Sunday, April 1, 2007

Moral Quandaries of Flying

It was midnight, my flight was already 30 minutes delayed, and I was settled into my carefully-selected seat 10A, which is the window seat on the 757 closest to the front that is not a bulkhead (i like having a place to put my backpack so i don't have to get up to access it). Seats 9B and 10B housed a couple who wanted to sit together (I'll note that sitting next to me was the girl, who weighed about 100 pounds and smelled pleasantly like flowers, and had a charming South African accent).

The guy, who seemed cheerful but exhausted, asked if I would switch seats with him so that he could sit with his girlfriend. He was in a middle bulkhead seat. After a long and awkward silence, I mumbled something about how I wanted the window. I felt mildly bad, but also mad at him for asking me because it was somewhat unreasonable. Then he asked the 50-year old female doctor in the aisle seat, who mumbled that she needed to keep her laptop under the seat in front of her. This was strange because she obviously didn't have a laptop, and right after take-off, she went instantly to sleep.

But God did not look kindly on me, because the overweight and odoriferous man in seat 9C agreed to switch with the skinny girl. So I had the pleasure of an unpleasant seatmate spilling slightly into my personal space for 5.5 generally sleepless hours. I dreamed up a solution to problem 1c on game theory, but the solution was...deeply wrong.

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