Friday, December 30, 2005

Rebels on the Boeing 737-800

Having been blessed with travel-necessitating life circumstances like going to school out of state and having relatives in another country, I have come to consider myself to be somewhat of an expert when it comes to airports and commercial flying. Yes, I know about the $25 fee for having too-heavy baggage, the extra metal detector swipes you have to get if your license is expired, and the exact wording of the P.A. announcement made every five minutes: "Please DO NOT leave your baggage unattended. Unattended baggage will be confiscated." Ahh, and how can I forget about the people who just sit and stare at me, unblinkingly, while I wait at my gate to be boarded, minding my own business, and wishing they would just mind theirs. Such is airport life.
Now I want to talk about another breed of traveler, and anyone who has ever flown will know what I'm talking about. I call them the Too-Macho-for-Airplane-Rules Men. On every flight there are at least 3 or 4 of them. Here are some characteristics that may give them away:
1. When the flight attendant informs everyone that "the captain has turned on the fasten seatbelt sign," you immediately hear the distinct clicks of their buckles unbuckling.
2. When the flight attendant tells everyone to "return seats to the upright position," they keep their seats reclined until an attendant comes around and repeats the command to them in person, at which they groan and roll their eyes before complying.
3. When the flight attendant asks everyone to "please remain seated until the plane has come to a complete stop," they immediately stand up and open their overhead compartment to get their bags, just to stand there looking foolish for the next 15 minutes in which nobody can leave the plane anyway.
I realize that a lot of people have an innate need to prove they aren't tied down by common rules, and if these small acts of rebellion fulfill that need for these guys, then good for them. I'm not one to stop them from keeping their chauvinistic rituals... I just wish that one of the standard flight attendant commands could be to "please stare creepily at other passengers who are just minding their own business." If my reverse-psychology hypothesis is correct, then maybe I would finally be able to have some privacy.