You don’t want to sit next to me on an airplane.
Chances are good I’ll start drooling on your shoulder, accidentally crank your headset volume, or chat your ear off with boring anecdotes while you attempt to stare dreamily at cloudscapes out the window. Yes, you’ll politely nod and smile while I go on for half an hour about my terrible cell phone plan or the bloating I’ve been feeling lately. Honestly, if you end up sitting beside me on a plane I’ve got just one thing to say to you: Sorry.
Nobody can Party Save you now.
Now, I’ve only seen one successful strategy for avoiding the torture that is My Company. I took a flight recently where the woman next to me cocooned herself into a sensory deprivation chamber of headphones, blankets, and earplugs as soon as we sat down. She no doubt sensed my impending chat attack and defended against it immediately, even elbow-snagging the armrest for good measure.
Since the two of us happened to be sitting in the Emergency Exit row, I therefore became solely responsible for busting the door open if our plane crash landed. Yes, the flight attendant coached me on emergency moves and I nodded with steely eyes and firm lips while Snoozy Samantha snored on beside me.
After the plane took off I sat back in my chair feeling like the hero of the flight. After all, it could all come down to me. Sure, the harsh, unforgiving Andes might crunch our plane but they would never crunch my spirit.
As modest payment for accepting this critical role I scored some extra legroom to stretch out and relax. While everyone else had their knees in their laps, I was free to leg around freely, keeping my muscles warm and ready in case the going got tough.
Now, as if all that wasn’t good enough — the hero status, the legroom, the babes – there’s also one more big perk emergency exit row folks get for sitting there. They get out first.
Yes, when the inflatable slide pops open into the river or the flashing red lights shine a smoky path into the fiery forest, we are the Emergency Exit door kicker-openers … running out first … leading the way … and saving the day.
— Email message —
“Hi Neil, About twelve years ago I signed up for Big Sisters and was matched with Tiffany, an 11 year old creative spirit. We bonded instantly and spent many hours together doing awesome things. We then lost touch for a couple of years, but Tiff called out of the blue one day and we reconnected like there had never been a gap – (those types of friendships that last years of of space are truly awesome). Tiff has grown into a beautiful young woman and today I watched her graduate from college with tears of pride in my eyes. I gave her The Book of Awesome as a present, and I tucked comments into the pages that rang true to me. I tucked money into the one about finding money in coat pockets. I added in a few words about how great it was to find money in books as well.” – Sandy
Photos from: here, here, and here