I arrived at DFW airport after a short flight from Robert M. Gray Airport in Killeen. A dream airport named for a famous member of the Doolittle raid on Tokyo during WWII. They actually have people who help you without the seemingly ubiquitous tip jar.
My flight from DFW to New York Kennedy was announced as a full flight. How full I could not have imagined. I had decided to go heavy this trip. This means big camera, flash, four lenses, tripod and computer. I refuse to check expensive equipment or computers so I made my way down the aisle carrying my too heavy to check and almost-too-large-for-the-overhead-bin camera bag taking care to bump the fewest number of people out of their seats into the aisle.
I arrived at my seat row. I was seated 28 C – the aisle seat. 28 A&B were at this point unoccupied. So waited for my travel companions with my seat belt unbuckled. They arrived. Mrs. A and Mr. B were ten and twelve times a week fast food fanatics. A twelve – B ten. I had to move a few steps down the aisle to allow them to access their seats. Mrs. A had a sack of food that she had difficulty stuffing under the seat back in front of her. Mr. B had an over-sized computer case that I suspected of contained a side of beef. I learned later there was actually a computer in there in addition to the beef.
While they were “seating” themselves, Mr. B raised the armrest between B and C and nested it deep between our seats. Surely, I thought, he would lower it when he is fully settled. After much huffing, puffing and stuffing, he did not. Modern airline seats are small enough but a four-hour flight with 1/2 B in C was not something I felt I could tolerate. Stress. Then I decided if he could raise the armrest with impunity, I could lower it gently with a smile. So I did as he made a large sucking sound. For safekeeping I put my left arm on it to prevent any future foolishness. A&B ate incessantly. An hour or so later I arose to go to the restroom. When I returned to my seat, the armrest was nowhere in sight with A in AB and B in BC. Now sans smile, I dug the armrest out from between the seats and somewhat less gently lowered it into onto his right thigh. *I weighed the differential between BC and first class. We did not exchange business cards.