On the Plane

On the advice of my doctor, I spent the entire flight to Madrid and back walking around the plane (and bugging the hell out of flight attendants). As a result, I couldn’t fail to observe what people were playing and reading.

The most popular game turned out to be solitaire. About 80% of people played it. This is very puzzling to me because I was sure that nobody played this very primitive game any longer. I had gone through a solitaire phase, too, but that was when we had very basic computers and no other games were available. Today, however, people use extremely sophisticated devices to play this simple game.

The most popular reading is the 50 Shades trilogy. This was also a surprising discovery. The only conceivable point of reading pornography is, as I always believed, to achieve a sexual release. Since that is not very possible on a plane (or am I too old and frumpy to know?), then why read the book? Do people actually read it for the plot? This thought is too scary.

11 thoughts on “On the Plane

  1. The combination of solitaire and 50 Shades of Gray is depressing. There’s something so lonely and misguided about it 🙂

    I’m never able to fall asleep on planes for more than ten minutes, and I don’t usually concentrate well on reading when on a plane (I have a tension when flying that isn’t a full-blown fear, but still keeps me on edge). On the occasional long, overnight flight I’ve sat there doing sudoku for hours on end when nearly everyone else was sleeping. Recently on a shorter trip I watched shows from Animal Planet (Pitbulls and Parolees was interesting). I also repeatedly check the flight map.

    Sometimes being awake and restless on planes is helpful though. On my way to England once on an overnight flight, I got to watch a sunrise from a plane window, and it was incredibly beautiful.


  2. Sunrises on transAtlantic overnight flights are indeed always beautiful. Yet, the cabin attendants always demand that one close the window shades so as to let people sleep. I think this is downright abusive. Sleep is not more important than experiencing profound beauty.


    1. On the flight to Madrid, I was sitting next to a teenage boy who opened the shades to look at the sunrise. Immediately, several passengers shooshed him down. I was sad because i would have preferred to see the sunrise.


  3. Anytime you see someone reading a book in public, chances are it’s going to be 50 Shades, Twilight or Harry Potter. Before that I guess Da Vinci Code was the preferred reading material of sheep. Maybe this is one of the reasons major bookstores in Montreal seem to be selling more potpourri than books.


    1. What all the books you named have in common is their extremely limited, drab and poor language. It’s torture to rwad something like that. And with all the great literature that exists!


  4. For what it’s worth, porn is fun even when there’s no chance of an orgasm in the near future. Arousal is a pleasant sensation, after all. Also, some people can orgasm quietly and hands-free from Kegel exercises. I know someone who did just that on long train rides. I suspect there’s a lot of people reading 50 shades for the story though, as horrifying as that might sound.


      1. The wedding scene happens at the end of book 2, which makes book 3 especially pointless. But yeah, I’m afraid the mainstream appeal of the series is the fact that it’s some sort of weird power fantasy: this powerful and dangerous man falls for the plain and boring main character, whose love, devotion and unthinking obedience to outdated gender roles is enough to make him stop abusing her and finally treat her right. The books can be quite hilarious, however, if you do a shot every time the main character says subconscious while meaning superego. Only then will you begin to truly appreciate such masterful turns of phrase as ““Aargh!” I cry as I feel a weird pinching sensation deep inside me as he rips through my virginity”. Also, both the main character and the sex scenes make far more sense once you remember your Dungeons&Dragons and realise you’re not dealing with a human woman, but with some sort of ooze.


        1. “Also, both the main character and the sex scenes make far more sense once you remember your Dungeons&Dragons and realise you’re not dealing with a human woman, but with some sort of ooze.”

          – I think this is the best reading of the book ever. 🙂


  5. I always look at the computerised map of progress. Then I think how high we are and how unlikely that is. Sometimes I try to imagine what I will do if the plane drops from the sky. What will my last few seconds feel like?


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