The Patience of Job...

I have not. In a first for this blog,k I am actually writing this as I am experiencing the matter about which I blog. So I am writing from seat 28 C on a Continental flight from San Francisco to Dayton with a stopover in Cleveland. I'll not give any more information, lest other passengers find this and feel that I have singled them out for derision.

On three passengers, in reality, should have this worry.

Allow me to begin with the woman on my left. Probably approaching retirement, she has thoughtfully squeezed herself into sausage-skin tight shorts and a strange, yet inexplicably captivating, white linen shirt. Upon her mountainous bosom rest a pair of antique brown spectacles. Her fingers are painted a shade of light pink, her hands look soft and supple. They seem care-worn, soft, and now smeared and streaked with what pizza sauce she was unable to slurp off of her fingers. My entire left side is wet and sticky from her baptizing me with her "orange juice, no ice" that she "accidentally" spilled on me. Occupying the middle seat, she seems to prefer to recline back, extending her cold, pale, flabby arms into my ribs. Now - thankfully - that the meal service is over, she has graced us all by crossing her legs. Her gleamingly white thighs would make Jesus' transfiguration look like an overcast morning.

In the aisle immediately to my right, a line has formed to use the single toilet. I remember now scenes from WWII movies that portrayed masses of people crammed into airless cattle cars with little to no food and only a bucket to use as a toilet. Strange...I'm paying $700 to do a WWII re-enactment. In such a case as this, I reckon many otherwise shy people lose their inhibitions: I've had more breasts, backsides, and Lord knows what else crammed into my face as people scoot about trying to let others pass by to the bathroo. Frottage is a felony on the ground, but not up here it seems.

To my right side is my greatest fear on any flight: two morbidly obese men. I haven't any clue how they managed to get in their seats; they are so securely crammed in that a jeweler could learn much about setting stones from these two. Sadly, however, there's a normal-sized man buried in the midst of them. I've absolutely no idea how he's managing to survive. Where pressure and time reduced Job to sack cloth and ashes, I fear the pressure and time of this flight will turn this man into a diamond.

Jane Goodall made herself famous by living with gorillas. She observed their behavior, charted their growth, and reported this to the world. So let me have a go at this:

I would estimate the aisle to be about 27" across. A few moments ago, a
rather large woman lumbered into the toilet. As I write, an equally large man is
beginning his own trek back here. Turbulence. With a running start, I reckon he
could do an Olympic flip over her. But that is undoubtedly against FAA
regulations. No, folks, the side-to-side maneuver won't work, at least not when
the two of you, standing hip-to-hip, are as wide as the plane. OH! Yes: this is
it. He has found a small child in an aisle seat and he's stepped in. For the
love of the Sacred Heart, this kid is learning the true meaning of the 'Dark
Night of the Soul.' Success. The ships have passed.


Quick aside: my neighbor, she of enormous legs, just told me that I look like her son. "You'd be handsome if you let your hair grow."

"Thanks, but I'm going bald. It's easier to keep it short." (I'm thinking: "I'd be dry and not sticky if you wuold have kept grazing at the Cinn-a-Bun and missed the flight.")

Oh Lord, the flight's only half over. It just took three minutes for her to get out of the seat to use the bathroom and the obese man across the aisle is snoring. When I stood up to let her out, I realized that SOMEHOW I have been sitting on her dinner fork. I have no idea how it got there...I think she's trying to kill me.

I give up.

So, kids, this is Uncle Ryan's rant for tody. This is sort of cathartic. I hope to publish this when I get to my hotel, but it may end up going online on Monday when I get back to SFO.

Don't let this scandalize you! Think of the grace behind it: at least I didn't succumb to air rage. I reckon it's better to make a joke of it than to face incarceration at the hands of Air Marshalls.
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