BrokenJPG

A Copywriter’s Blog
Of airplanes and assholes

My flight to Kentucky a few weeks ago was a two-parter: Miami to Atlanta, Atlanta to Louisville. It was at the end of the first leg that the following occurred.

I was sitting in the middle of the row. The woman to my right had an air of carefully cultivated indifference. The girl to my left had the subtle yet unmistakable air of one who is heading to a very important interview, and is utterly failing to think of something else in order to take their mind off it.

She asked about the book I was reading (I, Robot.) and whether it was better or worse than the movie. I told her it was far superior, though in fact this may have been in a lie. Aside from the title, I can find almost no similarities between the two whatsoever. So answering this question is sort of like deciding whether one prefers a Japanese-made car to the original Shakespearean production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In other words, it was that old ‘Apples to Oranges’ chestnut.

However, we both agreed I, Robot the book was far superior to her own reading, which was school-invoked. I didn’t ask if she was flying to an interview, since her very being radiated a sense of trying not to think about it.

It turned out that she too, had a connection, and one that allowed significantly less time between flights than my own. As our plane was touching down, the Stewardess came over the speaker and announced: “Ladies and Gentlemen, we have three passengers at the back of the plane who will have very little time to reach their connecting flights. When we reach the gate, please stay seated a moment so those passengers with a connecting flight can disembark first.”

You have perhaps heard of the miracle performed at the Red Sea? Where Moses lifted up his staff, and the waters stood apart? This was pretty much the opposite.

As soon as the plane touched down, the aisles filled. The girl with the institution-mandated reading material made it about three rows before becoming mired in a single-file sea of humanity. Her fear was palpable. The look on her face could best be described as ’stricken’.

And so I did the only thing that made any sense. I stood up on her now vacant aisle seat, cupped my hands around my mouth, and shouted “Excuse me! Some people have a connection they need to reach, could you all just sit down a second so they don’t miss their flight? Thank you.”

The response was as immediate as it was non-existent. It was nothing. No one moved.

From further down the plane, one person who wasn’t clogging the aisle caught my eye and offered up “It was a nice try.”

A common trait of copywriters is the ability to spit venom. The projectiles are purely verbal, but it’s poisonous qualities cannot be denied. “Oh certainly,” I spat “I just thought I’d appeal to some human decency, but I guess I was wrong.” From further up the plane, one of the bricks in the wall of stupidity had the gall to respond:

“I don’t think it’s an issue of human decency, as much as one of physics.”

I directed my stream at him “No, I don’t think physics is the issue. See, that seat right next to you is empty. If you could step to the right, you’d be in it. And if everyone else did that, there’d be no problem. And if you all do it for 30 seconds, you can all crowd the aisle again and no one will miss their flight.”

Deciding that physics was not his forte after all, the gentleman turned back around. Shockingly, another of the herd of humanity ventured an opinion: “I think a lot of these people have connecting flights.” It should be noted that even though this man was standing in the aisle, he did not include himself in that statement.

“They do not.” I snarled back “She clearly said there were three of them.”

However, what I would have liked to say was this: “Oh indeed, my apologies sir. I had no idea the selfish jackass convention was being held already. Of course since everyone planning to attend seems to be standing up right here on our plane, I’m sure they’ll hold the opening ceremonies until you all get there. With that in mind, why don’t you sit your ass down in that seat right next to you and let this poor girl pass. After which time you and all the rest of these self-absorbed fucktards can erect permanent dwellings complete with white picket fences in the aisle for all I care.”

I didn’t say that. I also didn’t attempt to physically force my way through the crowd like I was contemplating. I have no idea if the girl ever made her flight. I made mine. But I’d like to believe that a rhinoceros who was being transported via air freight and broke free of it’s handlers had just enough time to trample every last one of those impatient jackoffs before security regained control of it and led it off to a life of luxury at the Atlanta Zoo. Because that would please me.

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