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David Sands | all galleries >> Galleries >> Photo a Day 2014 > Hell
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27-Apr-2014 David Sands


Where is Hell you ask? Is it located in a 4th dimension with lakes filled with suffering and giant hot pools of fire with Satan himself acting as the head lifeguard? Maybe it’s having to go to Toys R Us on Black Friday at 11 PM to find that special toy for your kid? Maybe your definition of Hell is the dentist’s chair? Hell is many things to many people. When your there, Hell is awful and seems to have no end…

I can assure you I am typing this in real time at 37,000 feet I am stuck in Hell. Hell for me is Seat 27F as I am surrounded by absolute and complete misery. Where shall I begin? Lets rewind 1700 miles, shall we?

Boarding most flights is the typical ho hum normal travel burdens that we all just deal with. I am now an expert in that Las Vegas Airport on a Sunday morning is the epicenter for every douche bag West of the Mississippi River. Every one of them.
Row 26, D E F seats contain the wanna be rich asshole who is flying alone in seat D. Beside him is some bleach blonde hung over chick who is hanging on the arm of the still drunk, unshaven giant frat boy who is 33, going on 9 years old. He is the poster child for everything that is Vegas.. What Frat boy can’t seem to grasp is the guy in seat 26D is going to get his girls phone number and be having more than dinner with her by the end of the flight. Even odd’s this happens. I am watching a train wreck occur somewhere over St Cloud Minnesota.

Moving on back to the 28th row, directly behind me in Seats D E F I have a couple with a special needs son. Highly special and extremely challenged to speak or communicate. His form of communication is banging things into his tray table, and since I am sure to go to hell for (Oh, wait, I am ALREADY HERE) daring to complain about this situation I am throwing caution to the wind and going to vent- read on.

The couple with the older special needs boy are kindly snoozing away as I am being pummeled by his thrashing about directly behind me. Basically, my seat, if it had airbags would have deployed already as he is hitting, kicking and punching my seat with the force of a Volvo hitting a Geo Metro at 45 MPH. Maximum impact. Our wonderful flight attendants are clueless and or smart enough to not get involved. Ideally, I’d be that guy and ask to move our seats but I can’t. Remember this, Hell doesn’t have any extra seats; it’s the first rule of airplane hell. It is, I swear, it’s on the sign as you walk down the jet bridge and in bright orange letters outlined in flames.

I get his needs are way more than my peace and comfort and am trying to be accepting of his condition. Where I stray from compassion is that his parents have checked out and are leaving him “unchecked” and pretending to be a Volvo crashing into me from behind every 86 seconds. It won’t end, until we crash or land in Cleveland... Fast forward back to present moment in my typing of this, he is now sitting with his feet up on his headrest and his head towards the floor. In all honesty, I think he’s on to something. Looks comfortable, maybe I should sit this way too???? The kicking has stopped and I guess that takes me from Hell and over into Purgatory.

Nope, wait, Frat Boy is laughing that obnoxious look at me laugh.
Back in Row 26, the frat boy is telling stories of douchery being the life of the party. His laugh is annoying, really really really annoying as he laughs at everything. The single dude is continuing to flirt with the girl. It’s so blatant and I am amazed frat boy hasn’t caught on. Guess College doesn’t teach you everything?

Hell comes in many forms and today I am in the middle of it. I hate flying, Hate it. For work for pleasure, for whatever reason. It’s hell...

Regarding the special needs young man, I have no malice at him rather his parents. They have been dealt a shitty hand in life and I am sure that they do as best they can... For the life of me, I am grateful I have two perfect healthy kids and can’t imagine having to live their life. It does however border irresponsible caretaking to leave their son unchecked. As this flight progresses ever so slowly I have witnessed the “father” who is completely not involved and the mother trying to wrestle control (physically at some points) trying to salvage everyone’s flight. My hell ends when this flights deplanes, theirs is a lifetime and with that I am going to say a silent prayer for them and their future. As for Frat Boy? LOSER!

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Alan K15-Jun-2014 01:07
That's a story and a half. I have to admit that I haven't had a commercial flight that was that bad but I fly those a lot less than you do since I (usually) only go for holidays while it's part of your work. But yes, I think with that particular trip I would pine for the "good ol' days" of being in the back of a C130 for umpteen hours having my @$$ shaken off but at least with the absence of the douchery from row 26.
You've really done a nice job with the lighting on this; the flame comes across perfectly and the jet black background works well.
Marisa Livet03-May-2014 13:05
Intriguing description and very well taken photo