In three days’ time, I covered five airports, gave myself two heel blisters, broke a toenail, two fingernails, managed to consume the equivalent of two bottles of wine and accidentally ran over a fellow traveler’s foot with my wheeled, eager to off-road carry-on bag. Oops.
I’m also not sure how it happened, but in the last two years, I’ve gone from having a knack for drawing the seat next to a crying baby to one where I now consistently sit next to sick people or ones who insist on eating eggs. You name it, they’re chowing down on it: egg white burritos, hard boiled eggs, homemade egg salad sandwiches brought from home — basically anything that smells like a giant toot. I can’t think of anything I’d rather smell in an enclosed area, can you?
I think it’s karma.
I went through a phase where I’d take eggs to work, peel them around 10am, discard the yolks and keep the egg whites for some mid-morning fuel. I’d escort them proudly back to my office and snack while working, always pleased that nobody bothered me.
One day I found out why.
“Sweetjezuz!” my coworker said. “It DOES reek in here!”
He’d walked in — or tried to, rather — and my pile of egg whites smacked him in the face. He retreated.
I’ve not eaten anything eggy in my office since that day; I’m confident others are pleased with this decision.
Since my latest aircraft seating streak began, I’ve never been sure what I’d rather have next to me: a sick person, or a stink bomb. Tonight, in the absence of eggs, I finally know.
They’re all around me. Two men in the row ahead, as well as one behind, have loud, phlegm-laden coughs. The sleeper to my left, pre-doze, sneezed four times before popping some cold meds and catching some shut-eye. (As an aside, she also has stinky feet, evidenced by the odor wafting up from her bare hooves from which she peeled away both shoes and socks to get comfy.)
Oh, how I wish the smell of a faux-toot could fill my nostrils right about now, instead of the germs that are likely infiltrating my person.
Answers of all kinds come at the strangest times. Sometimes the questions are serious, other times not. Sometimes the answer is life-changing, other times it simply serves to help inform the next situation you find yourself in.
Or the next flight you find yourself on.
I now know to seek the egg when possible, and will gladly ask others to swap seats with me from here forward; I’m set on having a nose for health. If you’re on a plane where someone snatches the PA system mic from the flight attendant and asks all egg eaters to identify themselves, that’s me. Say hello.
Tonight, for the egg vs. sickness answer which came to me 36,000 feet in the air, I am thankful. I’ll be even more thrilled if I manage to dodge the illness bullet, but until I know for sure which way things will go, I will hope that the pungent foot stink next to me is perhaps powerful enough to kill any cold or flu germs in the vicinity.