If you recline your airplane seat you are a terrible person

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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.

Flying Airline Plane Airplane Cramped Recline Seat Terrible Person Rude Uncomfortable Knee Defender Weekly Show

The increased personal space after they adjusted their seats at the end of the flight.

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.

Cramped Seat Airline Airplane Plane Passenger Coach Most SkyRider Awful Weekly Show

This was almost the future of flying. (But actually–check out the link below).

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!

Click here for last week’s post: Budapest: City of Wonders and Flooded Subways!

Other related articles:

The Top Ten Gross Things People Do On Airplanes (Jaunted)

World’s Most Cramped Airline Seat to Launch Next Week (Wired) [Story from 2010 but so crazy I’m including it]

How to Avoid That Cramped Seat (New York Times)

Deranged Blogger Declares Death to All Bunnies [My first rant!]

Don’t Click This Link


Comment question of the week

Do you have a similar travel story? Any that can top this?


Picture this: you’re watching a game of Russian roulette…

Picture this: you’re watching a game of Russian roulette. The first five people pull the trigger and draw blanks. Handing the revolver to the final participant, the previous player reassures him, “No need to worry. We all pulled the trigger, and we’re fine!”

Now, anyone who understands the rules of the game knows that the last player is not fine. In fact, we know with one-hundred-percent certainty that said player is going to meet a very unfortunate end. But why would the other participant suggest that he has nothing to worry about? As exaggerated as this example may seem, this type of reasoning pervades everyday decision making.

Cliff Diving Dangerous Crazy Beautiful High

“Dangerous? What are you talking about? I do this every day.”

How many times have you pointed out a friend or colleague’s risky behavior to the response of “What are you talking about? Everything worked out fine.” This reasoning often rears its head in the aftermath of questionable decisions, such as swearing at the principal or doing a cannonball off the roof (“Look, see? The bleeding stopped all by itself.”). Called inductive reasoning, the logic works by superimposing the past onto the future. One past outcome automatically becomes all future outcomes, disregarding the possibility of different results. As silly as it sounds, we actually use inductive reasoning on a daily basis. How do we know the sun will rise tomorrow? Well, it always has, so we just assume the rules of physics will remain unchanged. Even so, this thought process can lead to rather peculiar conclusions.

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Why I’m framing my college rejection letters

I would like to preface this post by extending my thoughts to all those affected by the terrible events at the Boston Marathon. I wish all those afflicted (some of whom were my high school classmates) a safe and speedy recovery.

During Spring Break I looked after the neighbors’ house while they were on vacation. In the study I noticed an odd letter on the wall—it was a notice from Georgetown University informing the husband that they could not accept his application for financial aid. The date in the corner read April 3, 1976. As I glanced around the room I saw other letters, some denying admission and others explaining why he was not the right fit for a job. Looking at these rejections, I could not help but smile at the irony of it all—my neighbor is the most successful person I know. This is the man who sits on almost every board and has lunch with four-star generals. When I returned to my room and saw my college letters on my desk, I decided I am going to frame them.

College Job Rejection Letter Red Stamp

To burn or to frame?

Let’s be honest: rejection sucks. Whether it’s the perfect job or that hot guy or girl from across the hall, being told no is one of the most difficult parts of life. We come up short, lose what we have tried to achieve. Worst of all, it tears a hole in our self-image: denial tells us we aren’t good locking or smart enough, that we lack the capacity to meet our goals.

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Deranged blogger declares death to all bunnies

Everyone, there’s something I need to get off my chest. I like to think of myself as an accepting person—I rarely judge others, and I stand at the forefront of many progressive movements. Hell, I’ve even gone so far as to sit through an entire movie with Sarah Jessica Parker. Despite all this, I feel that we as a society at some point need to draw the line, stop the madness before it goes too far. Here is my confession: I hate bunnies.

Baby Bunny Adorable Evil Cute Professional

Look at this conniving bastard.

“But wait, good sir!” you say! “How could you despise such cute balls of fluff?” That’s just what the bunnies want you to think. As we sit back with our “oohs” and “ahhs,” these tiny bastards are scheming world domination. Remember when one of them nibbled on poor grandma’s cabbages? Or when a group of them ate your neighbor’s daisies? One celery stalk here and there may go unnoticed, but just wait until these fuzzy monsters get their act together. Today a flower garden, tomorrow the Pentagon.

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Are we all just faces in a crowd?

This has been on my mind for quite some time. In fact, I’ve been meaning to post about it for a while now. I cannot understand how anyone could like me.

Allow me to explain. I am not talking about any sort of depression (don’t worry, Mom!). What I am describing is quite different. Though on one level it makes perfect sense, I find it odd that other people can feel toward me as they do toward any other human being.

If you think really hard about what it feels like to exist, you will probably say that you feel like some sort of thing peering out from a body. While you encounter dozens, possibly hundreds of human beings every day, your understanding of them is fundamentally different from your understanding of yourself. Your friends, family, and acquaintances all behave in similar ways to you, but they cannot feel what you feel. Though you can understand and relate to one another, they will never know what it is like to be you.

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