Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Button

My brother-in-law flies a lot for his job, and he kindly sprinkled some of his frequent flyer miles, like fairy dust, onto my recent Buffalo-to-Denver ticket, magically transforming it from a pumpkin into first class seats.

A couple of observations:

The Chicago-to-Denver leg was on a 777 that usually makes international flights, and, and (I’m steadying myself because I’m getting kind of emotional here) the first class seats would recline all the way back to flat out fuggin’ FLAT beds.

Now: I didn’t actually take mine all the way to flat, because that felt to be more or less a let-them-eat-cake level of decadence that my wholesome Midwestern sensibilities could not quite countenance. However, I did take it so far into recline that it was the moral equivalent of flat.

But: I need to talk about “The Button.”

On the armrest of every first class seat was a little red button with a lightning bolt decal above it.

A card on the seat explained its function: a single press of the button would deliver a non-lethal electric shock to some random person sitting somewhere back in steerage.

At first I was kind of horrified, and vowed to ignore the button. However, at some point I couldn’t take it anymore and decided to give it a little tap.

Sure enough, from far behind me in the bowels of the plane I heard what sounded like a grown man let out a sharp yelp and exclaim “Jeezus!”

After a while you would just filter out the various hollers and cries from behind you as this or that first class passenger explored the perk of the button.

Unlike the sadist sitting across the aisle from me, I only pushed the button maybe 6 or 7 times.

My thinking was “Well, I paid for this damn seat (with my brother-in-law’s miles) and if you’re sitting in first class, dammit, you’re gonna take the hot towel and you’re gonna push the button.”