The “Barrister of the Air”

I love traveling for all the obvious reasons and for the fact that it never disappoints in giving me something to write about. For example, as soon as I got on a plane bound for D.C. last month it only took 30 minutes for me to have a “there’s a blog” moment.

The plane we had recently boarded had yet to leave the tarmac due to a “maintenance issue.” Now, we knew about this issue before the boarding sequence began. When we got on the plane I assumed, I’m guessing along with the rest of the passengers, that whatever the problem was it had been taken care of.

As so often happens in my life, I was wrong. Once we had all been herded on the plane and buckled in there was an announcement that the aforementioned maintenance issue was still being worked on. Hence, there was going to be a “departure delay.”

This didn’t even elicit a sigh from me because if there’s one thing getting older teaches you it’s prepare for life’s inevitable holding patterns. This meant that I had two books with me that didn’t depend on any sort of battery and thus I could entertain myself for at least six hours. I also had a “sharing” size package of peanut M&M’s so I was good to go in the sustenance department for quite some time.

I settled in and started reading. After about 15 minutes of being on a plane that was still grounded some passengers began to grumble. The number one grip was, “Why didn’t the airline wait to put us on the plane until the problem was fixed?”

That’s a solid compliant. But, I’m going to assume that they wanted everyone in their seats so the plane could take off as soon as it was good to go without the inevitable time suck of the passenger loading dance and shoving my carry-on into the overhead bin waltz.

Twenty minutes into still being tarmac tethered things started getting more heated. This was led by one man who by this time I was calling the “Barrister of the Air.” He was very vocal and prided himself on knowing his passenger rights, primarily that he was “emphatically due a beverage.”

All I could think about was how would this guy act in a real crisis if he was losing his mind over not having drink service after less than 30 minutes on a plane. This made me ponder that perhaps this cry baby should not be seated in the emergency exit row. It’s obvious he couldn’t handle the pressure of opening the exit door or assisting in a plane evacuation. Besides, I’m sure he would refuse to open the door until he got at the very least a Sprite.

I desperately wanted to say something to this know it all because while he was obviously in love with the sound of his own voice no one else was. In fact, I can’t imagine any scenario where I would be appreciative of another human orating a series of opinions while sequestered in a steel tube. At the very least he should tweet his outrage and spare the rest of us his bluster.

But, I knew that me speaking up wouldn’t end well so I shoved peanut M&M’s in my mouth to keep quiet. Finally, we took off. I silently rejoiced. This was premature.

When we were 15 minutes into the flight the “Barrister of the Air” started up again. This time it was about his “inalienable rights to recline his seat.” The fool didn’t know the emergency exit row seat didn’t recline. I decided this time to not put a M&M in the mouth and with great joy shared this information with him.

It made my flight.