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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Airplane etiquette and catching up

So sorry I didn't post last evening, by the time I made it off my plane and back home last evening I was beat.

But I realized when leaving New York what I love so much about the city: the people who know everything about everything - like the woman in the ticket line in front of me, who had been on a connecting flight earlier. "Listen, honey, I know travel. I know airplanes," she said to her friend. "And that plane guy (think she meant the pilot) was driving (think she meant flying) really, really fast!"

So what are the rules of going to the can on an airplane? I think there's only one rule, especially if the plane is full and/or you are sitting in an inside seat. If you have to go, excuse yourself and handle your business. And don't feel bad for it. Nature calls.

But I felt bad for the older guy sitting in the aisle seat in front of me on the flight back, 'cause he had to get up five times for the woman next to him. I have bad knees. And the way he was wincing, I think he had worse. Now, could be that she really had to go badly. Or could be the lovey dovey phone call she made just before takeoff had something to do with it. Right before the crew said turn off your electronics, etc., this woman was telling someone - presumably a romantic interest - how she couldn't wait to see them and how she was gonna be all over them when she got back.

That's cool. I dig romance. But back to the can. Each time she forced this elderly man to get up and out of her way so she could go to the can, this woman came back to her seat with her hair coiffed a different way.

The first time I thought it was odd but interesting. The second time, just odd. The third time, obsessive, and so on. It hit me finally that she wasn't relieving herself in there. She was primping for whoever she was flying to Miami to meet. Not a cool reason to keep forcing someone to get up and out of your way. It's a flight. It's over in a couple of hours. Fix your hair when you get off the plane. There'll be bathrooms along the way, before the person who's waiting for you even has a chance to catch a glimpse of you.

Oh, and to the guy next to me who offered me your NY Post, that was a very nice gesture. I hadn't had a chance to catch up on the day's news yet.

That's it till this evening, when we're gonna get a little deeper.

I know it's futile to ask - except for Og and Bronchitikat - but if while out and about over the past week or so you saw or heard an act of incredibly good behavior or an act of incredibly bad behavior I want to hear about it. Tomorrow night we do our Weekly Behavior Awards.

Peace and hair grease.



  • Alright James, I'll jump in with a bad behaviour suggestion. One of my coworkers was on his way to the grocery store and was sitting at a red light with 2 left turn lanes. He was at the front of the inside lane and an "old, crust redneck in a pickup" was in the lane next to him. The light went green and both made the turn. In the course of it, however, the pickup cut off my friend (during the turn) and they met again at the next light. My friend rolled his window down and asked the guy what was going on. Along the lines of "What the hell were you thinking?" The reply? "F*ck You!"

    I'd say that ranks up there for bad and stupid behaviour.

    By Blogger BigBadWolf, at 2:23 PM  

  • Oh, if I had a nickel every time that happened, I could retire a rich man today. Big pet peeve.

    By Anonymous Rick, at 8:14 PM  

  • Here's to the folks of Indiana Abate, teaching beginning motorcyclists young and old how to ride without being killed.

    By Anonymous og, at 10:06 PM  

  • I had a red-eye to Germany a few years ago (or more) to visit my sis. I felt so bad waking up the older woman next to me to use the john. Granted, I cut my hair REAL short or shave it bald, so I wasn't doing my hair. It still felt bad, anyhow.

    By Anonymous ChrisA, at 11:35 PM  

  • Sorry James, nothing in particular to report this week. Unless you'd like to award a Whomping Long Service Award to Queen Elizabeth II of Britain (& assorted dominions) who, at 80, is still serving her countries to the best of her not inconsiderable abilites. & has pretty good manners!

    By Anonymous Bronchitikat, at 10:04 AM  

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