem polite. Not that my neighbour is thrilled with me holding onto said bag o’ barf like a handbag, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Fine, so I account for 2 out of my top 8 reasons for voting someone off a plane. Still, I’d take my own grossness over the flirter/talker/manspreader any day of the week.

If I had excess money to throw around then first class flights would be one of my top spending priorities. Alas, I don’t see myself graduating from economy class any time soon. But on the bright side, I suppose there’s a chance the manspreader could be cute and the spooning might be tolerable. Hey, a girl’s gotta dream…

The Mile High Club

Stories told in the Stratosphere

Ashley Peterson

Written by

Nurse, mental health blogger, living with depression. Author of two books. Using words to heal and fight stigma. https://mentalhealthathome.org

The Mile High Club

Stories told in the Stratosphere

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