I flew out East early Tuesday morning. I was working on very little sleep because I was up late for work and then had to pack. My flight left at 7am and I was actually feeling relatively alert considering I had only slept about four hours, which was good because I had a handful of things I wanted to get done on the flight. Generally when I am sitting at the gate in the airport I can spot three or four people that I hope do not end up sitting next to me. It’s usually the person running (literally) late that is all sweaty or the person who likes to retell the same old airport / travel stories that everyone has and knows. Surprisingly, I didn’t see anyone like this at my gate.

1st sign of trouble….
After they boarded the first class passengers and the “gold-super-elite-I-fly-15%-more-than-than-the-average-customer” people they gave the “boarding all rows / all passengers” call. The last 30 of us got in line to board the plane. One normal looking woman about 15 people ahead of me in line made this obnoxious sound and walked over to the garbage can to spit. This was especially unusual because she did not try to hide what she was doing at all.

2nd sign of trouble…
As I board the plane heading to my seat in the second to last row I see that the window seat next to the woman spitting in the garbage can is open.

3rd sign of trouble…
I take my seat next to this woman. She immediately opens “the bag” in the seat pocket in front of her. She spits in it a couple of times as I try to rationalize what’s going on with her. I’m thinking she has something sharp in her mouth that she doesn’t want to swallow….or maybe her kids put dog food in the cereal box and she bit into this morning and now she can’t get the taste out of her mouth. The plane takes off and I’m waiting for the crew to give the “it’s okay to use electronics” announcement. Before they have a chance to make that call….

The woman next to me starts puking. She doesn’t puke once or twice, she pukes consistently for the entire two plus hour flight. I had two thoughts as this lady was puking:
1. Why me? Why did I have to be the one sitting next to her? There were 150 people on the plane and I had to be the one sitting next to her. It is a good story if it happens to someone else, and I’d rather hear the story than tell the story.
2. I felt bad for this poor lady. I have no idea what was wrong with her. I knew I didn’t want to breathe her air. She was stuck. Anymore airlines are not very forgiving if you want to change your flight. She was stuck flying yesterday. It was a completely full flight so they couldn’t move her to first class or somewhere where she would have more space. She was stuck in the middle seat in row 25. And I was stuck in the window seat next to her in row 25.

Needless to say, I didn’t get the work done that I had hoped to complete.

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