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As fans of The Weekly Show know, I try to keep the site as rant-free as possible. While the occasional insane paragraph may pop up from time to time, I do my best to play it PG (this is a family show, after all). There comes a time, however, when things become so outrageous that the blogger has a civic duty to yell at strangers on the internet. I am referring, of course, to the jerks who lean their seats back on a seven-and-a-half-hour flight.
First things first: nobody likes flying. Flights are always delayed, security is rude and intrusive, and by the time you touch down your luggage is likely halfway to Siberia. But these pale in comparison to the worst part about airplanes: the discomfort. Crying babies and sick passengers aside, the seats are so cramped and offer so little leg room as to give Shaq nightmares. In fact, airplane claustrophobia is so common that JetBlue recently unveiled this ad campaign to distance itself from its overcrowded competitors.
Given these conditions, it follows that anyone who intrudes on another’s space for his own comfort is a jerk. No, scratch that: a total dick. Think about it like this: each person has enough space to awkwardly hold a book or laptop in front of them. Leaning the seat back not only creates a claustrophobic shit show behind you; it also prevents someone from entertaining herself for the mind-numbing duration of the flight. These trips are miserable enough without some jerk lying on top of you.
Let me explain what inspired this rant. On my flight back from Berlin last week, two men wearing matching outfits decided it would be nice to lean their seats back—for seven and a half hours. These jerks ignored my family’s polite requests to stop crushing our legs, including during mealtimes when the angle of their seats made it next to impossible to use our tray tables (the flight attendant did not help with this either, refusing to become involved and acting as though we were wasting her time—isn’t that part of her job?). On top of this, the men spent the majority of the flight leaning forward on their tray tables. These jerks made those hours feel like weeks.
Some proponents of reclining claim they are not as horrible as I make them out to be. According to them, their behavior is acceptable because it is not against airline rules. Wrong. Just because my company does not require me to shower doesn’t mean I should go to work sweaty and disgusting. The same logic applies to the cabin—sacrificing others’ personal space for your own makes you a jerk, regardless of whether you are following the rules.
If you have ever reclined your seat, there is still hope for you. Be sure to keep your seat in the upright position, and do not let friends engage in such dickish behavior. As for all the polite fliers out there, remain vigilant. Keep an eye out for that smug bastard who reclines his seat at the beginning of the flight, and stay as far away as humanly possible.
Now it’s your turn! Do you have any stories like this? Any that could top this? What do you think about seat reclining? I hope to hear about some crazy flights! As always, please like, share, or reblog this post if you enjoy it. That small click really helps me out. Be sure to check me out on Twitter and Facebook as well. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for new content every Wednesday! IT’S FREE!
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Comment question of the week
Do you have a similar travel story? Any that can top this?