One away from the No Fly list

I am a fairly composed person and behave appropriately in most situations.  I demonstrate good manners and a respect for decorum and diplomacy.  Unless something makes me laugh.

I regularly make a fool of myself on airplanes, letting out squeals and snorts while watching an in-flight Mr. Bean video short, or muffling howls during a hilarious scene from a Steve Carell movie.  Recently, while reading A.A. Gill’s tongue-in-cheek review of Kentucky’s Creation Museum in Vanity Fair, I came close to being restrained by federal marshals.

There is something about an airplane that, for me, turns ordinary amusement into a full-blown uncontrollable spectacle. Perhaps it’s that people are already on edge, inconvenienced by security checkpoints and constrained by seatbelts in close quarters.  An airline cabin is a place where howling and snorting just aren’t done.

Perhaps it’s the sanctity of a quiet space that pulls the pin on my explosive laughter.  And I know it’s the same stifling sanctity that prompted Mary Richards’ painful laughing attack at Chuckles the Clown’s funeral in 1975.  It was one of television’s most memorable scenes.   A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.  Mary, I feel your pain.


Filed under Foibles and Faux Pas, Movies, Television and Radio, Reading, Travel

4 responses to “One away from the No Fly list

  1. Ah, right up there with my favorite line from that show. “Mary, you’ve got spunk. …
    … I HATE spunk!”

  2. Emily Basca

    As someone who once took a new David Sedaris book on a flight to Hawaii, I fully understand your pain. As does my husband, who was wishing he could change seats to get away from the hysterical woman who was snickering, howling and crying!

  3. For me it was “Groundhog Day” on a flight from Washington to Rome. “You’re waking people up!” hissed my wife. I took off my headphones. And continued to wake people up.

  4. Pingback: Gitchy gitchy goo « Word Nymph

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