How to Survive Flying With Your Sanity Intact

There is no idea as glamorous as flying. Sitting down in a machine that allows you to soar through the clouds is a modern mechanical miracle that defies logic as you are carried to your destination in the belly of a giant mechanical bird.

Yes, the idea of flying is unbelievably glamorous. The actual process is enough to make you contemplate jumping out the escape door sans parachute.

A couple of days ago I found myself sandwiched in between two men, each approximately the size of a Volvo, on a shuttle headed towards the airport. I never thought I would be in a position that made me long for the space afforded each passenger in coach, but, sure enough, these gentlemen were kind enough to introduce me to claustrophobia.

Also, one smelled like onions.

Suffice it to say, I was overjoyed when I arrived at the airport. I was so happy to be out of that situation, I didn’t even complain (too much, anyway) about a Whopper Value Meal costing over $7.00. Everything was great as long as I was away from Kid Onion and his partner Tons O’ Fun.

Then I entered the plane.

As I sat down and began to relax, a man sat down in the seat next to me. He was the very definition of an oozer.

If you don’t know what an oozer is, it’s because the term has not yet made its way into our lingo. An oozer is a person you sit next to that lacks a personal bubble, so they practically end up sitting on your lap with their arm wrapped around your neck, a position reserved for romantic encounters, not meeting strangers. You can try every method known to man, but there is no budging them (You might try a taser. That would probably make them move, although they’re close enough, you might end up shocking yourself as well).

Not only was this man an oozer, but he decided the lady to his left would become his new best friend. There is only one way to make friends on a plane.


And talk he did. For the entire flight, his mouth emitted sound after sound.

Fortunately, there is one surefire distraction when you end up on a plane with people like this.


So while they were busy discussing the ins and outs of science (“I never knew that’s how electricity worked! Wow!”), I immersed myself in a magazine of completely useless products.

Skymall is a magazine of the world’s strangest ideas, and all of them are for sale. Have you ever looked at your antique globe and thought “I wish there was a way to look at the continents and have wine?” Fortunately, the Sixteenth-Century Italian Replica Globe Bar is here (page 82). Just open it up and your wine and glasses sit right there. Or maybe, you’re more into technology. Check out the Voice Activated R2-D2 (page 36) or the Smart Shopper Grocery List Printer (page 21). You can even keep your closet organized with the Closet Organizing Trouser Rack (page 30).

Yes, if you want to avoid inane discussions with your flying partner (“…And I just tell them ‘put extra pickles on it’ because if I’m going to have a burger, I want it good.”), Skymall is sure to distract you for hours on end.

If shopping isn’t your thing, I recommend finding the person on the flight who clearly hates the idea of leaving the ground. Watching this person guarantees hours of enjoyment, from the time he enters the plane, puts his head down, closes his eyes, and starts breathing as if he is in labor until the end of the flight when he drops all of his stuff trying to run off the plane, trampling those in front of him. While he definitely is not the person you would have wanted to be on the Titanic with (“Women and children first? They can take an icy bath for all I care.”), he is entertaining in the air.

Eventually, all flights come to an end, forcing you to return to a life of reasonably priced food and elbow space. I was more than happy to get off of the plane, leaving my two seat mates behind to wrap up their conversation (“She was just as funny in that as she was in Weird Science...”).

I did, however, take my copy of Skymall.

You never know when you’ll need a Magic Wand Remote Control (page 34).

12 thoughts on “How to Survive Flying With Your Sanity Intact

  1. You would hate me. I’m a talker, and a nervous talker…and plane take offs make me nervous. Is that why you no longer visit my site. I talk your ear off too much and probably secretly wish I’d stop commenting here? Unfortunately, for you…I’m rather fond of you and wait for your daily posts and am so sad when you don’t visit me!

    **sigh** oh, well. So that’s what it means when someone grabs the skymall catalog. Noted = TALK MORE! I won’t be ignored!



  2. I’m a talker as well. It’s practically a requisite of mine to make conversation with the person next to me. I think it’s really neat that I can have the opportunity to have a very engaging discussion with someone that I’m never going to see again. I think all people are interesting with plenty of stories to tell, so it’s like tapping into a deep reservoir.

    I also have a secret wish on every flight that the plane will crash on to the island from LOST. Even if I were to die from it, that’s what I would envision happening in the afterlife. Ever since I’ve had that wish, my fear of flying has dissolved. Yeah I’m pretty crazy.


    • I feel like thinking about the plane crashing on the LOST island would make anxiety worse. Then you have several television seasons worth of bad thing coming your way. I also never liked LOST, though, so that might make a difference in my perspective.


  3. I don’t like oozers…so I try and scrunch up in my seat just so that I don’t have to touch them, they in turn take that as an excuse to further spread themselves out 😦 I usually take the aisle seat and at times I’m practically hanging off the seat trying to get away from them.


  4. Great post. I LOVE flying. Just the idea of being miles and miles up in the air and being able to sit, eat and drink. It would have been a lot more amusing if the food actually tasted tasty. But, you get the idea. I’m one of those anti-social passengers. I give people my evil look, scare the bajeebies out of some people, haha, and then turn on my iPod. LOL! So, yeah, you and I can probably sit next to each other on the plane! Anyway, no. I don’t talk when I’m flying. iPod is my best friend. Last time I flew out I was in a plane full of Spanish speaking people. Unfortunately the one Dutch speaking person on the plane – I like to think he was the only Dutch speaking guy there – sat right in front of me, turned around and started talking to me. Great. Anyway, yes, I’m from the Netherlands 😛


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