Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Like the title? I made it up myself. Few things in life inspire as many stories and “I know that feeling” shakes of the head as travel. I travel by plane a few times a year for my job, so in general I’ve got the hang of it. Unfortunately not everyone else does. I have to travel for work this weekend so as an educational public service I hope that some of the more novice travelers will read the rest of this post.

People Movers: Almost every airport has them now. These strips of moving floor that are intended to help the you traverse the airport a little more quickly without having to run. My impression is that you’re supposed to walk on the people movers so that your speed is doubled without you having to run, preventing many collisions. I love the people movers. Even if I’m way early for my boarding I still like to get where I’m going faster. What I do not love is lazy people on the people movers. These idiots hop on the people mover as if it’s an escalator and just stand there. By doing that they’re not going forward any faster than if they had walked. They’re just lazy! It’s a good thing that security doesn’t let us carry handguns on flights because I would probably shoot these non-moving people on the people movers and then step over their bodies as I happily sped on my way to my gate. I’m convinced that’s why we can’t bring guns in our carry on luggage, not so much to prevent hijackings as to prevent the normal, intelligent, sane passengers from killing the morons with whom we find ourselves trapped for several hours in a small enclosed space on our flights. There ought to be a test before you purchase your tickets and if you fail you’re not allowed to fly.

One of the questions on the test will be “When on a plane is it ever appropriate to take off your shoes?” 

A) Always, it’s important to be as comfortable as possible on a long flight.

B) Only in the event of some foot related emergency such as needing to plug a hole in the fuselage with my toe.

C) Absolutely never. And especially not if Phil is on your plane.

Yes, I got on a plane once and a guy sat next to me and immediately took off his sneakers. And there was a definite foot smell. Ugh. Fortunately the universe sensed my need and sent relief in the form of the flight attendant announcing to the plane, “We need four passengers to move to seats behind row 14. Any volunteers?” My hand went up so fast I almost popped my shoulder out of the socket. Aaaah, sweet relief! I moved to the back of the plane and had a row to myself to stretch out. “Life is good” I thought. Then I thought, I’m not real keen on the fact that our plane needs passengers to move to different parts to keep it balanced while it’s in the air. What happens if someone upsets the delicate balance by getting up and going to the bathroom, which might be on the opposite side of the plane from their seat, and they leave an enormous…ahem… deposit? The planes’ balance could be thrown off and I could die because somebody likes a little too much fiber in their diet.

If you enjoy my nonsense and want to travel vicariously with me you can follow me on Twitter @ThePhilFactor and subscribe to The Phil Factor on your Amazon Kindle.



4 responses to “Planes, Trains and Automobiles

  1. I've traveled a good bit in my lifetime so far… I know of which you speak. I think, however, that taking your shoes off especially on a long flight is OK. Obviously, it is preferable to have feet without a bad odor…

  2. I'll admit I have taken my shoes off on flights before. These days, if you aint flying first class, its like Greyhound.

  3. You would be the one person to be concerned about others using the restroom on a plane. 🙂

  4. Hey, the last plane I flew on where passengers had to move for balance didn't even have a row 14. Or 13, or 12.

    No taking shoes off. Ever. Not even in hospitals. Freaks me out.

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