Thirty-Two Types of People that Make you go Insane on a Plane

You’ve made it through the security check without getting pulled aside or losing anything. You still have 45 minutes before boarding. This should be a time to quietly read a book, take a ‘half’ nap, or try and relax. That however, might not be exactly what happens.

Instead of a quiet time, you encounter 32 obstacles to a peaceful waiting time.

  • Timmy and Tommy, the terrible twosome: These little guys look like the poster children for traveling cuteness. They are dressed in look-alike outfits and are accompanied by their mommy, who is carrying a baby brother or sister. The only thing is the pair of them have decided that the waiting area is their personal park/jungle gym – they run, they tumble, they climb over the seats and shout, as their long-suffering mother whines, “Mommy doesn’t like it when you do that. Can’t you come sit by Mommy?”
  • The Grumpy Old Man: This guy isn’t any happier with Timmy and Tommy than you are. He is making his best effort to read his paper. He addresses everyone in general saying, “Kids these days don’t have any manners at all. No more courtesy than kid goats.”
  • The absorbed reader: This is a middle aged woman who has seen it all, and is happily ignoring the Grumpy Old Man and the Terrible Twosome. She pats her chest delicately as she gets to an especially juicy part in her paper-back novel – the one that displays a bare-chested hunk with a disheveled female at his feet.
  • The Two-Fisted Eater: This fellow has sprinted to the food-bar as soon as he cleared security. Spread out on the seat next to him is a feast worthy a big-game tail-gate spread. He can be heard three seats away, wolfing down a triple-decker sandwich as if he will never have food again.
  • Teresa Twenty-Tissues: This tall, thin woman wearing wire-rim spectacles, is delicately wiping her nose every ten seconds. Even though the trash can is less than two steps away, a veritable snowdrift of disposable handkerchiefs is building up around her.
  • Weeping Willow: Tears stream down her face, which she mops with a lace-edged hanky. She does nothing so crass as sob, but the entire area is aware of her copious sorrow.
  • Fidgety Forgetful Farrah: This young woman, with her hair cut in a style that was impractical over a decade ago, fusses at her cell phone. “I didn’t check the pet dishes before I left. And can you make sure I turned off the tea warmer? Oh, and please mail the…”
  • Odiferous Oscar: You won’t miss this guy – although you wish you could. Seats have cleared on all sides of him. He is sweating as copiously as if he had just come in from a day of hard labor, and his aroma has an almost physical impact.
  • Patchouli Petunia: This is Odiferous Oscar’s counterpart. She is dressed impeccably in a floral dress, a tiny hat that is almost a fascinator, and exudes a floral designer perfume that could defeat the olfactory senses of any bloodhound.
  • Clean-up Clara: With the weeping, sniffling and chomping going on, you can almost be glad of this one – if she just wasn’t so loud about it. She wraps her hand in a grocery bag, and vociferously singsongs, “Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up,” as she clears up Teresa’s twenty plus tissues.
  • Practicing Presenter: Staring out the window with a sheaf of 3X5 cards on a key ring is a business man who looks very nervous. He is flipping through his cards, muttering things like “And then, in order to optimize…”
  • Suspicious Sally: This young woman clutches her carry-on to her side, looking around fearfully. You wonder if she expects terrorists to try to stick something into it at any moment.
  • Wake-me Willy: You gotta love this guy – he is so trusting. He flops down next to you and says, “Wake me when they start boarding,” and promptly begins to snore.
  • Cecily Three-Seats: Cecily sits down and immediately begins spreading out her belongings. She chomps on a sandwich with one hand, and make notes on a pile of papers on another seat.
  • Mild Maria: She is so quiet, so well behaved and so bland, you almost miss that she is there. She waits with a mildly absent air, letting the parade of humanity swirl around her.
  • Drill Sergeant Mom: this mom has her brood well in hand. They march smartly to her firm – if a little loud – commands: Sit, get quiet, eat this, and put your gum in your pocket.
  • DuddleyDogwalker: This fellow has a canine friend – and he lets everyone know that he has paid for an extra seat for his companion. “not going into any baggage compartment” he loudly announces. The dog curls up in its carrier, and puts its paws over its eyes.
  • Creative Carrie: This young woman has her sketch book out and is rapidly drawing every member of the waiting passengers. You have to wonder if she is training to be a courtroom artist.
  • Wiggley Walter: This youngster is traveling with his family. He is much better behaved than the terrible twosome, and he isn’t as cowed as the brood with Drill Sergeant Mom. But he is very excited and is having a hard time sitting still.
  • Hazel Halitosis: Hazel just loves everybody, and wants to become their friend. She marches up to them, attempts to shake their hand, and breathes a greeting at them – one redolent of every meal she has eaten for the last three days.
  • Never Met a Stranger Molly: Molly can strike up a conversation – and will – with anyone nearby. If she can’t find someone to talk to, she will talk to the vacant air.
  • LongfellaLouey: this poor boy is tall, lanky and has those endearingly big puppy feet that go with adolescence. He is doing his best, but those feet seem to be in the way no matter where he sits.
  • Tremendous Tabitha: Tabitha is going to make the plane tilt over in her direction. She is pleasant, non-pushy, and polite. But she is so well-rounded she takes up two seats in the waiting area.
  • Budding Musician: Some misguided relative has given this young passenger a harmonica to pass the waiting time. Unfortunately, the only two notes he knows are blow out, and breathe in – creating a continuous disharmony.
  • I-had-to-leave-my-lunch Letty: Letty didn’t read the travel brochures, and had to part with her water bottle and fruit at the checkpoint. She’s letting everyone know how unfair this is – especially since she refuses to pay airport prices for food.
  • Knitting Needle Nelly: Nelly did read the brochures, so her knitting needles are blunt and made of plastic. She breathily mutters, “Knit 1,2, Purl 1, 2; Yarn over..”
  • Crossword Cathy: Cathy sits back to back with Nelly. She has a pencil and a crossword puzzle book. She pokes Nelly with her elbow: “Hey, what starts with a “p” and is the opposite of knit?”
  • Bored Brian: This disconsolate teen tags after his gray-haired parents. “I’m so bored,” he says, “I’m tired of waiting. Why can’t I have my iPod? I promise to turn it off. Why can’t I have my cell phone? I want to text my friends. I’m so bored, I’ve got nothing to do.”
  • Gymkhana Gurtie: Gurtie loves gymnastics. She is (thankfully) dressed in stretch slack and a turtle neck sweater. While she waits, she demonstrates to her companions a variety of back flips and splits.
  • Mad Mattie: This tough little cookie hauls her carry on as if it were filled with lead weights. She slams it into place, and glares at everyone. We can pretty much guess that her reason for traveling is not a happy one.
  • Gentle Gill: Gill offers Mattie a cookie out of a box from the food bar, admires Gurtie’s show, and amuses all the youngsters.
  • Note-taking Nadia: Nadia sits back, watching the crowd – getting it all down for her next blog or text to friends.

When the boarding call comes, all of these strange people get in line – to get on your airplane. Happy flying!

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