Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Airplane Etiquette

A friend of mine recently took a cross-country plane flight, and had a run-in with a dreaded hipster. As you know, hipsters are a blight on the urban landscape, much like poorly spelled graffiti and chicken bones. (I live in a very illiterate area where people love chicken and hate using garbage cans) This particular hipster was sitting in the seat in front of her, and decided to lower his seat to a point where his head and her lap became one, with just a thin seatback to prevent them from consummating their relationship. He was listening on his earphones to some band I'm sure we've never heard of.

She asked him--and this required him to remove his earphones, which is a great affront in hipster culture--if he would mind raising his seatback somewhat so her knees wouldn't be squashed. The hipster informed her that he did in fact mind, and put his earphones back in. A clever riposte, Mr. Hipster! Though at this point in hearing the story I asked whether perhaps the gentleman was being ironic, and maybe the whole thing could have been resolved over a can of PBR.

How to behave on airplanes is an issue that has vexed many of us, from those with screaming babies to those of us who have to listen to screaming babies, to those of us who made the mistake of not locking up our scorpion collection properly and force the plane to divert to Cleveland. I usually am that guy who asks for both and orange juice and a Coke (one for Vitamin C, the other for caffeine, yes if they made Coke with Vitamin C I'd only need one of the two) and so if my neighbor is sleeping during drink service and wakes up to see me with two beverages I have to say "Oh, I ordered both of these, I didn't pretend to order one for you and then steal it. I would've woken you but I don't really know you, sorry!" And my father has often suggested having a shoelace dangling from your mouth as it's a good way to ensure that no one sits next to you on the flight.

Meantime, our hipster friend will surely be facing some bad cosmic justice.


  1. haha the infamous PBR. Too bad they don't serve that on Delta.

    Also, knowing your friend, his chair must have been wayyy back for her to be squashed! She should have done what any mature adult would do: repeatedly kick the seat back until he got the hint or went crazy.

  2. Brett--yet another business idea, Hipster Airlines! The flight times could be posted ironically, all the flight attendants wear trucker hats and skinny jeans, PBR on all flights...

  3. Did I ever tell you about the time I sat next to Gallagher on an airplane? He was snacking on orange juice and olives. Yuck. He asked me if he was going to make his connecting flight, and I pretty much just laughed in his face. I felt kinda bad.

    Also: I thought you lived near where I used to live. I don't recall much graffiti or chicken bones? Mmm, chicken. Damnit, now I want Popeyes. I am a sad little man.

  4. Unless she was in first class I have to guess that this story is exagerated. If there is some airline where the seats recline that much in coach, let me know what it is!

  5. J--sounds like a keen brush with fame! Autograph time!

    Beck--I believe the flight was Virgin American.