“You take the total flying time, subtract five minutes, and there you have the appropriate point in the flight at which it is appropriate to have a personal conversation. Any earlier and you risk having to hold a dialogue with someone you don’t know in a controlled environment from which there is no escape.”
Officially known as ‘Guantanamoing,’ the practice is one of the few methods of modern torture still allowed in public spaces without fear of repercussion, and in many cases is being perpetrated by otherwise innocuous people such as sweet old ladies who smell like pressed roses.
Ashish confirms this was the case with his recent flight.
“I sat down, having chosen a window seat specifically so I could pass out after what had been a much heavier night the evening before than I had planned – YOLO amirite? Moments later a sweet old lady took her position directly beside me, in the middle seat. The aisle seat stayed vacant, and yet despite my repeated suggestions that she shift over she refused, saying she doesn’t like having to worry about her elbow being bumped by the drinks cart. That was my first sign we were going to have a problem. A ten hour long one.”
At this point Ashish breaks down into tears. Fellow disembarking passengers shake their heads sympathetically as they walk past, but no one actually stops, likely scared they too will be drawn into recollecting the horrifying spectacle of a fellow Canadian forced to make small talk for an entire continent and an ocean.
“And then she turned to me and said…” Gupta takes a deep, shuddering breath, “She said: ‘I just hope my stitches hold, did you know I just had a surgery, and have four grandkids and my husband died eighteen years ago and life was’t easy in the 50’s but at least children had some respect isn’t Trudeau dreamy here smell my handbag.’ And that was the beginning of the worst ten hours of my life.”