It’s possible I missed out on some amazing conversation/opportunity/life-changing event by not chatting it up with people around me on airplanes. But I figure my odds of that happening are about .05%, while my odds of some chatterbox boring the eyes out of my skull stand at 99.95%. So I maintain an avoid-talk-at-all-costs policy when I’m flying. The only exception is within five minutes of landing because there is a definite end to the conversation.
Generally, just reading my iPad is enough to ward off any attempts to engage me. When I really need to avoid conversation, like with scuzzy people with outstretched hands on the subways, I employ the “I don’t speak English” excuse.
I can’t think of any scenario where I would carry on this item, the B-Tourist. Made of a stretchy fabric that you loop around the seat back in front of you and your headrest, it allows you to create a bizarre cocoon-like environment. A selling point is the side pocket where you can store your phone, earbuds or snacks.
But let’s discuss a few logistical considerations. How do your seat mates get past this thing – by doing the limbo? How do flight attendants serve a drink to the guy with the window seat? And what about the poor fella sitting in front of you? His head is gonna spring right back into his lap if he tries to lean back on the headrest.
It’s not yet available for purchase but has been designed by Gal Bulka and Idan Noyberg. Until then, you could create a reasonable facsimile with a plus-sized tube top from Wal-Mart. Or not.