Posted in Stories, Travel


On our return flight from Dallas (see Back in the Air), my wife and I had middle seats across the aisle from each other on American Airlines. When I asked at the gate if we could sit together, the agent said, “Sure,” and then quoted me some upgrade costs. No thank you. The direct flight to Jacksonville, FL was just a few hours. How bad could it be?

My seat was between a woman and a young man that I believe were mother and son. I wish they had sat together because the mom had a lot to say to her son, who just wanted to sleep. I brought up a book on my phone’s Kindle app and read until the drinks and pretzels reached our row.

The son asked for a Dr. Pepper. I had some ice water. The mom had a can of tomato juice which she poured over a cup of ice. For the next fifteen minutes, like clockwork, she loudly sipped and slurped her tomato juice.


“Look at this video on my phone. It’s so real.”

<loud slurp>

“It’s so clear.”

<louder slurp>

“Do you want one? We can up grade for free. From 11 to 13.” OK, we’re obviously in the iPhone universe. She had a new 13, he had an 11. (I have a 10, by the way.)

“No thanks.”

<even louder slurp>

“It’s free. You can trade yours in.”

“I’m fine. I don’t need one.”

<still louder slurp>

“What about your other phone? You can trade it in.”

“I’m fine.”

<really loud slurp>

“You could get four or five hundred dollars for it.”

“I don’t need the money. I’m fine.”

<loudest slurp>

“It’s four hundred dollars.”

“I don’t need the money. I’m fine.”

<longer, louder slurp>

“OK. Just let me know.”

<loudest, longest slurp>

She looked out the window. He turned toward the aisle and tried to go to sleep. She wasn’t comfortable for the rest of the flight, about thirty minutes. She pulled her legs up to her chest. She stretched out as best she Over and over and over, about every two minutes.

So they weren’t the most annoying row-mates I’ve ever had. They weren’t the friendliest, either.

As we deplaned, she walked ahead, he lagged behind. She was on a mission to get to baggage claim. He was clearly in no hurry to join her.

I hope you two enjoyed your ride together to your next destination!

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