Fly Friendly Skies?
By John Norberg, Humor Columnist s

Here is one of the things I have observed after many years of life and reflection on the great issues of our time.

As we get older we get larger in direction proportion to airplane seats getting smaller.

The average airplane seat is designed for a 10-year-old girl and somehow the rest of us are supposed to figure out a way to squeeze into them. Airplane seats are only about 17 inches wide. The last time I was 17-inches wide the Beatles where singing on Ed Sullivan.

As if it's not bad enough that the seats are getting smaller, they're also putting them closer to the seats in front. This means when you pull down your tray and the person in front of you goes into recline, your tray gets jammed into your stomach.

I think we could solve our prison costs and overcrowding by using airplane seats.

Judge: "Your crime is heinous. You deserve the most severe punishment I can give you. I am sentencing you to an eight hour flight to Paris, France in the middle section of the coach section with 300 pound men on both sides of you and a chronic recliner in the seat in front of you."

Criminal: "No, no, anything but that. Please send me to prison."

Judge: "Silence or I'll add a crying baby and a person with a horrible cold to your airplane seat sentence."

In the past week alone three flights have been diverted because of passenger fights about reclining seats. It seems there are two kinds of flyers today: those who think reclining on airplane seats is a God-given right and those who can't stand having the seat in front of them come within three inches of their nose.

Mix this in with the stress of getting through airports, dealing with luggage, trying to figure out check-in kiosks, getting through security and walking for miles to reach your gate, plus seats that are too small and it's no real surprise that people are getting on each other's nerves.

The facts that the seats are too small and too close together are not the only problems on airplanes. There's also an issue with elbowroom.

Me: "You have your elbow on my arm rest."

Wife: "Yes I do. And it's not your armrest. It's our armrest. You have to share."

Me: "How are we going to share an armrest that's only a couple inches of wide. My arm is bigger than the whole armrest. Everyone knows the armrest belongs to men."

Wife: "So the arm rest is another man-woman thing? You think just because you're a man you get to control the armrest?"

Me: "Absolutely. Men are bigger than women. We don't fit in chairs and seats as well as women. We kind of burst out at the sides and we need a place to put our elbows."

Wife: "I thought husbands and wives were supposed to share and share alike."

Me: "Not when it comes to the armrest. There was nothing in our marriage vows about armrests."

Husbands and wives spend their lives sitting next to each other and there's very often not enough elbowroom and armrest space between them, so they have to cooperate, be understanding, share and share alike.

On this flight I did what any good husband would do. I let my wife have the armrest until she had to get something out of her purse. As soon as she moved I seized the armrest and shoved my elbow over into her seating area. For the rest of the flight she couldn't budge me.

Victory! I had finally out-witted my wife.

Unfortunately, it was a horrible flight for me. I was very uncomfortable all the way.

I needed to use the restroom but I didn't want to get up from my seat and lose my armrest

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