Just what are you handing me? On all flights, passengers aggressively try handing over a wide range of items they no longer wish to keep at their seats. These hand-outs will frequently pop out at us when we least expect them, while at the gate, during boarding, taxi out, and any time between take off and landing.
Please understand, I am not always prepared to receive a fully loaded diaper, overly ripe half eaten banana, used chewing gum, dentures, or a barf bag full of the previous nights partially digested Kung Pao Chicken. At that particular moment, I may be doing a required safety check, shocking someone back to life with the AED, investigating a suspected underwear bomber, or simply trying to get from one end of the plane to the other. I do understand that the loaded diaper may have been left in the seat pocket by the inconsiderate previous occupant. In my opinion, a passenger leaving behind any form of DNA in a seat pocket should be water-boarded. I also understand you’re upset about it. I’d be mad too. You paid good money for that seat rental, including the use of all contents in the seat-pocket. Well, almost. You certainly didn’t pay extra for the loaded diaper! I get it. Really I do. But please understand, at your moment of discovery, or when you’ve decided to purge yourself of a personal item, I may not be prepared to receive the package, or readily equipped with a plastic bag or other trash receptacle for an environmentally safe disposal.
Passengers take note, I will no longer accept any ‘suspect’ items shoved at me in a dimly lit cabin. Not without first asking a few questions. When you look at me with outstretched limb and closed fist, I’m going to assume one of two things. You’re either winding up to take a swing at me, or attempting to give me something I will most likely regret handling with my bare hands. Isn’t it human nature for a person to willingly accept something offered from another human being? It’s only natural right? I want to think you’re gifting me with something special, like the keys to a brand new Lexus. However, the reality is that I’ve just accepted another used moist wadded up Kleenex tissue with my bare hands. And this is where it get’s really weird. I’ll thank you for it! Oh yes, a “thank you” is a natural and automatic response whenver receiving an unexpected special something .
Unless you’re handing over the Lexus keys, hold on to that wet slimy balled up ‘cootie-filled’ wad until you see me doing the main cabin catwalk behind a four wheeled trash cart (or holding some type of trash collection device), wearing protective gear (gloves), and armed with the salad tongs from First Class.
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