WE’VE all done it, haven’t we? Finally ensconced in your ‘avion’ seat and ready to fly, your heart lifts slightly as you notice the two seats beside you are still empty. Glancing up, you also observe there are only a few unseated passengers still left in the aisles.
With what appears to be all the travellers now on board, you tentatively allow yourself to consider that maybe, just maybe, you are the only occupant of your row of three – with all the freedom of movement and luxurious ‘spreading’ this unexpected flying bonus can provide. Wrong. Suddenly there is a bustle of activity and movement at the door. With much huffing, puffing and considerable disruption, the whole plane is subsequently confronted by two of the largest people it is possible to imagine.
An enormous man and woman, clutching baggage and bags about their persons, have entered the cabin and begun to make their laborious journey down the centre of the plane. Frantically you glance around. Are there any other empty seats in the vicinity they could be heading for? Of course there aren’t. Puffing and panting they pause and peer happily at the numbers above your seat.
You and your unexpected luxury have just disintegrated into an uncomfortable nightmare. As they noisily and disruptively begin to place their baggage in the overhead compartments, you reluctantly unbuckle your, somewhat optimistically, fastened seat belt. Rising from your aisle seat (chosen for maximum freedom), you step aside and allow the couple to squeeze and wheeze their way into the seats that should really have contained your newspapers, magazines and repasts for the ensuing flight. (Dream on, Leapy!)
The female vibrates down into her window seat and the male (by far the largest) squashes down beside you. One enormous arm forces yours to the rear of the arm-rest, and there is now enough of your upper torso hanging in the aisle to make contact with most of the people who pass by, and especially the carts.
And those, my dear esteemed readers, are the circumstances I am now enduring as I attempt to scribble this week’s blurb. I have complained, once, and was duly informed, in a guttural German accent (what else!), that he was ‘not interferink viz me’. Ah well, he’s too unpleasant to argue with. Goodbye the illusion of first-class silver service travel and hello the crunched-up reality of plastic forks, large rubbish bags, and the horrible discomfort of modern-day ‘coach’.
“To the older amongst us who remember him, Leapy Lee (Little Arrows) died at the beginning of March this year.” So announced my obituary published this month in a local community journal. Still here, I’m afraid, folks. You don’t get rid of me that easily!
Keep the faith
Love Leapy [email protected] Web: Leapylee.co.uk