Deep Travel Thoughts: Arnie vs. the Armrest.
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We all wage our own battles when flying–an extra drink, legroom or control for the arm rest. When we succeed (for most of us anyways) it’s like winning a small battle. Unfortunately, this was not the case for “Arnie” in seat 26C, whose victory actually left him even more frustrated.
Arnie (not his real name) was a retiree with a Clinton-esque nose who boarded the plane like it was casual Friday (all the way down to his manventure sandals) at Merill Lynch. From the moment he took his seat, Arnie was determined to put his aisle armrest up. He asked multiple flight attendants about it, while simultaneously yanking on the armrest as he tried to find the elusive release. Each attendant told him they’d look at it once we were airborne. Sadly, for Arnie once we reached our cruising altitude, the attendants changed their tune and said his armrest didn’t rise.
“Sorry, it doesn’t go up,” the young attendant said abruptly as he moved away quickly ensuring Arnie wouldn’t have time to respond.
Realizing the challenge, Arnie worked the armrest until he got it up. He looked so proud when it finally happened, stretching his arms out with a smile. But then just as quickly as he got it up, he changed his tune (God only knows why) and tried to put it down, only now it was stuck in the upright position, which really frustrated him.
But Arnie wouldn’t be the only one frustrated by the stubborn armrest. As the flight attendants prepared the cabin for landing, each one made several attempts to lower it but failed just as Arnie had, so the armrest remained upright, like a large plastic middle finger to the FAA and its regulations. Arnie, however, reassured everyone by saying, “I will not fall out.”
So on this 19th day of September 2012, I salute you Arnie and your battle on Flight 1588, just remember, my friend, the grass–even at 34,000–is always greener on the other side.
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