Stuck in the middle

Bending down to pick up my bag, an Indian fella in front of me farted directly into my eye balls. The silent wind from the pump actually blew a warm, whispery OXO across the watery glass of my cornea. It was just awful. It stunk so bad. It was like he’d left a tin of cheap dog food up his chutney cave while he’d gone on a long holiday without it. Initially gipping, I quickly stood and breathed slow and shallow, calming myself and reducing the violence in my nose, throat and lungs. It gave me an immediate poo-headache.

Arriving at 22D, sure enough, the man with the putrid clay hole was in the seat next to me. What fucking luck. His painfully swollen belly was lopping over my side of the arm rest and he’d stocked up on snacks. Presumably he didn’t want to waste away on the three hour blast to Kuala Lumpur.

‘I’m a wegetarian’ he boasted as he spat chewed-up Pringle from between his protruding  teeth onto my shirt.

‘Really?’ I said. He just sat and smiled a smile. A Creature Comforts, wide, toothy smile. A smile clogged with fake potato. A simple kind of smile that said he had no idea that he’d either farted in my eyes, spat Pringle onto my top or spilled belly over my side of the arm rest. I hated him. There was no way of hiding it.

Sensing my conversational hesitancy, he refocused on his nibbles. He began to struggle with a foil packet of roasted peanuts. One hand, then another, then his teeth. After much heavy breathing, his bag split and the nuts spread across the whole row like an allergy scatter bomb. He picked one off his shirt and two from the floor and put them in his mouth to mix with the Pringle clag. The rest of the peanuts were lost in handbags, seat crevices and in the creases around his belly-covered cock and balls.

The seatbelt signs came off once we were up, and of course, he was the first person on the whole plane to need a shit. I unbuckled, paused my movie, took off my headphones, folded up my table and stood to let him pass. He did another fart as he passed – a cheeky seeper. He didn’t even know he’d done it and that made it worse. His arse hole was a forgotten quagmire that his body, recognising its toxicity, had managed to reject. It was proper dog food revisited.

I decided it was best to wait until he got back from his turd before I started to set my station back up again, otherwise I’d only have to undo it all again. But he was absolutely ages, and I just sat there like a man who was waiting for a person he hated for shitting in his eyes.

My food arrived. He surely had to be back in a minute, so I stowed my meal under the chair in front. Where was he? He’d been gone fifteen minutes by now. I turned round and saw that he’d stopped for a chat with a friend in the aisle. I thought, if he was gonna be a few minutes, I’d be best nipping for a quick piss while the route to the bog was clear.

I did it. I nipped to the dunny. I opened the door. I had a quick piss. I wiped the seat just in case. I flushed the mega-sucker (does it just go outside?). I washed my mitts. Done.

Fuck! The food trolley had moved and the route back to my seat was blocked. I couldn’t get back. I was trapped. I stood like a lemon for a good few minutes. And I was hungry.

Cue turbulence. I was basically crouching in the isle holding onto the toilet door trying to stop myself falling over. I could see my Indian friend’s head bobbing around while he ate his wegetarian meal and I was stuck, clutching around like Mr Bean.

Ten minutes later, I finally got back to my seat and I was starving. I reached under the seat in front for my meal.

Where was my meal?

I’ll give you one guess who’d eaten it. If it helps you guess, I hated him and he’d farted in my eyes just a short while earlier.

At least there was only two and a half hours to go. I looked to the guy on the other side of me, by this time I was desperate to escape my new nemesis. But it got worse. The guy on the other side had his laptop out and he was building a Powerpoint presentation about trusting Jesus.


 

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