I’m pretty sure some people are hardwired for assholery. That’s the only possible explanation for what happened on the Melbourne to Perth leg of my trip.
I’m sitting in 21C. That’s an aisle seat about halfway back, just over the wing. To my left are a married couple coming home from vacation. Across the aisle is a woman who initially mistakenly sat in my seat, then, when I arrived, checked her boarding pass and realised 21D was across the aisle. Smiles, apologies and all was sorted out.
In front of me, in 20B (that’s the middle of three on the left) was a very large man. Now I don’t know why he was very large. Maybe he has medical problems. Possibly he’s got a pituitary problem. Maybe the constant intake of beer had something to do with it. Whatever the reason, it really doesn’t matter for what followed.
He overflowed his seat. He knew it was going to happen, and frankly, the seats in economy are too small to start with. But he knew it was going to happen, and it’s happened before, and he should have dealt with it a bit better. Just a tiny bit.
The woman in 20C (directly in front of me) said something (I couldn’t hear what she said and I’m not going to guess) and 20B went absolutely ballistic. Swearing at her, insulting her, telling her exactly what he thought of her in no uncertain terms. He was at least a foot taller and definitely twice her weight. Classic bully.
I don’t care what he weighed or what size he was, there was no call for it. There were kids in front of and behind him (across the aisle).
The flight attendant arrived (quickly) asked what was going on, received another onslaught and tried to mediate the situation. He wouldn’t have any of it. She left to get her supervisor. The guy still wouldn’t let up. Said he’d “behave when the woman apologised”, that he was the victim. Dude, there’s a time to fight and there’s a time to ignore. When a 4 hour flight is boarding, ignore.
The supervisor (and to her credit she didn’t back up a step) told him that she would have relocated either or both of them if there were empty seats, but the flight was full. They both (20B and 20C) would either be de-planed and get the next flight (4 hours later), or the guy would close his mouth, and not open it again. If he started something on the flight, the captain would turn the flight around and 20B would be met by Federal Police when the flight arrived back in Sydney.
Departure was delayed, a woman was bullied, all because someone couldn’t help being an asshole.
But I got a character for a future book.
That flight attendant could make Jack the Ripper back down.