Once again, I was off to Germany… home of good friends, heavy food, wacky long sentences, and Lufthansa, the airline whose plane I was unceremoniously squished into not like a sardine, but wurst.
I had the foot-munching-tray aisle to my right, and a stupendously larger-than-life and dumber-than-devil-fossils young fella to my left. To his left sat an acquaintance of his, seemingly of equal gelatinousness and dimwittedness. For the purposes of this entry, we’ll call them Slad and Elad, respectively if not respectfully.
* * *
Slad had no sense. No sense of etiquette, culture, space, or time. No sense at all, really. And he was happy to share this nonsense with me, loudly… cheerfully interrupting the safety instructions which were actually melodious and fascinating in comparison.
Slad: THEY’RE TALKING GERMAN!
Slad: WHY ARE THEY TALKING GERMAN?
Me: It’s Lufthansa, a German airline.
Slad: [A look even blanker than usual]
Me: …And we’re going to Germany, so there are Germans on board.
Only the first part had sunk in. And barely at that.
Slad: YEAH!? BUT THEY’RE STILL TALKING GERMAN!
About 30 minutes into the flight…
Slad: HEY! UM, I SHOULD TELL YOU SOMETHING.
Me: You’re pregnant?
Slad: SOMETIMES I GET TIRED. AND I GO TO SLEEP AND, LIKE, LEAN TO ONE SIDE. [gesticulates in the most unfortunate of directions. My direction.]
Slad: SO IF I DO, YOU CAN PUSH ME. IT’S OKAY.
Me: [Nodding, once again quite speechless]
Slad: AND I CAN’T SLEEP WITH THIS ARM REST [pointing to the last barrier between the two of us]. SO I’LL MOVE IT.
Me: Uh, um… I…
Slad: [moving armrest] MRUMPH AAHHHH.
It was about at this time that I chuckled inwardly and looked for the camera. I had finally figured out what was happening; I was now the unwitting future star of “American’s Funniest Videos… in the Sky!”
Except I wasn’t. There was no camera. On the stage that mattered at the moment, there was just me, Slad, and his up-‘til-now mute-and-slackjacked buddy. The audience, if one considered it to exist, was likely amusedly credulous and undoubtedly happy to be more or less apart from the action.
* * *
Another hour later, I discovered that there was loving, needy-yet-giving part of Slad… which was manifested by his tender-but-firm nuzzling of his head on my shoulder, his hands in a further solid embrace upon my upper arm. Adding to the unreality of the circumstances was Slad’s increasingly-window-rattling snort-snores.
Temporarily frozen in a powerfully combimatic state of disbelief, amusement, and horror, I began to contemplate the most efficient and effective methods of extrication.
Elad was also clearly experiencing a combination of emotions, but unlike me, was decidedly unfrozen. In a quick flash, Elad grabbed one of the dirty-and-unsoft airline pillows and aimed to violently wack his compatriot-in-stupidity out of his amorous slumber.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Elad was bereft not only of speech and thought, but also aim. THWWWWACK! went the pillow into my face. I was now, even more than before, very, very awake. In contrast, Slad simply missed a snort-snore beat, which was replaced by a relatively mild gruntle before the rhythms of his sleep began anew.
It was long past time for a heave-ho. I pushed Slad to the left, causing him to flop onto Elad. Elad—stunned at this apparently not-before-experienced leftleaningness of his duncetwin—did the only thing he knew how to do. He shoved back.
A soon-mostly-awake and thoroughly befuddled Slad was catapulted squishily into my lap. Dimly ascertaining that he wasn’t where I wanted him to be, he grabbed my thigh with one hand and—with all his weight—gruntily pushed himself mostly upright.
* * *
I looked around in desperation. A couple sympathetic looks, but no empty seats. I was tempted to tell Slad that there was a big case of beer on the other end of the exit sign, but I deduced that:
1) He’d really fall for it.
2) He undeniably had the heft to easily open or at least gleefully smash through the emergency exit door.
3) I’d have even a more miserable flight at that point.
So what could I do? I rotated through the possibilities in my head:
“Excuse me, but these guys are bear hugging and pillow fighting me!”
No, no, that made it sound very warm and fuzzy. And I was not feeling warm and fuzzy.
“Pardon me, ma’am, but my seatmates are so dumb, I fear that they’re sucking brain matter out of me and it hurts.”
An evocative and perhaps all-too-true observation, but also unlikely to result in a satisfactory resolution.
* * *
Slad: WE ALMOST THERE?
Me: Not soon enough. Not nearly soon enough.