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Monday, March 27, 2006

The Best Plane Ride I've Ever Had

Have you ever sat in an airplane seat that did not secure itself in its full and locked, upright position? I had such a seat this past week. As I sat down, my seat went backwards immediately. Now this pissed off the people behind me who, to my utter delight, were Frenchies going to Orlando. About three seconds after I sat down, I was greeted with a push right in the back of my seat. Now this was a hard push, not a little 'I'm annoyed push.' This was a monster shove. So, I jumped up immediately and said, ‘Whoa, whoa…what’s the problem fella?

Frog 1: Mister...Mister…Excuse me, Mister. You cannot have your seat this far back, we are not up in the air.
Me: I think this seat is broken, and probably is broken now since you pushed it so hard.
Frog 1: You need to find another seat, Mister; the man’s legs will be hit by the seat.
Me: I don’t think that is going to be possible, it’s a pretty full flight. Look...the seat does not touch his legs.
Frog 1: You cannot sit in the seat; you have to have your seat locked.
Me: I can call the flight attendant, but this is not in my control. I won't lean back at all. How's that?
Frog 1: You need to move your seat, now. This is against the law, Mister.
Frog 2: Yes, Mister, this is hurting my legs, you need to move now.
Me: It’s not touching his legs. The seat locks halfway back. Let's make a deal...I won't lean back and then you won't have to kick the seat. Ok?
Frog 1: No, this is unsatisfactory, you need to move now. You are breaking the law.
Me: Folks, I'm really trying to work with you. This seat does not touch his legs and I promise I won't lean it back. This is really simple to solve.
Frog 1: You cannot have a seat like this. This is against the rules.
Me: Lady, in about two minutes when we are up in the air, this won't be an issue. I will have moved the seat all the way back as is my right as a passenger and then there is nothing that you can do about it. So what's the issue?
Frog 2: You need to move from this seat. This is against the law.
Me: This is not that difficult to solve, folks. I won't move the seat back...at all! Will that make you happy?
Frog 1: We cannot travel like this for three hours. This is ridiculous.

(Now everyone in a four row range was watching the drama unfold. I could have left this alone and thought this might just be a cultural thing…but decided…naw...they're French...let’s have some fun)

Me: Excuse me; but are any of you employees of this airline?
Frog 1: No
Me: Are any of you American Citizens?
Frog 1: No
Me: Are you a diplomat or in Foreign Service for your country?
Frog 1: No
Me: Are you an active duty member of a foreign military?
Frog 1: No
Me: I've really, really tired to be nice to you since you're guests in my country. But I would like to offer this suggestion: Shut the hell-up and leave me alone. You need to mind your manners when you’re not in your own country.
Frog 2: What did you say, Mister?
Frog 1: You can not talk to us like that!
Frog 3: Are all Americans as rude as you, Mister?
Me: Yeah. I’d say 99% of us are this rude when dealing with Euro-trash. One more thing, Frenchies…if it wasn’t for the United States, you would be speaking to me in German. Gutten Nacht, Cochon! (German / French – Good Night. Pigs)

I sat back down and said nothing. Mumbling incoherently and loudly, Frog 1 then called the nurse. When she/he arrived and surveyed the situation, it was determined that the seat was indeed damaged, but still functional since it locked half-way back from DEFCON 1 – all the way back, slicing into Frog’s 2 legs.

Frog 1 and 2, vehemently protested but there was nothing that could be done by the Flight Attendant. I did not have to exit the plane since this was the last flight out, nor did I have to find another seat since the flight was full. My new Frog friends just cussed the rest of the way to Florida. And of course, I made my seat go back as far as possible with every air-pocket...remember, the seat was broken. Or was it?

C'est la guerre!

Hmmmm, Frenchies acting like whiney little brats? What a shock!
I felt bas about this when it happened. But then I thought about what happened on my Honeymoon in France. A cab driver wold not take us to the Paris Opera House when he found out we were Americans. The Concierge at the hotel would not talk to us when he found out we were Americans. He literally stood in front of us and said nothing. We asked him how do we get to Euro Disney. He then asked us why do we want to go there. We told him we workd for Disney in the states. His attitude changed completely and he said, 'Ah, you work for Disney. Mickey Mouse is a great American.' So all in all, the French were ok. Most of them thought we were Spansih. And we spoke Spanish every chance we got to get treated better which worked well. We saw other Americans acting really ugly to the French so I can understand why they hate Americans. But the folks on the plane were really strange. Hell, they spoke better English than most Americans, so it bothered me that they were so stubborn about that damn seat. Oh well, they are French. That is there curse. I should have taken the high ground, but I certialny was not going to let any Frenchie push me around in the US.
Very classy
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