Sitting in the last row of the first class seats I watch as the cattle heading back toward coach parade by. I keep waiting for the flight attendants to use cattle prods or perhaps dogs to keep the line moving but it never happens. Instead, I am forced to tuck in my arms and lean inward to avoid being decapitated by the carry-on luggage of oblivious passengers. I have just been smacked on the back of the head by the belt of an overcoat.
The last of the passengers are boarding the plane. They are carrying JC Penny department store bags that have been stapled shut and speaking far too loudly for an enclosed space. The overhead bins are full. A large woman clogs the aisle as she struggle to find somewhere to stow her treasures. The flight attendant is holding the little display oxygen mask used for the safety lecture. He briefly mimics wrapping the cord around the neck of one of the floundering passengers. I hope he kills her. I catch his eye and wink. I’ll never tell.