Conversations are Not Inflight Entertainment

People fly a lot more than they used to. While it’s great that more people have the opportunity to travel, the downside is that flights are more full. It seems to be getting to the point where the only way to have an empty seat next to you is to pay for 2 seats. Sadly I do not make enough money to pay for additional seats so I often ending up sitting next to strangers. Sometimes I’m lucky and these strangers do not have terrible body odour. More often than not, I’m unlucky. On my unbelievably long flight to Melbourne I sat next to a man who fell asleep in a position that resulted in his buttocks being a little too close for comfort. Still that’s not as bad as having to talk to the person next to you.


You are probably wondering why I think talking to the person next to me is such a terrible thing. Now I think it’s lovely to sit next to someone who tells you where to get the best ice cream sandwich or how to get a free tour in the city you are on your way to. However, that has never happened to me. I am more used to sitting next to people who like to discuss their troubled marriages or ask how I feel about their random Muslim friend contemplating taking on a second wife. I know for certain that I do not give off the vibe of a caring counsellor. Ask any of my friends. They will say I dispense terrible advice and that I have an untrustworthy face. Yet somehow, my seatmates will disregard that I am watching a movie or reading a book. They will manage to interpret my disinterest as a desire to listen to their problems.

In an attempt to be more prepared to deal with my aeroplane neighbours, I’ve come up with a few opening statements that will (hopefully) disuade them from wanting to converse with me and perhaps even convince them to switch seats.

1. I sat next to a really rude guy on my last flight. He wouldn’t even let me lick his dessert plate.

2. I can smell boogers inside my nose.

3. Would you like some of my homemade lasagne? I hope you aren’t allergic to dog meat.

4. I can’t wait to show you my nail clippings collection.

5. You look so much like my cellmate from prison… she really got on my nerves.

6. I don’t think you should ever wear red again. It looks terrible on you.

7. Shh don’t tell anyone I snuck my pet spider on board

8. Would you mind checking my hair for lice?

9. The guy I sat next to on my last flight was watching a movie I didn’t like, so naturally I stole his headphones.

10. Let’s challenge the people in front of us to a burping contest.