Captive audience

We all have experienced the hassles and indignities of air travel these days.  And, of course, the screaming babies, the smelly row mates, the loud talkers and the drunks have also challenged our coping mechanisms.

But on my flight this morning, I think I witnessed a new high in lows.  Two young women friends are seated in the same row (behind me), one on the aisle, and the other by the window.  A stranger is sitting between them.  The two friends are chatting loud enough so they can hear each other, and as a result, as can everyone seated in nearby rows.

The young woman on the aisle said to the stranger, apparently pointing to her friend by the window, “we’re friends, so we’re just going to talk over you.”  STOP THE MUSIC.  Whaaaat?  As if what is good for her is good for a stranger?

The stranger offers to switch seats and the young woman says, “No, I need an aisle seat and my friend needs to be by the window.”  So, what you are really going to talk over this poor woman?  As it turned out, yes, yes, they were.

I thought to say something but then decided that it is not my job (although it is my secret thrill) to correct every display of atrocious manners.  Some wrongs will have to sort themselves out without my uninvited intervention.  The real reason is that I am not sure whether reprimanding another passenger for crimes against civility would cause the TSA to take me forcibly from the plane.  And I really wanted to get to the office, get some things done and get home to my family at a reasonable hour.

So, I put in my ear plugs and fell asleep.