Airplane Etiquette

Monday, October 18, 2004
MSNBC has some useful hints for blocking out those pesky airline passengers who insist on socializing during flights.

This is a matter that is particularly relevant to me, since I spend a hefty amount of time on airplanes -- the flight from Singapore to L.A. is 20 hours -- and thus have become all too familiar with the interminable chatter-boxes that plague airplanes like bacteria.

Most of these annoying conversationalists follow the same strategy. First they start by striking up some innocuous chit-chat about a book you're reading or about your destination or purpose for flying. Then, once you've become ensnared in their conversational trap, they proceed to sweep you away on a long, twisting journey into Random Tangent Land: a journey that doesn't end until the flight arrives at the terminal.

I've learned from my extensive experiences in the air that the most efficient way to avoid these people and their conversations is by talking about uncomfortable subjects, such as the details of abortion procedure or the chances of surviving a plane crash or bomb explosion. Sure, you'll come off as a pyschopath, but at least you'll win some peace and quiet.

The Dead Will Talk the Earth