Kshetrajna

An attempt to know, understand (and ultimately, transform) that which occurs on the fields of play - India (her politics, media, music) and beyond ...

Friday, March 31, 2006

A Man and A Spoon On A Jet

I'm glad I found the time today to blog about this incident. Here goes ...

BEGIN STORY

I am on a flight, in an aisle seat (requested it, in fact. An aside: it's quite funny how things change when you grow up. As a kid I would have given up the world (figuratively speaking, of course) for a window seat, but here I am, all grown up, requesting aisle seats, so that I can avoid having to inconvenience others in case I wanted to walk up or down aisles (literally speaking, of course) in search of toilets!). The middle seat is free, and the window seat is occupied by a middle-aged (40-50 years old) man in a fluorescent green shirt.

A quiet three-quarters of an hour had passed when the stewardesses starts distributing the snack trays. Fluoro-Man and I request our preferences and start wolfing down non-veg. and veg. snacks, respectively. The snack is about as good as one can expect on airlines: a decent cutlet, two other items I don't know the names of (one looks and tastes good, the other looks and tastes bad) and chocolate mousse. The stewardess comes back to serve us coffee/tea. And here is where things get interesting.

For some reason Fluoro-Man is bristling. He points his spoon at the stewardess [I know, I know, I tried to rewrite it, but didn't succeed] and the conversation (monologue) goes like this.

FM: What is this?
S: A spoon, Sir.
FM: No, it is a knife.

[I can't resist taking a sideways peek at the spoon. I had to agree with S's verdict on the object's nature. There was little to dispute: as far as I could see, the object was most certainly a spoon, not a knife.]

S: Sorry, Sir?
FM: It is a god-damned knife. Look how sharp these edges are.

[By now I can no longer afford a sideways peek, I nudge my head imperceptibly to get a fuller view of the implement. FM was pointing to the edges of the spoon's bowl.]

FM: This thing cut my lip!
S: Sorry, Sir. Can I get you anything?
FM: No.

[I have a tough time controlling my grin. It's quite funny: a man cutting his lip with a spoon, while eating chocolate mousse, and blaming another person for it!

A few minutes pass. S is serving other passengers in front of us.
]

FM [shouting very loudly]: HEY, THIS SPOON CUT MY LIP! DIDN'T YOU HEAR WHAT I SAID EARLIER? CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
S: Sorry, Sir, what can I get you?
FM: SUGAR!
S: Here, Sir, two packets of sugar.
FM: NO! ONE PACKET!
[FM takes the packet, opens it, applies sugar to lip.]
FM (as an afterthough): I WANT YOU TO THROW THAT SPOON OUT! YOUR AIRLINE SHOULDN'T BE USING SUCH SPOONS!
S: Yes, Sir.
FM: WHERE'S MY TEA?
S: Sorry, Sir. I thought you won't be able to drink it with your cut lip.

[S says it with such a straight face, that I almost guffaw!]

FM: NO, I WANT MY TEA!

I let out a snicker. The other passengers are either disturbed by FM's ranting or find it tremendously funny and turn their eyes to my row. I exchange mental laughs with a few passengers through smiles and eye-rolls. And go back to staring at the seat in front of me.

When the stewardess finished serving FM with tea, sugar (more) and tissues (for the bleeding lip), I ran down the aisle and locked myself in the toilet. I haven't laughed out that hard and loud in a long long time.

The rest of the flight, whenever I got bored of reading newspapers and magazines and needed some entertainment, I turned to my left to get a glimpse of FM smothering his lower jaw with tissues and cursing the spoon.

END STORY

There are plenty of discussion points in this incident regarding behaviour in public places, customer service etc., but we will leave all that for later. For now, let us amuse ourselves by picturing a self-righteous middle-aged man wearing a flourescent green shirt cutting his lip on a spoon eating chocolate mousse and making a fool of himself in public.

1 Comments:

  • At 5:30 AM, Anonymous Kowsigan said…

    Quite Funny!

     

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