What’s Worse?

I’m home now from out west. I put in my five hours on a plane, my knees pressed against my chest and the tray table driving itself into my sternum.

Flying is such a joy.

I should admit that traveling knees in my mouth is my own choice, because I hate to have to use those overhead bins. People vie so for the space in the overhead bins and I’d just rather not do that if I can help it. All jockeying for position makes me uncomfortable. Not enough testosterone in the mix maybe.

Plus what if you need something during the flight and it’s up there in the overhead bin? You then you have to stand up in front of that whole planeful of bored people who are going to WATCH as scraps of luncheon meat rain down on your head because you had them in your raincoat pocket after stopping to refuel your rental car where,realizing how hungry you were, you then bought a package of ham and tore open with your teeth so as to toss most of it down as you zoomed toward the airport and who needs that?

It’s embarrassing to find yourself festooned in half-eaten foodstuffs, like our friend Oscar here.


( I remember that sales trip back from Ohio so vividly! All I needed was a banana peel on my head.)

Anyway, so now I choose to travel right WITH everything I might need stuffed in my backpack.

Which I then jam under the seat in front of me.

Which is why my knees are up so high: my feet are resting on it.

For this last trip I had craftily poured my coffee into Thermos Number One back in the terminal.

I had done a similar thing with Thermos Number Two, filling it with the special brew of lemonade and mint tea I favor.

PLUS, I carry my own food, natch. That day it was two boiled eggs and some black beans for the first snack; a small tub of cauliflower and salmon for the second. (I never do tire of the looks on my seatmates’ faces and when I pop the Tupperware tops and release the scent of these dishes into the air.🙂 )

So, I reasoned, I was all set. I would eat well and drink my drinks straight from the ‘jugs’ .Then all I figured I might need from the flight attendant was a nice cup of ice.

She served it to me and 20 minutes later I knocked it over, letting icy water spill all over my lap, soak between my legs clear through to the seat of my pants.

Whether or not it worse than wearing shreds of deli meats about my head and shoulders is hard to say but I can certainly attest that it was it was a WHOLE lot lot less comfortable.

Author: Terry Marotta

I am syndicated columnist, blogger and author who loves any chance to give talks about the ease of first-person writing.

4 thoughts on “What’s Worse?”

      1. There’s that moment when her brothers see Caddy’s dirty drawers, when she’s in the tree. Faulkner said the whole novel sprang from the image of a young girl’s muddy drawers, and all of her brothers seem to be obsessed with the memory.

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