One of the interesting aspects of traveling by air is the little pouch you find attached to the seatback in front of you. It usually contains several items provided by the airline and a few provided by the last passenger to sit in your seat (not cleaned between flights any more).
If you reach in and are lucky enough not to get your fingers stuck on someone else’s chewing gum or a used tissue, you might pull out nice lunch-sized bag that you can use if you’re not feeling well, an airline sponsored magazine, and an in-flight shopping catalog. Occasionally I run out of stuff to read or ideas to write about so I check out the trusty SkyMall catalog.
On one particular trip, two gentlemen sitting in my row had also decided to ‘Sky Shop’. Now, I usually don’t start conversations with strangers - but in a plane, they just seem to happen. Since this one was interesting, I will share the details with my readers.
Middle Seat: (Opening to a page in the catalog and shaking his head)
Now you guys tell me, is that a first-rate machine or what?
Window Seat: You mean the nose hair trimmer?
Middle Seat: Yup!
Window Seat: Impressive
Me (aisle): Looks like a nice one alright
Middle Seat: I bought one last fall as a stocking stuffer, you know, for my wife at Christmas.
Me: Uh-oh – she didn’t like it did she?
Middle Seat: Yeah, how’d you know?
Me: Lucky guess
Window Seat: (Checking his nose for hair growth)
I might order one of those myself
Middle Seat: Just don’t buy it for the wife
Window Seat: Oh no way, see this -
(Pointing to an exercise device named ‘The Love Handler’ that resembled some sort of mid-evil torture apparatus) -
I got one of those for my wife
Me: Hmm – Good trade!
Window Seat: Huh?
To myself I was thinking: Wow, nothing says romance like the gift that tells your significant other “Hey I notice you’ve got a bunch of unsightly hair follicles sprouting from your nostrils” or “You seem to be getting a bit flabby around the mid-section”.
Middle Seat: So what would you buy your wife?
(The ‘you’ here roughly translated to ‘Mister Smarty Pants’)
Me: (Flipping through the catalog) Here you go, how about a nice massage table along with some fancy oils and lotions?
Window Seat: Let me see that
Middle Seat: Hmm that looks great
Me: Now that will put anyone in the right mood
Middle Seat: (Puzzled) You really think she would enjoy giving me a massage?
Oh, well. Some guys are just hopeless. When the two of them started checking out lounge chairs and assessing which ones had built-in cup holders that would be big enough to secure a beer bottle, I decided it was better to take a nap rather than Sky-Shop, and try to help my fellow man, any more. After all, it was only September and they (being male) probably won’t be doing their holiday shopping much before December 24th anyway.
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