By Jack Edwards
The three happiest people on Earth are, in ascending order: #3. Lotteries winners (before the relatives find out), #2. Patients whose cancer tests have come back negative, and (in a dominant first position) #1. Airline passengers who have just landed after a long flight seated in the dreaded middle seat. Here are five rules to help you survive this ordeal:
1. Never, repeat, NEVER, travel in the middle seat. Ask the boarding agent if there is room on the exterior of the plane – someplace where you can get a good grip and increase your chance of survival. (Ask where that kid who made it to Hawaii rode. Ask for that spot.)
2. Mentally prepare yourself by studying The Pastor’s Guide to Preparing the Condemned Inmate for Execution.
3. Read one of Leo Buscaglia’s books about how to get in touch with your sensitive side. (To prepare for all that shoulder to shoulder contact with your two new best friends).
4. Upon sitting down, take both elbows, then jam them out and down like an NFL linebacker getting down into position. You own those armrests. They’re yours. It’s the least the world owes you.
5. If you know anyone with a serious illness who has access to coma inducing pills, raid their medicine cabinet and wash a handful down just prior to take-off. (Official Jocularious.com Warning: Consult with your doctor prior to doing this. If your doctor approves, consider having the following dream during the flight; it’s called: “The airline pays you to sit in the middle seat.”
On a more positive note, try to make the best of it. General George Patton once said, “People are always asking me, ‘General, where did you muster the fortitude to conquer the Axis Forces and bring victory to the U.S.?’ Simple, I tell them. I have always made it a point to sit in the middle seat.” Harry Houdini perfected his greatest tricks by practicing escaping from the middle seat.
I have never understood why the CIA has been willing to take the heat for waterboarding terrorists, when all they had to do was make them fly from city to city strapped into the middle seat. In particular, the middle seats immediately in front of the exit row and in front of the rear toilet – because those are very special middle seats: They don’t recline those luxurious four inches!
While I’m handing out free advice, let me give a little to the money grubbing airlines who are now charging passengers for each square of toilet paper. If you bloodsuckers really want to make extra money, take a lesson from all the science fiction movies that involve space travel. Whenever the spaceship is going to travel light-years from one galaxy to the next, the humans lie down in clear Plexiglas capsules and are put into a sleep-like state. I’m not saying that airlines should install capsules between the window and aisle seats, but they could install masks which hang on the back of the seat directly in front of them that dispenses that gas that dentists use. Put a credit card swiper next to it. You’ll make a bundle. You’d have passengers begging to sit in the middle seats. Knife fights would break out over who gets to sit in the middle seat. (Okay, I know I said this advice was free, but now that I think about it, I should at least get a coupon for a coach round-trip fare).
Well, according to the captain, it’s time to stow my laptop away. We’re beginning our descent. For the third flight in this three-leg journey, I’m going to be the happiest person in the world.