The Great Plotnik

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Virginia Haystacks to SFO

So what would you do? The plane is leaving at 10pm for a five hour flight west. It has been a long day, it's hot aboard and Plot and Duck have their usual aisles-across seats. Both middle seats are empty, which means you hold your breath and pretend not to look at anyone who passes by in the aisle, but at the last moment Plotnik sees two feet stop next to his seat. An extremely pregnant young woman, HOLDING a tiny infant in a sling in addition, asks Plotnik to get up so she can wedge herself into the middle seat.

Plot hears himself say, "Oh, Jesus," but he gets up and makes room for her. She herself is swaddled in some kind of blanket and so is her baby and she can barely fit in the seat. The second she sits down the baby starts to fuss. "Coo, coo," she says and this relaxes the baby for, like, one second, but then it's fussing again.

Plotnik looks into his near future and sees copious amounts of discomfort at the very least, along with the potential of a lap full of puke and getting up every twenty minutes to allow the woman to use the bathroom.

He finds himself getting angry. Who would travel like this, clearly standing by to get any seat available, at 10pm, this far pregnant and with such a small child in addition? Does this not strike anyone besides Plotnik as the essence of selfishness? And why would the flight attendants not help her find a more comfortable seat?

Ha ha ha, I know. United Air Lines. The Airline Whose Employees Were Screwed Out of Their Retirement Packages. Serving you in the after cabin today will be Grumpy, Grouchy and Surly.

But of course Plotnik also knows how uncomfortable the flight will be for the pregnant woman, and he thinks: this could be some kind of emergency. She may desperately need this seat on this plane at this moment. He should cool it and just let what happens happen. Woudn't he want his own family to be treated this way?

But then she says to him: "Maybe you should find a seat with more room." Plotnik thinks: "That's not the worst idea you've had."

The plane is ready to taxi out of the gateway, but Plotnik jumps out of his seat and starts searching for empty aisle or window seats. He finds one half a dozen seats to the rear, an empty window seat with a guy in the aisle who smiles and says the window seat is vacant.

Plot dashes back to his seat to get his stuff, but Grumpy says "You really should be in your seat, Sir." Plotnik says "I am about to be," but the attendant insists "We need you in your seat now, Sir."

"Well then, Buddy, move OVER," Plotnik says and for some reason the attendant moves over, Plotnik jumps into the empty seat and the plane can now leave Dulles Airport.

So he won't be sitting next to Duckinik, and he also left his pencil in the other seatback so he won't be doing his crossword puzzle. But this seat is SOOO much nicer. Wouldn't you do the same thing? I know you would.



Duck's High School Reunion

Patrick Henry's House

The view from James Madison's home up the road.

Sunset on the James River. Jamestown (1607) is at the foot of this river. Plot and Duck didn't get there this time but they will someday.


At 11:49 AM, Anonymous HankyGirl said...

Are you asking would I abandon my dearly beloved spouse to whom I have been married for exty-exty years just so I wouldn't have to sit next to a very pregnant woman WITH a baby in arms?

In a hot second. No question about it. Might even take a different plane. Leave 'em all behind—even the crossword pencil—for the possibility of a quiet(er) flight. Did you even have to ask?

At 12:24 PM, Anonymous cousin mrs. two said...

Nope. Only because I'd be the one with the toddler and infant and we'd be able to be miserable together.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger bronwen said...

how dare you ride an airplane while pregnant and carrying a child?

are you kidding me?

until they invent an airline solely for the purpose of transporting small children and their frazzled mothers, i'd say the first thing you should do is offer her your nice comfy aisle seat. and if there's another seat available on the plane for you, then fine, but i guarantee that even in the middle seat you'd get more rest than she would anywhere on the plane.

At 7:33 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Yeah, you're not gonna get the sympathy vote on this one. Pregnant woman with an infant flying standby? She deserves not only your seat, your pencil and the company of your wife, but the royalties from the Streisand recording for the next year.

At 7:42 PM, Blogger mary ann said...

Nightmare flying experience, you did good. Welcome home!


Post a Comment

<< Home