Wednesday, April 6, 2016


When there’s a television in the back of the airplane seat in front of you—you know you’re on a BIG airplane. On a recent flight from Atlanta to Orlando, I noticed that Delta airlines had managed to cram an entire television into the back of the seat in front of me, and that’s how I knew that I was on a BIG airplane.

I am personally in favor of larger aircraft. Logically, you would think that the larger an object is, the less likely it is to float, but I find that the smaller an object is, the more likely it seems to want to flip upside down in the air. Big airplanes are good.

It took me ten minutes to figure out how to use the television crammed into the seat in front of me. The menu included: movies (two dollars); TV shows (I’d seen them & free); a trivia game (yawn—also free); and HBO (two dollars.) I had watched the HBO miniseries John Adams (excellent, on DVD) and so felt that I knew my product.

I had also read a series of fun, easy reading, mildly romantic, and lightly entertaining books by Charlaine Harris, which HBO had turned into an original series called "TruBlood." I felt confident in my selection. I would check out the first episode of "TruBlood" for two dollars, and forget that I was flying on a aircraft that might, at any point, flip upside down in the air. 

The TV crammed into the seat in front of me took credit cards. God bless America. Not five minutes into the first episode, I was fairly certain that I was looking at porn—never having observed porn I am, however, aware of the general concept. 

There was nudity. People were gyrating. There were sounds. The people gyrating were nude. The sounds were emanating from the nude people. I closed my eyes and tried to reconcile the series of books that I had read with the gyrating, nude people making noises in front of me. 

I glanced at my husband. He was watching sharks on the Discovery channel. I glanced at my seat mate. He was playing the trivia game, and the answer was milk and vinegar. Horrified, I glanced behind me and was relieved that there wasn’t an inquisitive five-year old sitting in the line of sight of my clever television. The seat behind me was empty. The porn continued. 

Not sure how to turn the television off, I started pushing random buttons. The porn continued.

I said to my husband, “Help, there’ porn.” I gestured to the porn. With his headsets on, he was oblivious to my plight or the gyrating.

“Sherwood, there’s porn on my TV!” The flight attendant glanced at me and frowned on her way to distribute headsets (two bucks.) I realized that because of my headsets I was not aware that I was NOT whispering. 

Panicked, I continued to punch buttons until the porn disappeared, and a map of my flight from Atlanta to Orlando appeared. I began to track the distance, time, flight speed, and mathematical probability that the aircraft would flip upside down in mid-air.

Somewhere, the porn continued.

I blame HBO.

Linda (Flying the Friendly Skies) Zern

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