Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hawaii Pt.1: Airplane Character Stereotypes

Just swam with some Sea Turtles.. clearly stoked. #pokerface

To be completely honest, I enjoy traveling alone. When you’re in public places and not engaged in a conversation, it provides a prime opportunity to see the world in motion; to see people and how they act in various situations. People watching is one of my favorite activities, and airports/airplanes are two of my preferred people watching locations. Everyone is under the same set of rules on an airplane. No one, but the pilots and flight attendants, has any more authority than anyone else (Ok, maybe 1st class has a slight leg up on the back 95% of the plane). So, it’s fun to see how people act and how some attempt justify their importance during flights.

There’s always “that guy” on 6-hour flights that NEEDS to stand up 20 minutes into the flight (or as soon as the fasten seatbelt sign is turned off) and start walking around & stretching. Everyone sitting in the aisles around him starts thinking “Great, I’ll be looking, sporadically, right into this guys crotch or ass for the next 5 hours and 50 minutes”. Addendum by Ben Hobbs: he’ll stay standing a little too long during/after the seatbelt sign has been turned on for landing or turbulence, just because he feels entitled to.

The Happy Shifter: They'll be getting up frequently throughout the duration of the flight to visit friends or family sitting in various locations throughout the cabin (like a bee pollinating flowers). They are ALWAYS friends or become friends with passengers in possession of a baby/small child and talk about how cute they are.

The Grumpy Old Man: this guy has been on way too many flights in his lifetime and doesn’t look at anyone but the flight attendant- and that’s only to promptly order a Jack & Coke, or just straight whisky. (Time of day has no affect on the alcohol consumption for Grumpy Old Man; If he’s on an airplane, he’s drinking & it’s accepted). Closely related to Contented Old Man, who swiftly orders a drink, only because he’s “earned that right by age”, but is pleasant about it.

Self-aware Guy: this is the guy in his mid 20’s to early 30’s who brought his 17” Macbook pro on the plane (on occasion, may have his iPad instead). He’ll be playing his favorite tv show series but constantly & cautiously looking over his shoulder when an “inappropriate scene” comes on. Actually, he’ll be relentlessly looking around anyhow, making sure he’s not breaking any airplane taboos or norms. Addendum: Self-aware Guy ironically has no idea everyone around him can hear his dance-beat club music playing thru his massive, 60-decibel, bass-booster, noise cancelling Sony headphones.

Bathroom Lady: she may be the most well know of all airplane characters. Of course she’s got the window seat. Everyone has dealt with Bathroom Lady at some point. She’ll no doubt get up 4-5 times (sometimes more) to use the facilities at the most inconvenient time (during meals, at the twist in the movie, precisely as you actually fall asleep, right after YOU get back from the bathroom & are buckled up again).

And finally, that person who keeps making awkward eye contact with you. You stood right by them in the security check and they end up sitting in close proximity to you. You don’t know why you keep connecting & you don’t really even find them appealing/attractive; it just happens like 10-15 times and keeps getting increasingly more awkward each time.

Anyways, to set it straight for everyone who is curious, I will only be doing the swim/bike portion of the Honu 70.3 this Saturday. I’ve been dealing with a little stress pull/fracture of some sort in my shin for the last 6 weeks and feel I’m nearing the end of this injury. Because my goal race is the 70.3 World Champs in Vegas (September), I’ll forego the risk of aggravating my shin any further and play it safe (If (miraculously) by Saturday I can run pain free, I will). Apparently, around this time of year, I’m more prone to injury, & It sucks to miss the run of this race two years in a row, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles (that idiom is overused and lame, but I’m in the mood for cookies, so I used it).

Looking at the upside: I’m in Hawaii (never a bad thing) & looking forward to hanging out with friends. I feel great on the bike right now, so I’m still excited to hammer out a solid 56 mile time trial on Saturday.

More to follow soon!