I fly frequently to tape television shows for Petersen’s Hunting. When I do, I dress appropriately. What is appropriate? Appropriate is an outfit that when you’re wearing it, a total stranger feels comfortable sitting next to you. Have you noticed that when a bum, or how do we say it now “residentially challenged person” is sitting on a bench, he’s alone? That’s because his outfit is not appropriate. The other thing I do out of respect for my fellow passengers is keep my body to the size of a normal human being. I do this by ingesting approximately the same number of calories as I burn in a day. If I overshoot the mark one day, I undershoot it the next. It’s basic math.
So, if you’re a rookie airline passenger, or just oblivious here are some tips:
1) No pajamas. I only see females pulling this jack move. It’s gross. I picture you rolling out of bed late and stinky, looking in the mirror and thinking “I’m cute enough to pull this off, hee hee…” You’re not. It’s almost always the young females who are 15 pounds over being cute that show up in flannel PJ bottoms, flip-flops and a stupid “insert force fed brand name here” sweatshirt. Note to the PJ bums, look at the real hotties in line, they dress the part.
2) No tank tops. I had this one next to me coming back from my last Argentina run. This is always a male. He probably could have kicked my ass in high school but ten years later and no football, wrestling or gym time and guess what, that tank top makes your soft wretchedness clear. But that’s not my problem, my problem is your flabby bare arm is touching my shirt and I want two layers of cloth between us. The worst part is it allows your armpit to essentially be 12 inches long as the bacteria thrive in the warm, moist skin on skin biosphere you’ve created and you stink.
3) No cowboy hats. I live in Montana. I know these hats are very well designed for their application. But when you wear one on a plane you either waste overhead space or you’re forced to sit leaning forward like a hunchback. At some point with the cowboy hat, you’re just playing dress up. If you’re identity is that contingent on a formed piece of felt, try dressing like a pirate for your next flight, at least the headgear is conducive to putting your seat back.
4) No flip flops. Disgusting and childish. The largest pores on your body are on the soles of your feet. You are moving through filthy security screening checkpoints barefoot. If it’s an international airport scum from all over the world has been distributed on that floor. Do you really want the biggest pores on your body soaking that in?
5) Safe shoes. Planes make emergency landings. Out of respect for the safety of other passengers sensible shoes are the rule. If you need to move through the emergency exit, down the slide and away from the plane quickly you don’t have the right to endanger fellow passengers with your stripper stilettos, flip-flops or bedroom slippers. When I’m choosing a shoe for flying I pick something that comes on and off easily for security, but will stay on when I kick some rookie al Qaida in the face. One last note on shoes…Don’t set them in the bins at security, that’s filthy. Jackets and watches ride the bin. Set them directly on the belt.
6) No morbid obesity. Arms do rub together on occasion in coach. If though, you have felt a fellow passenger’s bicep against your torso, or the armrest leaves a mark on your abdomen you need to either slim down, ride in first class or buy two seats. You may be accustomed to it, but your neighbor is not. It is so eerily gross that it makes it impossible to relax. I was fat, not that fat, but 55 pounds fatter than I am now. It doesn’t have to be permanent, but as long as you’re fat give the rest of us a break.
If you don’t travel often, you have no idea how miserable it is when you’re repeatedly confronted with the obliviousness of rookie travelers. Watch the first 10 minutes of “Due Date” to get a sense of it. It really blows to be boarding the Atlanta to Salt Lake City flight after coming in from Johannesburg or Buenas Aires and have some smelly Neanderthal in flip flops lumbering toward the last empty seat, which is next to me. Let’s bring a little dignity back to air travel. I actually had a guy begin flossing his teeth in his seat next to me last fall while waiting on the tarmac in Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Filthy. If you lack the ability to present yourself well, please travel among your peers by either hitchhiking or taking a Greyhound Bus.