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Monday 17 August 2009

A User's Manual to Seat 21C

 I found this on Crazy People I've Worked With and thought it was worth sharing.

A User's Manual to Seat 21C

CONGRATULATIONS ON SELECTING SEAT 21C! This manual is intended to familiarize you with the many options available to you.

Before BUCKLING in, please note that the man standing in the aisle next to you is about to make a request. He wonders if it would be okay for you to switch seats with his wife, who is in the middle seat three rows ahead. She is the one seated between the former linebacker and the canola oil salesman, and is peering over the seatbacks at you with wide and imploring eyes.

The man will ask this in a voice sufficiently loud that all passengers seated within several rows will look up from their sudoku puzzles and await your answer. If you say no, the passengers will all wonder: Why do you hate married people? You must be a bitter and lonely person. Note also that there is no overhead luggage space three rows ahead, so you will have to wait for the entire plane to empty to come back and retrieve your bags. Have a good flight up at 18E!

Once permanently seated, grasp both ends of SEAT BELT and press firmly together. If you hear only a dull metallic clanking sound rather than a smart "click," extend half of the seat belt to your seatmate and awkwardly suggest that he must be sitting on your half.

If you would like a small and insubstantial PILLOW and cannot locate one, ring the flight attendant call button located directly overhead. If the flight attendant does not appear within five seconds, press the button repeatedly and with increasing urgency. If the flight attendant tells you no more are available, wait five minutes and repeat process.

On either side of you is an ARMREST. If you look down and see that it is currently occupied by the ham-sized elbow of your seatmate, it is often possible to claim your space by simply pressing your clammy forearm against his with a casualness that suggests that you hadn't noticed that you were even touching. (Note: this is effective chiefly in man-to-man seating configurations.)

Ahead of you is the marsupial-like SEAT BACK POUCH. In it you will find a magazine featuring ads for foreign language software favoured by farm boys hoping to impress hot Italian models; an emergency evacuation card depicting families who seem disturbingly calm for people about to abandon a sinking airliner for a shark-filled ocean; stray bits of Life Saver foil; and a boarding pass stub from someone named Richard from Ohio.

Also, you will find the SKYMALL CATALOG, from which you may order a product called "Poop Freeze," described as a spray refrigerant that "chills animal waste to -62°F, creating an outer 'crust' that enables you to quickly place in a bag and dispose." Feel free to spend the remainder of the flight trying to process this information.

Once the plane is airborne, you may RECLINE YOUR SEATBACK by pressing the button inside the armrest. If you chose not to recline, be aware that the person ahead of you will soon do so fully and abruptly, causing sharp discomfort on and around the patella but rewarding you with a panoramic view of several acres of scalp. You may mitigate this situation, at least psychologically, with a loud and audibly moist "sneeze," or by directing your personal air jet to the top of the encroaching head.

Directly ahead of you is the TRAY TABLE, which may be lowered for "snack service." The circular depression in the upper right corner is for your plastic cup, an item you may find oddly wide-mouthed for something conveying sticky beverages in an environment subject to sudden and dramatic up-and-down and to-and-fro motions. Also, note the cup is designed such that empty mylar pretzel pellet bags stuffed in them to facilitate trash collection will not remain there, but will repeatedly and mesmerisingly creep back out and onto the tray table.

Once the plane arrives at its destination, be aware that your SEATBELT BUCKLE is specially designed to disengage most efficiently if you place your hand on it for several minutes prior to arrival at the gate. The instant the seat belt sign is turned off and the soft gong sounds, snap it open vigorously, then swiftly stand up and lunge for the overhead bins. Those seated on the aisle should immediately advance one or two rows before others crowd in and hinder forward motion. Those in window seats should also stand immediately, adapting the attractively hunched Cro-Magnon stance under the luggage bins for the 12 minutes before your row is released for deplaning.

We hope that you find your seat comfortable and your flight pleasant.

We know you have a choice of many other seats, and we thank you for choosing SEAT 21C.