Elbows Malone

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Running across the airport is always a trying experience, especially when the mischievous pixies of the reservation system have been busy moving whichever gate I needed to the far corners of the airport.

I arrived just as the last passenger was having his boarding pass scanned by the attendant. I was out of breath, but happy. I had made it! The plane had not left without me!

I boarded the crowded plane, and as I arrived at my seat my heart dropped to my feet.

Eek! I had a middle seat! How could life treat me this cruelly?  I was now destined to spend the next few hours squished between two perfect strangers, a hostage to the “fasten seat belt” sign that was sure to stay lit the entire time.

With a deep breath I straightened my shoulders and decided to grin and bear it. After all, it was Thanksgiving day. Instead of focusing on the bad seating arrangement, I would spend my hours in flight enumerating the many things I am thankful for.

Or so I thought.

I never asked the guy in the aisle seat next to me his name. It would not have mattered anyway, because I will always think of him as Elbows Malone, the orneriest elbow thrower the West has ever known.

He seemed to believe that both armrests were his personal property, and after the third time he slammed his sharp elbow down on my arm, which I had rested on the very edge of the armrest for a moment, I wondered if he might be right.

I decided to take the high road and ignore his ill manners.

The real test of my fortitude came about the fourth time his elbows jabbed me in the ribs. It was a particularly painful jab, and my natural instinct was to use my much sharper elbows in retaliation. I was able to restrain myself by repeating, over and over again, my long list of thanks.

We finally landed, and I watched as Elbows Malone used his built-in swords to force his way off the plane ahead of his turn.

As I exited I added two more “I am thankfuls” to my list.

I am thankful that Elbows Malone is not a friend or family member, and I am thankful I will never have to sit next to him on a plane again.

But if the world plays a trick on me and I find myself again trapped beside him and his out of control appendages, he had better hope I have once again decided to fly on Thanksgiving Day!

Or better yet, maybe the next time I fly I will go prepared, with a big roll of duct tape.

What do you think?