Drunk And Dirty Old Man

August 2, 2009

in Senior Stories

A couple of years ago, I was on a flight from Philadelphia, PA to San Francisco, CA. I don’t mind flying, but I do get antsy sitting mostly still (with the exception of a few bathroom runs) for 5 hours. Mainly, I try to keep to myself and respect other people’s space. I mean, we’re already packed in like sardines.

On this particular flight, I was seated in the middle seat – not my fav (I like to window to sleep on), but I’m an adult, I could handle it. To my right was a nice, young foreign boy on the first leg of a trip back home after living in the states for 3 months. Nice kid. To my dismay, to my left sat a dirty, stinky, drunk old man.

This man smelled of liquor the moment he sat down next to me. He wore a heavy leather jacket that reeked of cigarette smoke for the entire flight. He was clearly drunk and proceeded to increase his blood alcohol level as we flew towards our destination. Oh, and he also never shut up. I was his main attraction, so he talked to me relentlessly the ENTIRE flight. This sucks, as we all know, but it would have been easier if he hadn’t been coming on to me the whole time too.

That’s right, folks, a dirty, stinky, drunk old man was coming on to me. He looked to be in his 70s and was disgusting. He told me that once the lights went off, he was going to kiss me. He did, actually, kiss my cheek and then caressed my cheek twice in flight.

I was raised to treat my elders with kindness and respect, so I nicely asked him to stop, to please leave me alone so I could watch the in-flight movie. It was, I was hoping, my respite. Not so. I put the headphones on and tried to listen, but he wouldn’t stop harassing me. He would grab my hand and hold it to his chest while I thrashed to get it away from him. Not to mention, his face was constantly turned in my direction. He was staring at me, telling me my parents are lucky to have such a beautiful daughter. He also asked me if I was a member of the mile high club and if not, I should join with him!

I made up a boyfriend to try to dissuade him from speaking to me. That only made it worse with questions about my love life and if my boyfriend measured up in bed. I tried not responding, closing my eyes to feign sleep – nothing worked. I guess I’m too polite to have called a stewardess over to help me (or too stupid), but I just didn’t want to cause a scene.

Meanwhile, the nice boy to my right offered me gum and also offered to change seats with me. I took the gum but declined the seat change. I didn’t want to subject him to having this man yell over him to get to me. Ugh. Obviously, I don’t like confrontation or public displays of personal business.

Needless to say, this harassment lasted the entire flight and I kept it all to myself until I met up with my boss off the plane. (We were seated far from each other on the plane.) Also needless to say, if ever anything like this ever happens again, I’ll be sure to call the stewardess over. Who cares if I’m slightly embarrassed for a moment – at least I won’t be sexually harassed over a 5-hour flight. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

Signed, Laura from DE

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Amelia August 3, 2009 at 5:14 am

I would have just told him off in as cruel a manner as possible. "get your hands off of me, you're old, you stink, you're drunk, and I wouldn't accept your offer if you were the last man in the universe!"


Hugh August 3, 2009 at 7:00 am

I can understand not wanting to make a scene, but if he wasn't getting the hint, I don't understand why you wouldn't get a FA.


poco August 3, 2009 at 3:38 pm

You were ENTIRELY too tolerant. For Christ's sake call the FA over next time. That man went well beyond the point where courtesy is called for.


GottaLoveIt August 3, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Oh, I would have made a scene. That asshole would have deserved it. You should have smacked him.


Jodi August 4, 2009 at 4:28 am

Its nice that you wanted to respect your elders, and I’m glad that your first attempt was very polite, as it should have been. But when it continued you should have been more forceful. You did NOTHING to be embarrassed about. If you had called over the FA or even changed seats with that boy – it was the old man who should have been embarrassed, not you.


SAW August 5, 2009 at 3:27 am

Yes, respecting your elders is good. Women are meant to be docile and polite towards men's advances, accepting them as the compliments they are. You were lucky to have be found attractive and worthwhile of conversation.

Next time, respond properly when so approached, behave within your station, keep silent, and do as you're told.


Elodie August 5, 2009 at 7:38 am

Saw…please let that be sarcasm. I'm really, really hoping it is. Reverse psychology, maybe…?

Anyway–hon, this stranger wouldn't stop touching you? And he KISSED you? How did you tolerate him at all? Next time someone bothers you like that, call the FA. That is sexual harassment, honey.


MM August 5, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Good for you for being polite the first time! After that, the sucker's on his own. Call the FA honey! You paid (or your company paid) for the ticket! What were you thinking? Demand a different seat, spill hot coffee on his crotch, jab the coot in the balls with anything handy–whatever works. Sis, some guys are just a**h***s. Don't take punishment you don't deserve.


the dominator August 6, 2009 at 3:26 am

i gotta give the old man some credit. he had some balls there. able to get all good and drunk and then get a bit of action to boot. i bet he was bragging about it to the folks at the nursing home.

you may not like it laura but, i salute the drunk old man for all that he did!

finally the elderly do something useful for this country.

way to go old man!!


the dominator August 6, 2009 at 3:29 am

oh and by the way, i agree with you 100% saw. you are wise one indeed.



SAW August 6, 2009 at 4:23 am

Elodie… of course it was. I didn't think I really needed to confirm that, but…


Isolda August 6, 2009 at 7:49 am

Respecting your elders does not mean disrespecting yourself. No one should have to put up with that sort of behavior from anyone. Setting boundaries (in this case, a barbed wire fence) is not disrespectful. You should have either taken the boy's offer to change seats or called a FA. Personally, I have no qualms about smacking a persistent pervert in the nuts, no matter how old he is.


Atari August 12, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Since not only has everyone already stated the truth, but you, also, stated that you received (and acquiesced to) more punishment than a person should have to tolerate, I will simply say this:

I wonder if the politeness really matters if, in retrospect, one flings as many insults as he can possibly muster?

You never said, "Well, he was drunk, so I suppose I should allow lenience in regard to his lack of control over all of his faculties."

Nor did you suggest that he might have been a nice person, if not drunk, or that you did not think him all that repulsive.

Instead, you insulted, belittled and castigated everything about the man.

This leads me to believe that ALL of your kindness toward the man was a facade.

If you did not actually feel any kindness toward the man, then why not simply tell him to his face that he was a malodorous, repulsive, loathsome creature, unworthy of the title 'human being,' and that you would be obliged only if he hurled himself from the airliner?

What were you attempting to avoid, or do?

You mentioned that you would be embarrassed.

Embarrassed why?

"I apologize. This man is sexually molesting me, verbally and physically; he smells horrible and will not shut his mouth for a single moment. I know that I should endure this abuse quietly and with a good disposition, and I am bashful to ask, but, would you kindly move me to another seat?"

Of course, this is all the pondering of a bored kid, so please; I ask that you not take offense.

I understand how harsh my musings may sound, but be assured that I am not suggesting that you do this thing or that thing, but am merely wondering.

Good luck on future endeavors.


Alex April 22, 2012 at 7:31 am

At least he didn't start singing the songs of his fathers.


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