This was inspired while flying to San Diego for my son's graduation from Marine boot camp.
|Why I Hate People
or Why I Hate People
Shawn R Thornton
There is no other way to say it. No easy adjectives or soft pronouns that can be used. Putting it in plain English, the simplest terms anyone can understand: I hate people.
One may read those words and say to one’s self ‘Surely he doesn’t really mean he hates people’. Take it to the bank, dear reader, I mean exactly that. Now that I’ve said it, comprehension by posterity begs me to elaborate my seemingly harsh and unwarranted statement. However, by the time I finish my narrative, I know that you will see my point.
A recent trip across this great and beautiful land serves as a good example of what I mean.
The first leg of my trip was an exercise in confined pleasantness. The gentleman to my right politely closed his eyes and mouth and went to sleep. The lady to my left had conspicuously left her perfume at home or at least in her luggage. In doing so, she demonstrated the wisdom and grace of her maturity. While I softly muttered imprecations to myself against the flight crew for reminding the passengers every three minutes of where we were going and what flight number we were aboard, she smiled in amusement. From this low key, respectful interaction emerged an intermittent conversation that lasted the remainder of our flight. This was a relatively pleasant part of my trip because I was dealing with a person and not people.
On the second stage of my journey, an entirely different chapter of my story unfolds.
I was sitting quietly, next to the window, when my nose was assaulted by some abysmal scent that had the overpowering reek of baby powder and Providence knows what else. This cloying attack on my delicate olfactory nerves compelled me to sneeze. But I stifled it in an effort to be polite to my fellow travelers. The reasoning behind this altruistic move was that ‘kind begets kind’. My efforts went unrewarded as a minute or two later the source of my discomfiture followed my actual discomfiture.
A young woman dropped into her aisle seat, the seat between us remaining vacant. The thickness of her perfume (the odor of which I suppose she believes men find alluring) emanating from that chair was so overpowering I could scarce take a breath without wanting to cough. I firmly believe she had bathed in the stuff that morning as well as laundered her clothes.
The woman opened a cellophane bag of snack food and commenced to rummage through it to find the tastiest morsels, all the while creating such a racket that has not been heard since last Chinese New Year.
While perfume girl was rooting in her crackling bag of popcorn, the woman behind me had high-sticked me in the back of the head with her elbow with no sign of remorse or apology.
During the course of this part of my travel adventure, the young man in front of me had plunged his seat all the all way back, only missing banging my knees because the seat won’t go back that far. His young sister was crawling all over his lap and other seats, chattering like a monkey in a banana tree. While I certainly don’t want to rob a child of the joyous excitement of her first airplane ride, the older people should still remain calm and not act like it’s Aunt Dorothy’s 101st birthday party.
Except for the elbows to the head all of this continued throughout the remainder of the flight. Even my sly turning of the air conditioning vents toward the princess of perfume (in an effort to reduce the mustard gas-like effects of her scent of the day) was more like Waterloo to my nostrils than any victory.
By now, dear reader, I hope you can see the picture I have endeavored to draw.
The first part of my trip was pleasant because in the course of traveling, I dealt with a person (singular). The second part I had to deal with people (plural). A person, generally speaking is reasonable, pleasant and has a sense of humor. People are irrational, rude, obnoxious and possess less than average intelligence. Only the prize at the end of my journey made the whole exercise in traveling so worthwhile.
One can certainly realize at the conclusion of this explanation why a good book, a loving cat and a hot cup of coffee are much more to be desired as boon companions than any gathering of three or more people (especially those wearing perfume in such quantities as to have tear gas effects).
Copyright © 2008 Shawn R Thornton