1. The Wailing Infant
I love babies. Okay, well, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement. I think most babies are adorable, and on occasion, I enjoy holding them (though the prospect of accidentally dropping someone else’s kid terrifies me). In fact, I even dream of one day birthing my own fat-cheeked nuggets. I hope they’re cool. I hope they grow up to like Hillary Clinton. However, that being said, there are a few situations where I find babies a tad scary — one of those is during long, tiresome flights when they start crying and just won’t stop.
When that happens, sleep becomes close to impossible. Reading becomes extra difficult. Listening to Drake’s new song on your iPhone becomes moot because the shrill sound of baby screeches will almost always drown out his sexy, silky voice. And what are you supposed to do when the baby two seats to your right or a row behind you starts howling his or her lil’ heart out? You can’t whip around and say, “Hey, baby, shut up,” because that is rude. You can’t scowl at him or her until he or she quiets because babies — like 20-something males, a similar demographic — don’t grasp passive-aggressiveness. Really, this is overall a paralyzing situation.
2. The Inconsiderate Farter
Some people don’t understand that flying entails sealing yourself in a contained space for a couple of hours — where there is limited airflow and any bodily odors become ten times more pronounced. There are certain courtesies you are supposed to extend to your fellow passengers while flying. Occupy an appropriate amount of elbow space, leaving enough for your seatmates. Keep your music loud enough that you can enjoy it but low enough that it doesn’t leak through your headphones — causing everyone within a three-row radius of you to hear every single word of “La La” by Ashlee Simpson. Lastly (and most importantly), keep your farts to yourself — or, if you must release them, stand up and go to the bathroom so that you don’t pollute the space around you.
The man sitting next to me on a flight I took yesterday from New Jersey was a silent farter. He must have thought he had cleverly hid his farts. I might not have heard, but I sure did smell. And I was not a happy camper.
3. The Drunken Fool
I will never understand what induces someone to order, say, several mini bottles of whiskey on a flight or what would encourage a stewardess to give those bottles to him or her (Like, c’mon, haven’t you ever seen that airplane scene in Bridesmaids? Is that really a situation you’d want to risk recreating?). On occasion, however, this kind of thing happens — certain, bone-headed passengers decide that it would be a good idea to get egregiously drunk. They chug a few Jack and Cokes. Half an hour later, their ties loosen, their cufflinks come off, and they’re loudly blathering on and on about their workflow, the golf matches they have planned for the coming weekend, and how frustrated they are that their girlfriend is dragging them to a wedding they don’t particularly want to attend — unless, of course, there’s an open bar.
4. The Chit-Chatter*
Sometimes, all you want to do after you board your flight and buckle yourself into seat is close your eyes and take a long, much-needed nap. Or read a book (that is, read a trashy tabloid magazine you weirdly only ever justify buying at the airport newsstand)! Or listen to your music! And of course! That’s natural! Travelling is exhausting! However, the more tired you are, the likelier it is that you will end up sitting next to a Chit-Chatter — someone utterly oblivious to social cues, who will try to keep a conversation alive despite your multiple one-word answers. In the worst-case scenarios, they’ll keep chugging along even after you’ve started to grunt in lieu of responding. “What’s that you’re looking at on your phone? Oh, Twitter, I think my daughter has one of those — is that the new thing all the kids are getting into these days? Do you think I should get a Twitter? What’s Klout?”
“That’s nice, babe,” you want to tell them before turning up the volume on your headphones and drowning out their noise. But that wouldn’t be polite.
*Note: flying stresses me out. Traveling through the Newark airport stresses me out — for those who have never been, it is great for delayed flights, subpar coffee, and people who glare at you if you lose spatial awareness for a moment or two and accidentally stand in the middle of the walkway while Tweeting. They just don’t understand how important it is to keep your Klout score intact after you’ve neglected social media for a few hours!
I promise I’m not usually this much of a misanthrope.