Dear passenger in 4A,
I smelled you the minute you walked on the plane and immediately I said a prayer. The flight attendant had already informed us that the flight was completely full and so I knew it would be only a matter of time before the seat next to me became occupied. There were only a few people left boarding the plane and you were one of them. As soon as you opened up the overhead bin above me to shove your bag in I knew I was doomed. I saw the sweat pits but even if I had been as blind as Ray Charles I knew what I was in for. The stench was atrocious. Seriously…why? How do you not realize how unpleasant you smell and how could you possibly think it’s ok to board a plane for 5 odd hours and subject the rest of us to unrecycled air filled with your stench. It’s just plain wrong! I realize that you aren’t from America and that perhaps where you are from there is nothing uncommon about that type of body odor. Perhaps I should give you a pass but no. You live in New York now. You told me so. That makes you subject to the same standards I hold other Americans to. And how do you add insult to injury? By deciding your sitting position of choice is with your hands raised above your head. That’s right…relax and let your pits breath why don’t you.
As soon as you sit down I get the feeling that you are overly excited to be sitting next to me. This does not make me happy. You even had a brief conversation about how pretty I was with the flight attendant. Ewww. You see, I’m a nice person but I really hate being all chit-chatty on planes. I don’t care about the gem show you were visiting in Tucson. I don’t care about what you do for a living in New York. I don’t care how Continental has very friendly flight attendants. I don’t care whom you voted for and why you think Obama has a good chance against McCain. I. Just. Don’t. Care. And why, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, did I tell you that I run track. I know better. I am a normal person with a normal 9 to 5 job that doesn’t require any further explanation or details. What do I run…How many hours do I practice…How do I make money…Where do I run at…Do I have a strict diet…How fast do I run the mile…What do I think of Marion…Am I going to the Olympics…you hit them all. You also fail to realize that I am no longer in any way trying to be polite. I don’t look up from my magazine. I give you one-word answers. I am borderline rude and yet still you trudge on. So now I’m pissed. Maybe it’s not exactly your fault that you smell but it is definitely your fault that you are making this plane trip a living hell. I would rather be sitting in the back row of the plane by the restrooms in a middle seat that doesn’t recline than sitting here next to you.
I finally decide to watch the movie even though I previously had no interest in doing so. I figure if I have headphones on and seem thoroughly engaged you might leave me alone. It does nothing for my nostrils but I am looking for small victories at this point. I quickly realize though that even this is not a deterrent for you. You tap me to ask me the name of the film. don’t know. You continuously look over at me every time there is a part in the movie that you find comical and laugh as if we are sharing an inside joke. we aren’t. I finally figure my best bet to escape you is to just sleep. You aren’t noticing my body language as I have scooted as far away from you as possible and angled my body towards the window. You are not respecting my reading or watching a movie. It’s all utterly pointless.
So I doze off. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stay asleep too long and guess what awaits me when I open my eyes. Your feet. Your nasty, repulsive, offensive, revolting, disgusting, bare feet that are perched in front of us. I swear your toenails were straight out of a Freddy Kruger movie. How in the world do you think that’s okay? As I go back to reading my book you ask if you can ask me a question. Well you just did but continue since it makes no difference obviously if I say yes or no. I guess since I’m a runner and I, ummmm, use my feet, you think that maybe I have a problem with dry, cracked feet. I don’t. But I guess you assume if you bring YOUR feet up so that I can get a closer look as to what you are referring to, I just might recall having had that same problem and be able to recommend a fantastic foot cream that will solve all your problems. OH, DEAR JESUS.
I must thank you for taking the last twenty minutes of the flight to finally fall asleep and put me out of my misery. You were also very kind to give me your chocolate as you saw how fast I devoured mine and knew that I was hoping for another. But beyond that kind sir, you were without a doubt my worst experience ever.