The Talkative Twit

October 4, 2009

in Passenger Stories

On a recent flight to DC, I sat next to a desperate talker. To be clear, I love making conversations with strangers, but I was tired from a long weekend and flying into DC for a conference. I wanted to be alone in my own head for the 1 hour, 1 minute flight. However, as soon as the guy beside me sat down in the aisle, I knew he was itching to strike up a conversation. I avoided eye contact like the plague, but he wasn’t a master of social cues.

Within moments of take-off, I decided to read because I didn’t have a window and I was still avoiding him. I grabbed my book and made the mistake of turning my light on, an action that inspired him to break the ice. Immediately, he was completely facing me, leaning into my seat and asking me questions. He must not have brushed his teeth in 10 years–they looked like Halloween costume teeth. To make matters worse, I quickly learned that I also had a spitter on my hands. With every comment or question, the shower got more intense. Between each one of his breaths, I mopped my face and looked at him with hatred. The usual stranger-lover in me answered with disgust and short. caustic. hate-filled. words.

With relief, I heard the announcement that I could use my iPod. I scooped it out of my bag with vigor and, nodding dully at his stories about something, popped the earbuds into my ears and leaned back. He continued to talk to me anyway. I pretended I couldn’t hear him and faked falling asleep until he got quiet. (Complete with dramatic dozing like you saw in 90s sitcoms.)

When I had to turn the iPod off, he was back at it. He was leaning over my seat to look out on our descent even though the closest window was a row in front of me. I really thought he was going to try to kiss me, and I was fully turned around in the opposite direction, pretending to crack my back. He was relentless. I went back and forth mentally about whether or not I should tell him to back off and be straightforward about how uncomfortable I was. Meanwhile, he was telling me he got kicked out of college for drinking too much and still liked to get down with drinking now, 6 years later. A spitter, and an over-sharer. Sweet.

When I landed, we got stuck about 250 yards from the gate and I started calling everyone I knew. He still talked. I engaged in conversations with others over my phone and he was leaning over talking to me. “What kind of provider do you have?! I don’t even have a signal yet! You’re lucky… man are you lucky! Still no signal!” In between, he was being sure to lean into my seat to look at the window.

I walked off the flight needing a shower and a hug.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Atari October 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Hmm. No comments.

Well, I think people would comment more if they expected a reply.

Also, there is little to say here, except to ask what kind of guy he was.

You did not provide much information, despite his relentless barrage of anecdotes and nonsensical prattle.

It would be interesting to get into the mind of one of these morons, but I doubt that it would be as interesting as one might hope.


saw October 8, 2009 at 5:15 pm

If you got into that mind, Atari, I doubt you'd come out unscathed. Minds like that are usually terribly demented inside.

Honestly though, the first time he spit in my face, I'd have told him to turn around, face forward, and shut up, or he'd be eating seat-cushion for lunch. A call to a flight attendant also wouldn't have been out of order.

Seriously though – I wonder why so many people put up with this kind of crap and think they can solve it with "pretend sleeping" and such. Just OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND COMPLAIN. Baring that – spit back.


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