Gefilte Fish Out of Water

October 2, 2009, 4:28 pm
Filed under: Hey!


Normally before I board an airplane I say a prayer like this – Please, God, let us take off, fly, and land safely.  And also, God, please don’t let me sit next to or near anyone fat or that smells bad, or is loud or kicks my seat.  Amen.

But I forgot to say it this time, and I got a little scared as a Hasidic guy walking down the aisle stopped by my seat.  Crap, I thought.  These guys usually smell.  Definitely prejudist of me, not necessarily proud of these thoughts.  But that’s been my experience – that studying Torah takes precedence over, you know – hygene.  They just wear that long black coat every day (unless they have a closet full of them, Superman-style?) and it must get hot under it, and they just…sweat in there.

But he took the coat off, and thankfully he didn’t smell.  (Thank you, wife, sitting across the aisle.  Oh yeah, there’s another insight into me – I could have let his wife have my window seat and been free of this guy…but that would involve me giving up the window seat, which wasn’t going to happen.)

So he didn’t smell, and this was good.  But he had really bad dandruff, and as he whipped out his pocket Torah and started twirling his pe-ah and reading, he started picking at a flaky scab on his head. 

Ew !!!

He did this for hours.  Just gross.  I hope none of it really got on me.  I prayed Just let him go to sleep, God, please.  Only when he did this, it was kinda worse.  He didn’t really respect the concept of the armrest dividing his seat from mine.  Instead he curled his body up and shifted his butt and/or shoulder/head over towards me so we touched (depending on which side he was turned to; he liked to alternate).  Like, more Ew.  I do not like to be touched by strangers, and especially not by flaky head-picking ones.

Fortunately, I asked God for help maintaining a light attitude about things; MUCH better than seething in resentment about him the whole time.  He was just an innocent soul, after all.

Someday….first class.


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