Overheard On Spirit Airlines
I’m currently sitting in seat 22C on Spirit Air flight 732 from Los Angeles to Chicago. It’s 2:23 in the morning and I’ve been trying to sleep, but instead I find myself writing this article. Why? Because while the rest of the plane is swathed in darkness and observing the generally universal rule of sleeping on a redeye, I’m sitting next to the two most talkative people in the history of airplane buddydom.
To my left, in the middle seat, is a young girl. She is wearing a flower print tank top and shorts, and her wrists are adorned with two enormous, thick bracelets: on her left hand, a black one that reads I <3 HATERS. On her right, a white one that says AWESOME=ME. She is sixteen. Let’s call her our heroine. Next to her is a man of 31 who’s donning a sort of bastardized French manicure — his nail beds are their natural color but the tips have been painted hot pink. Before the flight even takes off, he orders two vanilla vodka nips and a ginger ale. Let’s call him our hero.
Based on my first impression of this self-involved girl and lush of a man, I thought I had won the seat buddy lottery. At a glance, the three of us would seem somewhat of a motley crew; I assumed our heroine would quietly listen to her iPod and peruse her camera roll while our hero drank himself to sleep. Well you know what they say about people who assume: sometimes they’re wrong. My seatmates have apparently found their unicorn in each other (albeit a platonic one — our hero announced that he was gay during the safety briefing), meaning they haven’t shut up since we boarded two and a half hours ago.
Now, this story wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if our hero and heroine were having a run of the mill conversation: Are you from Chicago? Oh cool. How was your visit to LA? This type of idle chatter can easily be blocked out or slept through. Alas, their conversation has been the most ludicrous and diverse in-flight chatter I have ever been privy to. For example, at this very moment, our hero is telling our heroine that “your perennial [sic] is the patch of skin between your anus and your genitals.”
As hard as I’ve tried to ignore the words coming out of their mouths, it’s nearly impossible considering the rest of the aircraft is silent and I’m sitting right next to them. Besides, they’re hilarious, and far be it from me not to make fun of them. I’ve documented their conversation for you and have cataloged it based on who spoke first. Overheard on Spirit Airlines — let’s go.
Our heroine, on science:
“Science is bullsh-t.”
“How is science bullsh-t?”
“Because, it’s like, humans made up stories, wrote a book, and passed it off as facts.”
“Well, to be fair, most of science has been tested and proven.”
Our hero, on conspiracy theories:
“The universe is going crazy. Like the North Pole is switching with the South Pole — have you heard about this? So like, for example, the sun’s rays are going to get sharper, and that’s going to change our pineal gland. That’s the gland that helps us to realize we’re all connected. So the fluoride in the sun’s rays — do you know what fluoride is? It’s the stuff that dentists use and it’s in water and stuff — the fluoride in the rays is affecting our pineal glands and turning us into these weird individualistic people.”
“If the sun’s rays get stronger than they are, we’re going to end up like, dying.”
“Well, this is all conspiracy theory.”
Our heroine, on the inanity of the status update:
“You know what I can’t stand on Facebook? People who say like, ‘just got out of the shower!’ and then a couple of minutes later, ‘eating a bagel’ Like, it’s not Twitter, you know?”
“Those aren’t even Twitter worthy…”
Our hero, on bagels:
“What I’m thinking as a gay man: do I ever want people to think I ate a bagel ever in my life? No. That’s the most concentrated amount of carbohydrates like, ever. Fruit, coffee, and water: that’s what you should be eating in the morning. Breakfast means breaking a fast; if you eat carbs in the morning and don’t go on a run half an hour later, it’s going straight to your ass.”
“OMG really? Thank you for telling me that. I’m totally going to start eating fruit now.”
Our heroine, on our new universal motto:
“You know what’s messed up nowadays?”
“No. Like, before, the motto used to be ‘Hakuna Matata.’”
“Everyone. Everyone was all like, oh, ‘don’t worry, be happy.’ Now, it’s ‘f-ck b-tches get money.’ Everyone says it.”
“Do people say that in Skokie?”
“No, they say it on Facebook.”
“I’m just going to tell you right now: at least 40% of the population does not have that motto.”
Our hero, on the most arbitrary thing he could think of:
“Have you ever tried to grow baby carrots?”
It is now 3:15 a.m. I’ve tried very hard to catch the spirit on Spirit Airlines, but instead I’ve only caught the giggles (and maybe head lice from this gross seat). I’m quite literally laughing out loud to no one but myself as I type this, and I wonder if my seatmates think I’m crazy — although at least I’m not the one who thinks the sun is out to get us.
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If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”