40D and the Biblical Apocalypse

Noah‘Here you are sir, you are in seat 31F.’

‘Ah, 31F, can I ask where that is exactly?’

‘Middle seat.’ She attempts a smile, but looks like she’s trying not to poop.


I don’t know about you, but being told you are in the middle seat on an airplane is sort of like being told you have armpit fungus. You know it’s not the end of the world, but you have a lot of discomfort ahead of you. That discomfort largely exists inside your head.

My brain is particularly ingenious at creating this discomfort and conjuring dreadful images. Eight hours of being flanked by fat men, so that we look like the Three Stooges in our seat. Eight hours of a woman and her two kids. Eight hours of armrest hogging Sumo wrestlers. Eight hours of asking people if I can get up to pee. Eight hours of hell.

So when the woman checking me in winks at me and says, ‘I can give you an aisle, do you mind sitting in the back?’ I respond with, ‘No! That’s great!’

I am seat 40D.

After doing my pre-flight ritual (kiss the plane, say a prayer to her), I begin the long traverse back to 40D. There are not a lot of people back here yet. When I put my bag up, it’s just me, the stewardess (Cara), and a little boy sitting directly behind me. I sit.

This airplane, a new British Airways model, was evidently built to pack as many people in it as humanly possible. The seats are tight and thin. The upside to this is that each passenger has a seemingly unlimited amount of entertainment options available to them. So it’s sort of like watching TV in your living room but being forced to watch it in your house’s most uncomfortable chair.

The airplane goes into the air, once again amazing me beyond words. Really? This 450,000 pound piece of metal is going to what? Get out. But it does. I am sitting next to two stocky guys and we do look like some rendition of the Pep Boys. But I am on the outside, so who cares.

After we level out and head out towards the Atlantic I realize that I am getting bumped around a lot more than I ever have before. People walking by, stewards, the drink cart, the food cart. You name it, it attacked my shoulder.

I realize I am being bumped around by turbulence more than before. When one of the stewards has her butt pressed against me, I ask, ‘excuse me, is this a very bumpy flight or is it my imagination?’

She shifts her butt, which keeps contact with me the whole time. It’s as though I am a guy with a stewardess fetish paying for a lap dance. She says ‘oh, you’re in the back of the plane. It gets really bumpy back here.’

‘Ah damn.’

‘Are you OK?’

‘Sure.’ I look beyond her to see that she is digging into a closet which contains the entirety of the stewards’ belongings. It is two feet away, directly to my left. This explains the bumping and the fact that my arm accidentally touches more asses in this flight than my hands have intentionally in the last four years.

But at least I still have my entertainment selection. On an airplane, I try to keep it light and funny. I watch a few episodes of Frasier and a couple of The Big Bang Theory. Then I watch an episode of Vikings, which isn’t too light, but who can say ‘no’ to vikings? And then, for reasons that shall remain unknown to me, I put on Noah.

Noah is the story you know it to be. Man is greedy and bad. God punishes man with a massive flood. God tells Noah he has to build a boat. Two of every animal climbs aboard. Rain. More rain. Emma Watson has sex in the woods. Russell Crowe still can’t act.

Right when the fire and brimstone hits the fan for Noah and his lice-covered friends, the plane hits serious turbulence over the Atlantic Ocean. The back of the plane fishtails and rattles. The stewards take their seats and yell at people to get back to theirs. An old woman is puking her brains out in the toilet, which is four feet away from me.

I become convinced that I am being punished for changing seats. I am a bad and greedy man and now I will be tossed into the Atlantic. I turn off Noah and put on an episode of something light, something I won’t mind dying while watching. I think it starred Ted Danson. Still, I am not relieved. I’m sure that my evil human nature will send us all to death.

But the turbulence subsides. And they bring me more juice. And most things are OK.

My left shoulder continues to have a relationship with the asses of the entire flight crew. I guess this is my penance. At times, when Cara or Marie come by, this penance isn’t too bad. Other times, when it’s Mark or Gary, it’s less pleasant. Nevertheless, sleep is not an option.

But I take my punishment. Happy that it’s not a biblical flood or Russell Crowe’s acting.

Still, I wonder how the bastard in 31F is coping.


  1. #1 by Marketa on September 4, 2014 - 5:52 pm

    so funny :)))

  2. #2 by greg galeone on September 4, 2014 - 9:43 pm

    Good read Damo. So if you want a piece of ass-go last row seat d-got it.

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