Oh no, he didn’t….

Yeah. I sat beside that guy on the plane. The one standing in the airport lobby wearing the sandals,  knee socks, and confused expression. Stopping the guy emptying the trash to ask him if he can get a window seat. Telling everyone within earshot that he is headed to Utah to check out those Mormons, and how it was the only option with his free credit card points. Walking in with first class passengers and wondering why his free points didn’t mean he was in first class. Asking the pilot to please look after his rolling cart held together by duct tape.

Somehow I wasn’t surprised to see him on my row – or to hear him ask me if he could have my aisle seat, putting me in between him and the woman he referred to as “the wife” – who didn’t say much, not just because her English was limited. For a moment I wanted to ask her if she had been kidnapped.
I wasn’t surprised when he saw my iPad and asked me to show him how it works because he’s saving his points. Or when he read my book over my shoulder. Or when he told me that they had walked thirty five miles, yes 35, to catch the cheaper bus that would take them to the airport. Or when he asked everyone within his vision, which was about four rows up and back,  who had a window seat to please open their window shade so he could get the best view for his money.  Or when the beverage cart reached us and he ordered two cans of apple juice, two cans of orange juice, two cans of soda, and six cups, no ice – and winked to the flight attendant whose gender he kept getting wrong, and saying it was for “the wife” who had been sleeping since she sat down – for obvious reasons. Which still didn’t stop him from yelling at her to save the cups.
So I wasn’t surprised when he got up every three minutes, violently shaking the chair in front of him, to use the facilities. Or when he launched into a political discussion that didn’t do either side any favors.  Or when he stopped every person who passed to ask them where they were going and why, passing out his extra free copies of the newspapers he had taken from the public transit system to people who were obviously visiting from other countries.
And I wasn’t surprised that when the plane landed he was the first one up and out, ordering the guy in front of him to get his bag for him, yelling at the flight attendant to bring up his rolling cart before the seat belt sign was even turned off, and telling “the wife” which suitcase she needed to bring on  her way out. The largest one, of course. And he was gone. I saw him minutes later, out in the terminal, stopping the lady who was driving the beeping cart, and handing her a paper.
Believe it or not, none of this surprised me. And THAT surprised me. Most people, including me on some days, would have found this man incredibly annoying. Despite his quirks, I found him incredibly charming. I realized I had truly learned the art of not letting annoying people affect me. And instead of getting irritated, choosing to be entertained. Tomorrow I may lose that gift on my flight home. But for today, I got it. Now I can’t wait to go home and tell the husband.
Love your wacky motivational speaker,  and eternally grateful oddball magnet,
Kelly Swanson



Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
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  1. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! There’s your brilliant comedy writing again, Kelly.  This was absolutely great – not just in the amazing, colorful, funny picture that you painted – but also in you point – very well made.  You are just phenomenal!


    Kelly, your words created such an incredible visual of this man and his antic’s I felt like I was in the middle seat with you! Given my time on flights, this description is only a slight exaggeration of many we come across. Too funny. Choosing to be entertained rather than annoyed is a perfect choice and a great reminder.



  1. […] article about her real life experience with an annoying person on a plane. Read the article on Motivational-Speakers-Review.com about this stories surprising end… This entry was written by swansonwc, posted on […]

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