I often seem to get the middle seat on airplanes (i.e. not aisle and not the window seat).  During their brief safety demonstrations, I wish flight attendants would also provide guidelines to exactly how the occupant of the middle seat is to access anything from beneath their seat let alone the flotation device to which they so conscientiously refer.  While the life vest is only required in “an unlikely event”, accessing my carry-on stowed beneath the seat in front of me, is a more likely event.  I cannot seem to do it.  Seriously, at 5’2”, I am not a large person, and years of practising the cat – cow yoga asana have not improved my flexibility such that I am able to contort myself effectively.  There is simply insufficient room for me to bend over and retrieve my bag without cocking my upper body and head sideways into the crotch of either one of my seatmates.  “Sorry, so sorry!  Just getting my book!”

I’m proud to say that I have, however, perfected that Ninja-like escape over the sleeping aisle seat occupant to retreat to the bathroom at the back of the plan (which is not entirely unlike the CIA Operative moves my once upon a time-toddlers used to pull off manoeuvring into our bed in the middle of the night).  This achievement only took hold after a lifetime of sporadic trans-Atlantic flights holding my bladder the whole time and only once have I accidentally pulled most of the hair of the seat occupant in front of the sleeping passenger while holding on for fear of landing in the previously aforementioned crotch.  I’m much improved now.  Perhaps having accomplished this stealth move, I am now limber enough to hop in and out of my seat to collect my things in the cabins above.

The next airline travel achievement I plan to master?  Circum-navigating the drink cart clogging the aisle for 75% of the trip!  Seems an equally “unlikely event” that these airplane bathroom visits will diminish as I approach mid-life, so this feat might require that Ninja-like skill coupled with a Cirque-du-Soleil -like somersault over the drink cart.  Stay tuned.

With what deeds of dexterity have you managed to dazzle fellow travellers in your cramped-space voyages?

4 Responses to Mile-High Turbulence

  • What a hoot, Astra! How about trying to use your fork & knife – oh, wait – that happened in the days when we were served real food on flights . . .

  • And am I the only traveler who cannot readily open those little bags of snacks the attendants drop on your tray?- hope the cockpit on my next flight is as secure as the snack baggie-whose contents eventually land on that seat partner’s crotch when the bag gashes open.

  • I think you need to give lessons on how to climb over the sleep passengers. I hate it when I get stuck in the middle because it feels like I am being held hostage, I loved that line of perfecting the ‘Ninja’ escape. I laughed aloud at your description about bending and contorting the body so your not looking into someones private area… You have a unique sense of humor..

  • It is ridiculous how narrow those seats are. You nearly have to ram your kneecaps up your nostrils to fit. It never fails…I always get a small child behind me whose legs reach perfectly into the small of my back so that each time they move (which is every 2 seconds) they body slam my kidney. What an adventure! Thanks for the laugh. I feel your pain!

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About Astra
Ottawa mom of 3 poking fun at myself, motherhood, and minor hockey! I am steering through life dodging stinky hockey gear and empty wine bottles.
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