Air Boxing

I went to a boxing match the other night and an overbooked flight broke out.
It may be a new twist on an old joke, but it is no laughing matter.  
OK, actually, it is.  I am sorry, but for anyone who has ever flown, the notion of a ringside seat on an airplane is a pretty entertaining thought.  
As long as it is on someone else's flight.
I have been flying a lot lately, including some long trips to California.  It is not a pleasant experience.  Flying these days is not for the impatient, the claustrophobic, or the passenger over 6 feet.
Being a tall man wedged into cramped airline seats, I have learned how to quietly eat my knees and retreat into my the inner sardine.  Some call it Transcendental Meditation.  But it is more like entering a coma with headphones on.  
But boarding a plane is a highly demeaning experience akin to stuffing peas down a straw.  The first passengers rush in to throw their stuff in the overhead bins and sit comfortably down.    From experience, this seems to me to be the slighter, shorter people who have booked far enough ahead to snag aisle seats.  
Then come the families with small kids carrying lots of stuff.

At the end of the boarding process come the large people like me who have the unfortunate luck of sitting in the middle and have foolishly obeyed the last-on boarding instructions for Group 4 issued by the gate agents.  
As I make my way to the back of the plane, the people sitting comfortably in the aisle seats look up in l fear.  They are praying that I am not sitting next to them.  I can see it in their eyes.  Oh please don’t let him set next to me . . . oh please don’t let him sit next to me.
And when I arrive at the unlucky sod sitting peacefully in aisle seat 25C, and I nod to the middle with my boarding pass in hand, the unfortunate lottery loser dejectedly stands up to let me struggle into my seat.  
Of course the overhead compartments are completely full of small items, including somebody's smelly shoes, and I must cram my backpack under the seat in front of met—the place where my feet are supposed to go.  But first I take out the things I will need to survive the flight.  
Headphones, a book, Xanax.
Because once the backpack is under the seat in front of me it can only be retrieved by a contortionist.
My seat companion politely masks his unhappiness as he forces his way out into the still crowded aisle in an attempt to give me a fighting chance to stuff myself into my seat.  Now we are both holding up angry passengers who are being forcefully prattled toward the back of the plane by frustrated flight attendants in imminent danger of losing incentives for an on-time departure.
I stumble my way into the row and inadvertently step on my companion's feet.  Then I hit my head on the overhead compartment knocking out a purse which lands on a poor lady still standing in the aisle.  
It is not until I have inelegantly plopped myself down into the seat and the person in front of me has pushed the seat back hard into my knee caps that I realize that I am sitting on the seat belt.
My poor aisle row mate must stand up again so I can maneuver the belt out from under my big bottom which is stuck hopelessly between the armrests.
And then, when we are finally settled in again, the poor woman who has been struck by the falling purse holds out her boarding pass.  She has the window seat and we start the process all over again.
It is time to depart and angry passengers are still boarding.
There is an announcement from the flight attendant.
Ladies and gentleman, we are currently over capacity and federal regulations demand that those passengers still standing deplane immediately.  For your trouble today we will give you a voucher for free peanuts aboard any flight in the continental US.
We also ask that those passengers traveling with small children kindly stow them under the seat in front of you as there is no room in the overhead bins.  
Followed by an announcement from the captain that our flight is being held indefinitely at the gate waiting for a mechanical error to be cleared.  
There are audible groans throughout the airplane.  Tempers are flaring. The airplane is stuffy and crowded and hot. I look and feel like a roast chicken.
Now the poor lady next to me has to go to the bathroom.  It is an emergency.  She has a small bladder she says by way of explanation to the flight attendant.  But the flight attendant will not allow her to get up while we are still parked at the gate.
A heated argument ensues in front of my face.
A baby starts to cry uncontrollably.  I can hear someone speaking loudly up front as the flight attendants are nervously transitioning to fight attendants.
Begin a seasoned traveler I have come prepared for this event.  Because among my carry on items I have packed boxing gloves.
Unfortunately, I realize, they are in my backpack.
Have a comment?  Email me at

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Sat, March 17, 8:00 PM

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, Summit

Multiple Personality Disorder: Improv Comedy

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar


Sun, March 18, 10:00 AM


Camp Riverbend Open House


Sun, March 18, 1:00 PM

Avila Room, Summit

Annual American Red Cross Blood Drive at St.

Giving Back

Summit Fire Department Blotter

01/01/2018 9:26 am     FD dispatched to a motor vehicle accident, car vs. pole in front of 196 GLENSIDE AVENUE.  On arrival occupant was out of the vehicle.  Summit EMS assumed patient contact. FD made notification to the power company to make repairs.  Summit PD remained on scene for traffic control and road closure until repairs were made.

01/02/2018 7:36 pm ...

Summit Police Blotter

March 12, 2018

3/3 - Daniel T. Lipkin, 20, of Millington was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia and possession of an alcoholic beverage under legal age. Mr. Lipkin was processed and released with a pending court date.

3/3 - Taurino Alday-Benitez, 28, of Summit was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. Mr. Alday-Benitez was processed and released with ...

OLP Presents 'Screenagers' a Documentary on Growning Up in the Digital Age

March 17, 2018

Our Lady of Peace Church and Academy in New Providence will be hosting a special screening of the movie "Screenagers" regarding a very important topic for families and youth – “Growing up in the Digital Age.” The movie delves into the important and current topic of children and teenagers and their use of social media and digital devices. The movie is appropriate for ...

Video: Point View's Petrides Talks Cryptocurrency and Mobile Payment Trends

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, live on discussing the trends in mobile payments and cryptocurrencies:

​​​For nearly 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services and comprehensive ...

Profit from Recent Volatility with Stock Market Bargains

Markets retreated in February, the worst down month in two years. A record surge in volatility caused several ETFs designed as leveraged bets on low volatility to plunge, with at least one being forced to liquidate and hand its investors a near total loss.

The Causes of February’s Market Retreat

The initial catalyst for the sell off was inflation. The January jobs report showed ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


Learn a Language @ Your Library

Anyone can learn a language at the Summit Free Public Library!

Did you know that the Summit Library has a subscription to Muzzy Club? Funded by a grant from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Muzzy Club is an online resource that allows Summit Library cardholders of all ages to learn a new language. Languages in Muzzy Club include British and American English, Spanish, ...