epic plane fail

Those of you who have been reading my writing since ye olde days of le blogging, will know that I already have abysmal luck with plane trips. I mean, tangentially speaking, have any of you ever sat next to someone with Body Odour? Ohhhh, I hear you scoff, that's happened to me a million times at least. On one trip not so long ago, I had scored the perfect bulk head seat, holy grail of the monkey class cabin, and congratulated myself all the way on the plane, smiled sagely to self whilst wandering down the aisle towards my throne for the trip. And people, the stench, it hit me before I even got there. Benignly smiling to himself, Mister Odoure himself reeked of unwashed skin, musky BO, as well as stale food. I sat down, trying to be all stoic and fo shizzy, sat there gagging for a couple of minutes despite desperately inhaling into my own scarf.

I walked up to the steward, and said, "excuse me, the man next to me really smells. you have to move me."

He said, "sorry ma'am, we can't do that."

I said, "come with me. COME with me", and dragged him across the plane.

People, believe me when I say, this lovely steward leaned over to say hi to Mister Odoure, and the smell HIT his nostrils. I saw those little babies flare like smelling salts had hit, and he bolted upright and AWAY from it. And looked at me.

"Ma'am, we'll be getting you a new seat right away".

Thank Heavens.

Then there was the time I sat next to Miss Brazilia, a crazy gum chewing, Portuegese screaming to whoever on the plane would listen, told-to-shut-up-by-others 3 times, hoochie shorts and unlit cigarette in mouth lady, who not only spent the entire trip to BRAZIL (16 hours!) talking and yelling to herself in between intermittent bouts of laughter, but also, sitting perched not in her little seat but ON THE ARMREST between us. Yes, her ass was leaned up against my forearm. Whenever I DARED to shift position due to cramp and frank fear of bum contact, she would glare at me and her chatter would get fast and scary. Oh yes, there was a fun flight, especially when we got off the flight, and my mother was all fresh and chirpy from Business Class and I was scarred and needed therapy.

I guess all this is my very roundabout way of telling you that plane rides, are always interesting at best and plain insanity at most times. Last night's plane ride, however, was MY epic fail, where I was the crazy lady.

So we get on the flight. It's midnight, Alison and I are already pooped. Pretty much as soon as we take off, slumber hits and we start napping. I get up and realise, with a huffy look at Alison, that she'd reclined her seat back. BRILLIANT, right? Except I try to recline the seat, and nothing. NADA. Nothing moves. The whole plane is cloaked in darkness. Stewardess nowhere to be seen. I don't want to be THAT passenger who beeps the CALL THE NICE LADY button. So i go back to sleep. Uncomfortable, and slightly huffy about Alison's comfort.

Over the next 3 hours, I awake intermittently with an increasingly sore neck and what is perhaps worth, a steadily heightening sense of unfairness, rage and jealousy, as I try every single way to press the button and shove that damn seat back. I shifted my weight, shoved with both arms, stood up, pushed, leaned back with my feet, all whilst glaring at Alison's peaceful cherub face laying back in idyllic comfort.

That was it.

I rang the button. Nice stewardess comes racing up to me. "Excuse me Ma'am, can I help you?"

Now at his stage, I'm irate, sleep deprived, hungry, and well, green with envy at every single other passenger on the plane that had a reclining seat. This is unreasonable! It's a GREAT airline! Don't they do SEAT TESTING? You know, before every flight?

I grumble at her. "My seat won't lean back. It just won't. I've tried everything. It won't go." As I whinge on, I'm still trying to shove the seat back comically. I have become that passenger, that annoying one who all the stewardesses will giggle about and spit in my box meal.

I can see the pity in her eyes, and some frank condescension. "Ma'am, you just press the button and it'll lean back."

At this stage, my brain exploded. I make a HUGE show of pressing the button. Hard.

"See? I've done this. I press the button. I've done it a million times tonight. i PRESS the button, and SHOVE the seat back and... - "

The seat moved. Smoothly. Like silk. In 1.5 seconds flat.