I take my seat on the aisle of the exit row and stretch out my legs. Tall men walking to the back of the plane glare at me. It can't be fun to see a 5'4" person taking up the seat with all the leg room. I smile and swing my legs back and forth like the childish brat that I am. I stop smiling when the man in the middle seat arrives. He has terrible body odor.
The flight attendant shows up to make sure that we all understand we're sitting in an exit row. "I'll need a verbal from each of you," she says. "Are you willing and able to help in case of an emergency?"
"Yes," 5 people say. Body Odor Man grins happily, but says nothing.
"Sir?" she asks him. "Can you assist in an emergency? I need you to say yes."
"I don't speak English," he says with a heavy accent that I can't place because I'm not good at that.
"Uh oh," she says. "I'm going to have to reseat you."
Of course, he doesn't understand what she's saying. He's still smiling like she's teasing him, and meanwhile, she's really looking around for someone who wants to move to an exit row. One of the tall guys raises his hand. Body Odor Man starts to look confused. "Why?" he keeps asking, as she gestures for him to get up. The man in the window seat and I try to explain. "You must speak English to sit in this seat," we say several times. He still doesn't understand. Finally, he gets up and walks sadly away. He looks at me one more time and says, "Why?"
"Because of English!" I say too loudly. I really want him to understand, but I basically end up sounding like a terrible, short xenophobe in a desirable plane seat.
Which is when karma decides to bite me in the ass.
Several hours into the plane ride, I have to go to the bathroom and I need Pringles. I head to the back of the plane. After I flush the toilet, I notice the toilet seat cover has not made it all the way down. I decide I don't care and walk out the door. A spectacled bald man is waiting to go next, and I have the slight feeling of embarrassment that I did not double flush the toilet.
I get my Pringles from the flight attendant and when I turn around to head back to my seat, I come face to face with what can only be described as the German Bathroom Police (this accent I did recognize.) The spectacled man is standing in the aisle, a line forming behind him, waiting to get my attention.
"I sink you forgot somesing!" he yells. I look into the bathroom and sure enough, the toilet seat liner is peeking over the edge of the toilet. This man thinks I did not flush the toilet at all, and he wants the entire plane to know.
"No," I say firmly. "I didn't forget to flush. That's just some tissue that didn't get flushed down." I mean seriously, this is the worst conversation I have ever had on a plane. I would rather go sit on Body Odor Man's lap for the rest of the flight than have this crazy German guy yelling at me anymore. He makes a huge show of walking into the bathroom with the door still open and flushing the toilet himself with a sigh of utter disgust. I walk back and take my seat, and for the rest of the flight I fight with that guy in my head, thinking of all the things I should have said. And really also thinking that I probably should have just flushed the toilet. I swing my legs, but it's just not the same. Then I eat my Pringles and feel better.
Jack is TWO!
2 years ago