The Perils of Modern Travel - Part V: The No-Spitting Zone

Red Coon Chewing TobaccoImage by cindy47452 via Flickr
I readily admit that I am very lucky. I travel a lot.  Sometimes by air.  The people I sit next to on the flights are almost always terrific.  Sometimes, however, it is an adventure.

On the way home from Arizona, I had such an experience.  First some background.  I'm often drowsy when I am in the air.  This partly because of bad sleep habits and partly because of the dehydration effect that the pressurized cabin seems to have upon me.  I am generally in a type of fog.

Such was the case on my trip from Phoenix.  Sitting on the tarmac for a half hour with limited air conditioning in Charlotte didn't help matters.  So I barely noticed that the young man seated next to me was about six foot seven with a hip-hop cap and two bottles.  Given my own observations about dehydration during flight, I thought it was wise that the young man had purchased a coke and an iced tea at the airport. I did find it odd, especially given the lack of room between us (yes, OK, I take up my whole share of an airplane seat!), that he placed the iced tea on the seat directly between us.

Then about half way through the short flight to Charleston, I thought I saw him spit into the iced tea bottle.  I tried to talk myself out of the idea, but by now I was wide awake.  The young man had captured my attention.

As I continued to watch, he again spit into the bottle and placed it back on the seat between us.  I realized that he was chewing tobacco. I couldn't believe it.  He was spitting tobacco into a used ice tea bottle and storing it on the seat in close proximity to my pants.  So I asked him not to move the bottle from the seat, and he obliged.  But I did not sleep again on that flight!

So next time, I'll have to remember to ask to sit in the NO SPITTING ZONE!!!!!!
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