Written by Christopher Null on January 21st, 2004

I’ve spent 10 of the last 30 hours on airplanes, so allow me to complain for one short moment.

I’ve discovered a nifty way to get exit row seating (no, I’m not sharing), but in this instance it backfired. I’m in row 12, and it looks like I’m going to get the whole thing to myself. But even as I approach the row, I know something is wrong… namely, that it starts to reek of B.O. by about row 9. I already see where it’s coming from: the headbanger-looking crew in row 13.

It’s bad enough, but right before takeoff a flight attendent enthusiastically offers one of my seats to the guy in the middle of row 13. Gulp. The stink is overpowering. Midway into the flight, that sour vinegar stench turns into something like alcohol-doused charcoal, and by three hours it smells like raw sewage. Now I’m starting to notice something odd about this man… he’s hairy and large — maybe 220, 6’2″? — and dressed in flannel and khakis, but the fingernails are long and I’m getting some odd vibe. The long hair isn’t a giveaway, and the face certainly isn’t either, but it’s a telltale accessory that gives it all away — a tiny, dainty watch on the left arm. This is a woman! Now I have never, ever seen a woman look so unwomanly, but more to the point, I have never, ever smelt a woman that stank so badly. I know flight attendants sometimes have to eject people for smelling too bad… you don’t upgrade them to the exit row!

Anyway, that aside, I’ve never been more happy for the odor of “teriyaki chicken sandwiches” pervading a plane, if only for a few short minutes of non-stank bliss.

That is all.

 

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