More On Flying

SFO to JFK. A Russian couple, both double-plus sized, the man at the aisle the woman the window. Me in the middle. I offered many times to let them sit together. No interest. They weren’t displeased with each other, judging by the matériel passed between them (and over me). They just didn’t want to move seats. They were both nice people.

The guy grabbed a magazine and flipped it open randomly. Full page line drawing of the kind of thing an OB-GYN would find familiar. Lots of precise anatomical detail, lovingly depicted. Because of my wide and diverse life experiences I knew just what I was seeing. I wondered if the people seated behind the man knew too.

Turns out the man was an OB-GYN. The article he was perusing, in a professional journal, was demonstrating all the different ways one might do an episiotomy. Where to place the fingers, best viewing angle, recommended knots, that sort of thing. I’m no expert, of course, but I thought the cross-patterned stitch was the most artistic.

This was Jet Blue and they unfortunately have televisions in the seat backs. It’s unfortunate because people seated at the windows find the televisions so fascinating that they almost always close the shades. Here we are, soaring through clear skies over what has to be the most beautiful mountain range in the world, blind to it. And wouldn’t it have been nice to see the lights of New York City (we came in at night)?

On the flight before last all but five windows were shuttered. The plane was illuminated to an artificial murk. Depressing.


10 Comments

  1. Flying has become increasingly depressing over the years and 9/11 helped to make it worse. My advice: buy your own plane; learn to fly it and get a front seat view. Or take a train.

  2. Maybe their’s was the best choice for you as well. With no-one next to them they can spill in the direction away from you – not meaning their drinks. If one of them had been in the middle they’d have spilled into you of necessity.

    Sleeping pills are required of long-distant flights. It turns them into short-hauls.

  3. Dr. Briggs,
    Are you obeseophobic? That’s a new psycological disorder that will soon be in the DSM. I don’t blame you for being anxious. Everybody knows obesity is an epidemic and you can catch it by being exposed to fat people. There is even second hand obesity that you contract by being around people that have been exposed to obese people.

  4. You poor bugger! I always choose window seat if I can, and I never tire of the view (even when there isn’t one); so to be stuck in the middle, with the window seized by someone who didn’t appreciate it, would be most frustrating. And I hope any adverse impact of the surgical education on your libido was not too long lasting.
    PS I’m with DAV – I have always found flying uncivilized and if I have the time I much prefer to take the train. (But if I could have afforded it I might have enjoyed the Zeppelin!)

  5. “It’s unfortunate because people seated at the windows find the televisions so fascinating that they almost always close the shades. Here we are, soaring through clear skies over what has to be the most beautiful mountain range in the world, blind to it. And wouldn’t it have been nice to see the lights of New York City (we came in at night)?”

    Have you thought about the possibility that they find the television so fascinating BECAUSE they don’t want to look out the window and that the reason they don’t want to look out the window because they don’t want to think about how far away the ground is?

  6. This clearly demonstrates your bias against all forms of public transportation, your cretinous religious beliefs, and your thuggish view of people different from yourself. Dias, I could use a little help here please.

  7. They need to have video piped in from the bottom and sides of the plan to those televisions. That way everyone can have a view.

  8. “Anyone who flies in an airplane and doesn’t spend most of his time looking out the window wastes his money.”
    — Marc Reisner, “Cadillac Desert”

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