Vacation journaling in a sardine can

InsideAirplaneThis was done rapidly in pencil on a packed cross-continental flight for New York. You can barely draw on a flight like this. There’s no elbow room at all; there’s barely room enough to get your pencil and sketchbook out. There’s not a centimeter of extra space for your sketching arm.

Airlines have been packing flights full these days and I guess to make up for the relatively inexpensive airfare, we had to pay by sitting arsehole to elbow with the 169 passengers that a 737-800 seats.

2 bathrooms for those of us in steerage…I mean, coach. The passengers in first class had their own bathroom. Hidden behind a drawn felt curtain, they might have been engaging in the kind of rich people-on-an-airplane debauchery that those of us mashed into the rest of the airplane could only fantasize about. Like getting up and going to the bathroom when they needed to, rather than  planning ahead as if going on safari.

But in the back of the plane, our 2 bathrooms were fair busy. And 20 minutes after the flight attendants bustled through with the refreshment cart, doling out fizzy drinks and weak coffee, it got worse.  Imagine roughly 140 people hearing nature’s call to action in the same 10-minute period. At times, the gotta-go line stretched more than half-way down the aisle.

And that aisle was narrow. Exceedingly so. And here, dear reader, I’d like to make a plea.

People! When you’re waiting in line for the potty on an extremely crowded airplane—and believe me, I know it’s exhausting. I’ve been in that line too. But I don’t care how tired you are—please don’t rest your huge squishy bottom on my shoulder. Don’t rest it on anybody’s shoulder. Especially if said bottom is clad in a worn pink sweatsuit.

And if you do, be aware that some of the folks you’ve rested on might not be as polite as I am.  Some might be inveterate sketchers,  and upon seeing  that expanse of faded pink jersey, might possibly be overcome with the urge to sketch. The person on whom you’re leaning might just whip out their Tombow brush pen and sketch a little scene on your rear end.