Orderly fashion

On my flight from Toronto to Chicago this morning, a guy got on the plane, sat next to me and took out his ipod and started watching a cartoon on it. He watches it while people take their seats and get settled. No problem. Then the announcement to turn off all electronic things comes, and he totally ignores it. I assume he didn’t hear, what with the headphones. The flight attendant comes by twice, but somehow misses that he’s still watching his video, and we begin to back up from the jetway. Finally, just as I have formulated a plan to snatch it from his hands and smash it into a million bits to save us all if it starts to look like he is going to crash the plane (there has to be some reason we have to turn everything off) the flight attendant sees him, comes over and asks him to take off the headphones and turn it off.

He scowls at her, but turns it off.

The plane taxi’s to the runway, and we take off. The instant that the wheels have cleared the ground, dude has it back on again. (I attribute the small amount of turbulence we encountered to this, even though that is unreasonable.) 7 or 8 minutes later, the announcement that electronic devices can be turned back on comes, and I reach down, get my laptop and begin watching SG1 (season 9, and yes, I’ve started with Atlantis, thank you for asking.) We journey like this until we reach Chicago (hallelujah, I made it) and the announcement comes to please turn off anything that has an on/off switch. I turn off the laptop and my noise dampening headphones. (I fly a lot – it’s worth it) and dude does NOTHING. Keeps watching.

I stare. I try to make a big show of putting my things away. He doesn’t. I toy with telling him that he has to turn it off. I figure, because this is all I can imagine, that he must not know the rule. That this is his first time on a plane or something, and that he just doesn’t know and hasn’t heard. Maybe, I figure, maybe he doesn’t even speak English or French (which happen to be the two languages that he has had the thing explained to him in.) Exactly when I can’t stand it for another second, because the plane is getting lower and lower, the flight attendant comes by to collect trash, and he sees her coming and turns it off.

(For the record, this is the exact moment that I decided that he totally knew the rule.)

She takes our cups and such, and goes to the back of the plane and takes a seat. DUDE TURNS IT BACK ON.

I flip out. Unfortunately, I am not capable of flipping out in a way that he would have noticed, but I flipped out nonetheless. I wait. He doesn’t turn it off. We get lower and lower, and he still doesn’t turn it off. I am losing it. I am freakin’ out. (Again, this would not have been obvious to him, but I assure you that the psychic message I was sending him was pretty loud.) I wonder what happens if he doesn’t turn it off. I check for emergency exits. I reacquaint myself with the pictures of the chute that will open after we crash and I open the hatch door. (I am very close to an emergency exit, and planning to take charge.) We get lower. I am alert to danger. I am a nervous flier at the best of times, and this is pushing all of my we-are-all-going-to-die buttons. I think about saying something. I try to say something. I try to say “Buddy, that has to be off for landing” but I can’t. (I suspect that the reason I couldn’t say anything was that I didn’t know what sort of unholy wrath I might unleash on him if he said “So what?” or “What’s it to you?” …. but we can examine my other problems another day.)

The plane gets lower and lower, he keeps watching (It was totally “Family Guy”, which hardly seems worth dying for) and then we land, and dude watches his stupid show all the way to the gate, then puts it away when we pull into the gate. I was purple with fury.

Now, I know that this is a reasonably small offence I know that in the grand scheme of things, leaving your ipod on for landing and takeoff is hardly a human rights offence or a crime punishable by death… I even know that it’s probably not even really dangerous, because if a phone or ipod could take out a plane, then they really really wouldn’t let you take them on plane. They just wouldn’t. No way. (Also, the fact that nothing bad happened was a bit of a tip off.) I also know, however, that the rule is that you have to turn them off, that there might be some weird thing that we don’t understand that demands they be off, that the attendant told him to turn it off, that she caught him with it on and told him the rule, and that dude just didn’t give a flying squirrels arse about it, and that drives me nuts. Completely mental.

I’ve always essentially been a really good girl. I’m not really a rule breaker. I ask permission. I largely (Unless it’s really dumb or would hurt me or someone else) do pretty much as I’m asked. I know that that makes me the exact sort of person that this really, really makes crazy. There’s nothing that makes a terminally well behaved human go non compos mentis faster than watching a terminally poor behaved human break all the rules and get away with it. I follow the rules because I …well… I’m not entirely sure, but it has something to do with believing in order and queueing up and taking turns and playing nicely with others when you can and I do think co-operation is important and manners make things nicer and I like CIVILIZED BEHAVIOUR DAMMIT.

I know that it makes me crazier than it should. I know that the world is just full of people who could have let that go, or looked the other way, and that there are even people (my mother is one of them) who would have said “Stephanie, who cares if he’s behaving badly as long as you’re not. Let it go.” There are even other people who would have said “Sir? Can I ask what’s so special about you or your electronics that you don’t have to turn them off?” or even “Yo? Dude. It’s off time.” I even toyed with the idea of asking him sincerely why he didn’t turn it off, but apparently I’m not the sort of person who would.

I didn’t have the nerve to say anything, I didn’t have the nerve to tell him off and I wouldn’t tattle on him, but apparently I also can’t let it go. That leaves me with only one thing to do, and apparently, I am exactly the sort of person who would do it.


I kinneared him, and I’m putting his picture on my knitting blog, and I’m saying this. Dude’s a weenie.

482 thoughts on “Orderly fashion

  1. I am exactly the same way, what with the rules and all. Drives my boyfriend crazy. What a weenie.

  2. I admit it. This is a rule I ignore when I can get away with it. I had no idea I might be forcing other passengers into such a state. I may have to close the laptop next time.

  3. I would have been uncomfortable with that situation too. Why does he think the rules apply to everyone but him?
    I would have been tempted to turn my flight attendant light on and when the flight attendant got to my seat just innocently asked: are electronic devices suppose to be off now (all the while rolling my eyes towards Mr. Delinquent)

  4. I, too, am a rule-follower, while my dearest husband is not. Drives me absolutely and totally crazy. At least you don’t have to live with the dude who’s ignoring the rules! PS–Don’t tell my hubby I said this!

  5. On the Discovery Network show: “MythBusters” the hosts did an episode on electronic devices and airplanes. Check it out. You may be able to use their findings to point out to weenies why everyone should follow the rules. Being able to use facts in a situation like that always helps with finding a voice. Glad you made it alive!

  6. Have you watched 30 Rock? And particularly the scene in the pilot that introduces Liz Lemon? Because if not, you totally should. Seriously.

  7. DH and I are both rule abiders and I would have done the same as you – things like that drive me nuts, but I am to well mannered too say anything. Actually I am a bit scared of the rule breakers, but well mannered sounds much better. Unfortunatly DS is 5 and a total rule breaker – I attribute it to touching the stove at a young age and not getting burned after I told him he would. I might not survive him.

  8. I thought they were going to change that rule? Once I left my phone on the whole time…it was in my purse and I thought I had turned it off. Nothing happened, but I was freaking out about it!!

  9. I chanted “Kinnear” throughout the whole post. (I too believe in following rules and did not skip ahead to see if you’d done it.)

  10. For some reason, while reading this, I pictured a young-ish dude in my head. I was a little taken aback when I saw that cartoon-watching dude was older than I thought (not because of the cartoon-watching, but because of the behavior in general).
    I, too, would have flipped out silently, but never in a million years said a thing out loud. Just reading it made my stomach churn a little bit. I’m glad you made it here (Chicago) safely, though!

  11. I’ve lived through the same experience. The second time it happened, I told the fool to turn it off and he was rude. Now, I totally tattle–just flip the call light on for the attendant and point–that’s all you need do to.

  12. HAHAHA! omg i SO wish you were there to flip out with me when, on my last trip, a lady told me she needed to sit in the exit row next to me, BECAUSE SHE HAS A BAD KNEE.
    now, as far as i know from the questions they ask if you sit there, when you take a seat in an exit row you are supposed to be physically able to help people exit the plane.
    (she didn’t tell the flight attendant about the bad knee BTW, and so she did indeed get to sit there, and helpfully spread herself half over my seat as well, once she fell asleep. arggh.)

  13. Sorry you got stuck with a flying horse fart for a seat partner.
    I just hope that his SO Knits, reads your blog, recognises him, and gives him holy what for, for bothering the Harlot by breaking the rule. Of course a full grown adult who MUST watch Family guy on an Ipod has some problems.
    Thank you for reminding me that our lives outside our houses are not private and there are things I wouldn’t want published on the net. Nose picking comes to mind.

  14. My sister’s boyfriend is a commercial airline pilot and says that he can totally tell when electronic devices are on during a flight. One or two devices won’t do much, but too many of them “on” can mess up communications. Airlines ought to mention that when they tell us to turn off our machines.

  15. I understand, I am a rule follower, I have decided it was the catholic upbringing. Now I am married to a rule breaker, he drives the wrong way in parking lots, borrows open networks, goes off the hiking trail, and many other petty things that drive me crazy!!

  16. I am EXACTLY the same way. I don’t understand why people seem to think it’s perfectly acceptable to act like barn animals in public but it drives me absolutely crazy. But I don’t say anything. Ever. And this drives me just as crazy. I’ve heard people attribute it to being Canadian and / or a woman (who are raised to be acquiescent I imagine is the argument) but I don’t know.

  17. too bad you couldn’t accidentally “spil” a drink on his ipod. Oops…
    Or boldly take pictures of him and thank him for a great topic to blog about…..

  18. Actually that episode of MythBusters showed that electronic devices have pretty much zero effect on an airplanes controls/navigation etc. I think the acutal reason they make you turn off cellphones and take out earphones is that you might not hear important instructions. Google “mythbusters airplanes and electronics” and you’ll find all sorts of info on that episode.

  19. I’m exactly the same way about that sort of thing, and I have to warn us and others like us: we’re going to give ourselves ulcers by being this way.
    And no, *they* will not be sorry when that happens, I’m pretty sure.

  20. dude IS a weenie. he is an insult to the entire pig-dog combination. that would have driven me insane. you are a much better person than i am.. congratulations on that!

  21. I’m a total rule-follower myself. I don’t even like calling the pizza guy because I’m afraid there are phone rules I don’t know about and I’ll screw it up. I would have done the exact same thing in your situation. The call light’s a good suggestion, but I wouldn’t have thought of it until I got off the plane…

  22. GGgggrrrrr……..
    I’m a flight attendant and this one makes me crazy!!! We don’t tell you to turn your electronic devices off because we’re power hungry, or jealous that we can’t watch Family Guy on the jumpseat, or because we’re just naggy like that and have nothing better to do.
    It’s because the electronic signals can (but not always will) interfere with the electronic systems on the plane, especially the navigation.
    There was a significant court case about this in Japan. It also has messed up with the instrumentation on MY PLANE!
    Like I said, makes me crazy.

  23. One reason is that the flight crew needs your full attention for safety instructions in the event of an emergency.
    I own a small airplane and if I get my cell phone too close (like right on) the control panel, the older instruments act up. It really is not a magnetic field thing anymore, it really is about them having your attention.
    I always follow their instructions, they have a job to do like everyone else. No sense it making their day worse!

  24. Wow, Dude looks a bit old for cartoons.
    I hate it when people break the rules, drives me batty, sadly, it also highly amuses my husband to watch me freak out when, for instance, the woman next to us on the plane from Phoenix to London leaves her cell phone, ipod, and laptop all on during take off and then landing!
    Creepy lady.

  25. I should add however that the tests they do are generally not exhaustive. The FAA’s stance is that while airplane electronics are very well shielded from interferance (as mythbusters showed) they cannot possibly account for every single type of consumer device the emits a signal so they err on the safe side…
    Regardless of the very low potential danger, it bugs me too when I see people blantely disregarding the rules. I have even heard cell phones ring during flight!! grrr

  26. Oh My Gosh! I totally love the photo!! This makes all the trouble worth it. I know for me, I would have ignored him and pretended like I didn’t see he was breaking the rules! That is how wimpy I am. You are a warrior for sure, to take his photo! Kudos Stephanie!

  27. The last time I flew somewhere I was asked by the flight attendant to turn off my ipod and remove my earphones during take off. I was kind of surprised because this wasn’t always a rule (or if it was it was not stringently enforced). I asked my aunt who used to be a flight attendant about it, and she said that since most plane problems are on landing and takeoff it’s imperative that people aren’t distracted in case of an emergency.
    That said, if dude wants to die for “Family Guy”, let him. At least it will be one more set of anti social rule breaking DNA taken out of the gene pool…

  28. I hate to go against the flow, but I’ve been him… I mean, I usually grudgingly turn the thing off and leave it off, but I’ll push it till the last possible minute. Mostly because air travel is full of a lot of pointless rules that seem mainly designed to control the passengers without any apparent benefit to our safety or comfort.
    I agree with oceanpoet that if the electronics are really doing something they ought to explain it to us, because my basic impression is that there was one weird incident with a CD player a decade ago, and ever since then, with very little scientific evidence to back them up, airlines have been harassing their passengers about iPods in addition to everything else. I’m a reasonable person with a Ph.D. in the physical sciences — if they explained it to me, and it made sense to me, I would pay attention to their rule.
    As it is, I may have to do a silly dance involving my (empty) water bottle, my baggie of fluids, my laptop, and my shoes every time I go through security, but hanging onto my iPod as long as possible feels like one small blow for individual freedom and self determination in the arbitrary, demeaning, claustrophobic cattle call that is modern air travel. (Can we tell I’ve been delayed 3 hours at O’Hare twice in the last week?)

  29. Totally a weenie. Idjit. I’d have panicked the same way (and also silently!) I was recently on a flight where a guy felt he was also above and beyond the rules…only with his 2-year-old KID and having her strapped in properly. He’d get her down every time he saw the flight attendant coming…then let her get up and jump around. During turbulence. Despite the fact that the attendant specifically addressed this with him before the plane even took off. I wanted to throw something at him, but I was afraid of hitting the kid. I figured she already had enough to deal with, having to raise a weenie for a dad.
    I feel your pain. Flying is stressful enough sometimes without the weenies adding to it.

  30. I always think that I’m the only person who cannot STAND when others do not follow the rules. I teach high school students, and even though I am pretty laid back and have only a few rules, I still want them to be followed. I have a hard time in the grocery store fast lane when I’m behind the guy with two cartloads of junk food, but that isn’t a danger to anyone–well, except the guy with the junk food if I happen to feel a bit jangly that day. What do people think? That the airline folks make up arbitrary rules just because they have a slow moment in the break room? Like, “Hey, let’s make up a new rule and see if passengers can follow it.” Geez.

  31. My grandmother had a hearing aide that was strong enough to cause trouble for the plane electronics, but it wasn’t strong enough for her to hear the announcements. They had to figure out who was causing it and ask her personally to turn it off before they could leave the gate.
    I did once turn on the service light when the guy next to me didn’t want to give up his Digiplayer and they were asking for the one remaining unit still out. He glared at me, oh well.

  32. I’m the same way. My biggest pet peeve has to do with turn signals. These little devices are supposed to be used when turning and even *gasp* changing lanes, yet how often do people just cut you off?

  33. Totally a weenie. Idjit. I’d have panicked the same way (and also silently!) I was recently on a flight where a guy felt he was also above and beyond the rules…only with his 2-year-old KID and having her strapped in properly. He’d get her down every time he saw the flight attendant coming…then let her get up and jump around. During turbulence. Despite the fact that the attendant specifically addressed this with him before the plane even took off. I wanted to throw something at him, but I was afraid of hitting the kid. I figured she already had enough to deal with, having to raise a weenie for a dad.
    I feel your pain. Flying is stressful enough sometimes without the weenies adding to it.

  34. Although I often treat rules more like suggestions than absolutes, I recognize that some of them are more important than others and should be obeyed.
    Dude probably roars up to the “Lane closed ahead — merge right” sign on the freeway in the lane that is gonna close and forces his way into the line, too. Ijit.

  35. You are so not alone. I would have gone purple with rage too! Due is definitely a weenie!

  36. One of the beauties of hitting my 40s was having NO SHAME about ragging at people for things like that. I give you five years and you’ll be whipping the earbuds right off his head and hitting the off button for him.
    I was at the Ontario Science Centre today with my 13 yo son, and about a million school kids on field trips. (My son has finished for the year.) I told three different groups of people to PLEASE STOP TALKING during the Omnimax movie. One group was a pair of teachers, who were chatting and snickering while the movie was showing the devastation in New Orleans after Katrina. Un-frickin-believable.
    But they shut up. I’ve grown from a total weenie to a b*&ch in my late forties, and I’m rather liking it.

  37. i don’t know why i assumed said guy must be in his 20s . . . (for the record, i am in my 20s) . . . i think it annoys me more when Grown Folks act . . . adolescent. Total weenie.

  38. So nice to hear that other people also feel strongly about rules even just for the sake of rules. I HATE it when people flaunt their non-rule following. My fiance thinks I’m nuts, I generally do or don’t do what’s allowed even if there’s no one watching. Jaywalking, for example, makes me insane. Just GO to the LIGHTS! That’s why there are lights!!!

  39. I am law-abiding to a painful degree, and also not afraid of calling other people out when they don’t toe the line. I spoke to my seat-mate once on an overseas trip when whe was still twiddling with her cellphone as we taxied to the runway for take-off… well passed the time when it ought to have been off. She claimed not to have heard the announcement, which I took with a grain of salt as she turned the device off and put it away anyhow. Despite the awkward start to the flight, she was an amazingly interesting person and we spent the next 8 hours very companionably.
    Next time, instead of turning purple, say something, either to the perp or the attendants. You’ll feel better.

  40. Dude’s too old to be watching cartoons. Sorry it’s my job to encourage this sort of behavior. πŸ™

  41. I wish his face were on there, so his boss could turn out to be a knitter, see it, and read him the riot act (or more). There *was* a plane crash a few years back that was attributed to malfunction of the takeoff/landing gear due to electronic interference: I remember a graphic in Newsweek about the theory that a sort of electronic sheet was swathing the plane in interference, that the circumstances had to be exactly so for it to happen, but this one time, it apparently did. Thus the rule forevermore about turning off electronics. One ipod very likely wouldn’t do it, but a planeful of commuters might.

  42. One of my friends thinks the electronics thing on planes is because if something DID go wrong and the passengers had to follow instructions to save their ar$$e$, the electronics-using folk wouldn’t know what was going on and would die. More importantly, they would prevent others from not-dying.
    I just think people with entitlement issues $uck.

  43. I find it more interesting to see who would say something and who wouldn’t. His behavior would make anyone crazy but it’s interesting to see who would just silently seethe and who would confront him and tell him to turn the thing off.

  44. I’m with you. A rule is a rule, why does he think he is exempt from that. I would have went crazy and not said anything either

  45. Stephanie, next time (and there will be one), ask him nicely, then HIT THE CALL BUTTON! It works….I’ve done it πŸ˜‰ The flight attendants get mad at idiots who won’t cooperate…
    I’ve heard that electronics don’t interfere anymore, but, you know, I’d rather be safe, too….call him on it, and if it doesn’t work, call for backup!

  46. I would’ve “accidentally” started poking him with my dpns. What a tool!
    Can’t freaking wait to see you tonight! Glad you got here safe and sound!

  47. Oh my god- I’m so glad I’m not the only one! Italy is one of my favorite countries in the world to visit, but Italians have absolutely no concept of lines. Whenever something opens they just all crowd around the door and whoever shoves the most gets in first. It’s infuriating. Once the hubby and i were trapped in the airport in Florence. Bad weather had completely shut down the airport for the last 9 hours. People were getting desperate. Finally, the powers that be announced overhead that flights were going to resume and everyone cuold go to the ticket window to redeem tickets for their cancelled flights for new ones. We were attempting to wait patiently in line when we were literally PUSHED out of the way and cut in front of by a pair of nuns! NUNS! Mentally- I went totally apeshit but, like you, wasn’t brave enough to say anything. My husband noticed my silent meltdown and said to the ladies, “excuse me, but the line starts back there” and led me calmly back around them. Which is one of the many reasons that i will love him forever.

  48. Yup. I TOTALLY understand. I am also totally all about following the rules (except maybe speed limits, though even there I don’t speed by much). I feel your pain.

  49. I’m sitting here waiting for my husband to come home — from a week away. He has been an hour away from me for nearly 3 hours — because the airline couldn’t find a gate for the plane to pull up to and unload the plane. (Yes, I called and yelled a little — it makes me feel better.)
    However, I’m with you on the rules thing. I firmly don’t believe that modern electronics have any effect on the nav systems of airplanes (because, seriously, if my iPod doesn’t affect my cheap nav system in my car you’d think the billions they put in the airplane equipment they could at least use a better nav system than I have, right?) But I’ve always believed it is a method of at least appearing to have our full attention.
    The thing is that I think they are trying not to have to put the flight crews in the position of saying “this thing is ok, but that one isn’t” especially when the electronics have all sorts of different things in them (think iPod, iPhone, iRule the World things).
    The rule, I firmly hold is silly, if they want my attention for the safety announcements, make them entertaining (ala Virgin America’s video) and SMILE on occasion. I travel more than monthly and I’ve sat on far too many planes listening to the flight crew complain about passengers in front of me. Note to flight crews who do this — that is NOT the way to get and keep my respect or attention.

  50. I completely understand. I can’t stand it when people think that the rules don’t apply to them. Espeically when I cannot think of any reason why they would be circumventing them (like perhaps he has extreme anxiety while flying and uses his ipod to cope–so NOT the case or he would have seemed more apologetic when dealing with the attendant).
    If you’d felt particularly sassy, you could have been very obvious about taking his picture. When he questioned you on it, you could have told him you were going to post it on your blog so people could see what a donkey looks like when it wears earphones.

  51. My husband and I were coming back from D.C. when the older lady in front of me had her cell phone ring during the flight…and she answered. She carried on a conversation, asking about family, their status to the airport, etc. I was fuming, wanting to tap her on the shoulder, tell her cell phones weren’t allowed in use, let alone on. Finally a woman across the aisle (turned out to be family) got her attention, told her to put it away and turn it OFF, and even with that, the lady took another minute or two, meandering to an eventual close.
    I agree that it appears limited use of electronics doesn’t seem to affect flights, but do we want everyone disregarding the rules? Would it have been a problem to wait ten more minutes to call when we landed? Or to wait before finishing your cartoons? I admit I enjoy my iPod and audiobooks in flight, but I’m the first to put that sucker away.
    Anyway, I empathize. And I’ll see you tonight in Chicago!

  52. Stephanie, you crack me up! I kept laughing out lot reading your whole entry. I would have been the same way – in my mind thinking “Dude, turn that off!” It’s a rule, so follow it – what’s the big deal! Especially to watch Family Guy. Love that you kinneared him too!
    I always enjoy reading your blog. Have fun in Chicago and Happy Belated Birthday!! Looks like WWKIP Day in Toronto was a blast.

  53. Heh! Most excellent reaction on your part, Ms. McPhee.
    Plane ticket…$569.00. iPod…$350.00. Posted on the internet for thousands of knitters to see your inability to follow the rules….priceless!
    By the way…I am reading your book (Secret Life, that I won) in the lunchroom at work. It causes me to laugh out loud, followed by much staring by my co-workers. Few are knitters and would understand why I am laughing.
    I may be ostracized!
    Just so you know…

  54. Not enough face in the photo, Stephanie. Since he was obviously in his own world, you could have taken several without his noticing. I totally understand about rule breakers. I grew up (in Chicago, actually) in a world where the rules were unspoken and changed without notice. As an adult, I like to know the rules. Obviously, this guy doesn’t care. Glad you made it safely.

  55. Ugh.
    There’s a lady in my office building who doesn’t wash her hands after she pees. She comes out of the stall, checks her hair, turns on the tap, wets her fingers (on ONE HAND!) and runs them through her hair.
    And although I rant about her to my coworkers, I can’t bring myself to tell her,
    “For the love of GOD woman, you’ve just rubbed piss and fecal matter in your hair; wash your hands like a grown up, please! Soap! Water! 20 seconds!”
    rant, rant, rant… (interally only, of course)
    The thing is, if I kinneared her in the bathroom, I’d probably get arrested.
    (I think part of the headset rule is to ensure that everyone is aware of what is going on around them in the event of an emergency.)

  56. I’ll be one of the dissenters here. As far as airplane rule-breaking goes, that’s pretty innocuous. I’ve been on flights where someone has a lap child that is clearly over 2 years old, and the mother even brags that she got away with not buying a ticket for the kid. I’ve also been on flights where people think it’s OK to watch movies on their dvd player or laptop with the sound on and no headphones! Ipod guy isn’t interfering with anyone else, and in case of an emergency he’ll be easy enough to trample on the way out.

  57. Should have used your yoga, Steph. Easy for me to say, though, as I have had plenty of opportunities to “let go” of stuff and have taken the “purple faced path of wrath” instead.
    Off topic: I have a pair of noise cancelling headphones, too, but don’t use them in favor of low-tech, industrial-strength earplugs. I love the sound of quiet now and then.

  58. I could actually feel my blood pressure rising while I read your post. This makes me unreasonably angry. What makes me even angrier is when I see people breaking a rule like this, something that’s so easy to obey, that it’s obvious they’re breaking the rule just for the sake of breaking the rule. Like… oooooh, you’re such a rebel. I thought we outgrew the rebellious stage after high school. If you want to stand up for what you believe in, that’s fine, but make it something that’s worthwhile (read: not cartoons) and don’t potentially endanger other lives while you’re doing it. There’s a word for that.

  59. I too would be ‘purple’ but wouldn’t say anything. Perhaps if the reason for the no electronics is that if something did happen everyone would have to spend time putting the ‘damn’ stuff away and then everyone would be doomed. (the offenders always sit on the ailse or nearest the exits)
    Next time if you have the nerve, suggest that the offending person(s) sit away from any exits. Then the passengers who are paying attention can get off the plane while those who are engrossed in their little games can continue without being disturbed during the PLANE CRASH!!!!!!!
    Another reason not to fly!
    Don’t even get me started about drivers and merging!!!!

  60. i felt similarly at the beach today, when blake kicked a stranger’s ball, and the man began to swear – not because blake had kicked the ball, but because there was now a small amount of sand on his pristine white blanket. AT THE BEACH. dude, go live in a bubble. and stop swearing at my kid during family fun day.

  61. Wow, he’s even a grown-up dude. I just assumed it was some arrogant kid, newly-minted adult who thinks he owns the world, and just hasn’t learned yet. This man, however, is probably a father, employer, etc. who expects his kids and employees to follow the rules…I can understand your being upset, I’m not a good flier either and I take everything so seriously when I’m on a plane! It’s just so much easier if everyone behaves. Good luck tonight, forget this moron and have a good time!

  62. while i generally agree with you, that people should follow the rules for the good of everyone, i also must admit that i have a wireless inuslin pump and when i took a recent flight from the east cost to the west cost and the airline did not want me to use said wireless insulin pump, i did it anyway. i was not able to not eat anything on that flight, and i sure as hell was not going to pull out syringes on a (rather turbulent) flight because certainly, that would make everyone freak out. i can understand not using it during take off and landing, but they were saying that it could not be used during the entire 6-ish hour flight. and that was ridiculous, for a device that has a range of, oh, an arm’s length.
    i hate flying now.
    thanks for listening.

  63. You know, in the States at least, disregarding the instructions of the flight crew is a felony and could get you arrested. Perhaps cooling his heels in the clink overnight would straighten this dingbat out… in the meantime I hope somebody here recognizes him and can smack him upside the head, belatedly.
    Maybe, Steph, next time that happens you could offer to help them pack up. Play stupid. “Do you want me to hold something while you get your things together?”

  64. you should have snapped several photos where you were obviously getting his face well framed. if you had, and he had asked you to stop, you could have told him that it’s NOT one of the rules the flight attendant mentioned.

  65. wow, as i was reading the post i had a clear mental image of some late teens/early 20s stonerlooking type dude who clearly announces himself as a weenie rulebreaker who is above the laws that govern the rest of us. not a clearly full grown adult, who by all other means looks fully respectable and responsible. some people…

  66. I knew there was a reason I hated Family Guy!
    I’m the same way. Not enough of my own don’t-give-a-damn attitude to tell someone like that off, but my conscience won’t allow me to brush it off either. It’s a tough place to be.

  67. I will have my children read this post – hopefully this will relieve their worry that their mother is the only one who behaves this way on planes (I’m like you, not the weenie).

  68. When my now 25-year-old-deputy-sheriff son was twelve, he went on a school trip which involved flying. Imagine my surprise when he came back and told me how “cool” a particular teacher was because he showed them how to trick the flight attendant into thinking you had your seat belt fastened when it wasn’t. Did I complain? No. Why not? I’m a teacher. I’m still working with this man thirteen years later, and he is always the first one to whine when he thinks any student is not paying attention to his personal code of conduct. I do still think about it, obviously, and I’m thinking of mentioning it right before I retire. Oh, that I could have kinneared him!

  69. I agree with you. I am also the kind of person who both asks nicely and will tattle like no one’s business. I also get yelled at and verbally abused by said Neanderthals on a fairly regular basis. Really I vote for lots of Duct Tape to secure them and their mouths… but that could just be me.

  70. If that had been my daughter, her iPod would have been SO gone. And he was blocking your egress to the aisle in case of emergency and he wouldn’t have heard any announcements!
    OK, channel Aerosmith here:
    “Dude looks like a weenie!” *da-dum, da-dum*
    “Can’t turn off his iPod!” *da-dum, da-dum*
    “Dude looks like a weenie!” *da-dum, da-dum*
    Repeat ad nauseum.

  71. Why is it that the weenies are men-folk? Ironic, no?
    I’m a firm believer that Stupidity should hurt. For that guy? I’m thinking it should be FATAL.
    Perhaps a quick gab with a dpn will get his attention. Of course, you’d be putting those away because the Flight Attendant won’t let you knit in-flight.
    Happy trails, Stephanie, and a safe – weenie free – trip home.

  72. He’s totally a weenie, and I would’ve done the same thing you did. Wait, he’s not a weenie, he’s a selfish immature moron.

  73. This would have bothered my mom and me, but we would have totally different reactions-she’d be more likely to seethe, and not say anything, and I’d likely say something to him, nicely, or at the very least, get the attendent.
    These things shouldn’t HAVE to be explained to us… they should be able to trust that we will follow the rules, and we should trust that the rules that are there are there for a good reason… whatever they may be. Good job getting his picture, but I’d have done it very obviously, and said something about good blog fodder.

  74. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only person on the planet who follows the rules. I’m getting a LITTLE better at being able to let it go, though. Still hard.

  75. Dude was probably an engineer who knew that what he was doing would not affect the behaviour of the plane. And most engineers think they are special.

  76. Next time, just quietly reach up and turn on the attendent call button-when the flight attendent arrives just point, look or nod at the offender-you never have to say a word. you can even flip thru a magazine while doing this-just be sure to do it each and every time the “offender” offends.
    I too follow the rules (most of the time, anyway)

  77. Having had a lifelong case of good-girl-itis I’m completely with you on this one! On rare occassions I have asked people to turn their ipods down because I can hear the lyrics of the song the person is listening to from the other end of the bus even with their headphones on (which makes me CRAZY) and I have noticed that no one is ever, ever surpirsed at my request. They all know the rules and when they are being annoying, let’s face it. I must admit – I’m partly annoyed with ipods because I frequently see someone on the bus or ferry that looks like they’re untangling yarn, and I get so excited thinking they are a knitter, only to be bitterly dissapointed when I see it’s just annother headset cord. Sigh – maybe one day they’ll turn out ot be a knitter as well as an ipod user.

  78. “Hi sir, I see you’ve run out of your Ritalin. I have hear it does wonders for Adult ADHD. And by the way, you need to shut off the iPod.”
    Dare him to talk back. Sass me mister, on your best day you cant top what my teenagers throw at me on their worst!

  79. I love that ending. If that guy only knew how many people are going to see him being obnoxious online. There’s no way he could appreciate the number of travelling knitters out there who are watching for him.
    I’m the same way about a lot of rules like that, although I must admit that I let my dogs off leash on a certain trail near my house that’s technically on leash (this, and speeding, are my two non-law-abiding vices). I used to live in a city where smoking was forbidden in all public places and it just frosted me how many people ignored that law. I was in a transit station one day (pregnant with my second, too), and a man sat down next to me and out of the corner of my eye, I saw him put something up to his lips and light a lighter. I screwed up all of my courage (I am SO not the kind of person to say something, but this really got my goat), and turned to him and said, “Not here, dude.” And realized he was lighting up a crack pipe. He said, “Sorry”, and wandered off while I quietly had a heart attack. I mean, honestly.

  80. Amen! I don’t break rules, either, and it drives me nuts in the exact same way when other people casually DO.

  81. I do try to be a patient person (TRY) and yet there are a few things that make me blood instantly boil. Waiting for the subway, just behind the yellow line, and as soon as the train comes into view? Folks push in front of me. Or I am try to get off said train and folks waiting on the platform block every escape and then get antsy because they are not getting on the train FAST ENOUGH. BAH!
    Anyway. Reckless drivers, lousy pedestrians, irritating cell phone users: it all comes down to folks thinking that they are somehow so special that the rules not only apply to them, but that their time, pleasure and safety are worth more than ours.
    I think I might be a teensy bit passive aggressive.

  82. @stephvw: “”For the love of GOD woman, you’ve just rubbed piss and fecal matter in your hair”
    How the heck do you go to the bathroom? I mean, yes, I wash my hands, but I’ve never had “piss and fecal matter” on them after going.
    (Totally OT, I know, but that comment totally threw me.)

  83. Things like this drive me batty, too. If I’m feeling particularly annoyed by the behavior, I will say something – either to the person or the flight attendant. Otherwise I’ll just let it go, grab my arm rests and pray us to the ground. (Yeah, effective, I know.)
    Thing I don’t get is most adults (and kids) know that if you get an electronic device next to a regular phone or radio or something like that, you get this weird interupto sound. Why would you risk getting interuptions in the flight equipment when you’re umpty-thousand miles from the ground? Seriously.
    Glad you Kinneared him. Weenie dude. πŸ˜›

  84. Right ON, Stephanie!!!!! I get steamed when adults who know the rules blatently break them. Even minor things like watching your iPod during take off/landing. Totally steamed. He is a….okay, I’m not going to get carried away. He was rude and he probably alread knew that.
    I’m looking forward to seeing/hearing/meeting you tonight! I’m bringing my first socks (still in progress) and I’m hoping for an honerable mention…:-)

  85. Ugh! I got anxious just reading this entry! I would have silently seethed thinking, “This guy is going to make me die for an episode of Family Guy?!?!”
    I am very much a rules follower and hate to confront anyone breaking the rules as it usually involves me losing my cool.
    One time on the metro I watched a father encourage his two young boys (under 10 is my guess) as they ran into the middle of the train and threw stink bombs. The father and sons all thought it was hilarious as everyone else on the train had to endure the smell. I got more and more angry until one of the kids got in my face pretending he was smoking a cigarette. I totally lost it and said some comment to the kid and then let loose on the dad about how great of an example he was for his kids. Blah! I’m getting worked up about it again and this happened over two years ago! Why can’t people just be considerate and teach their kids to do the same!

  86. You are way nicer than I am. My inner school teacher would have been offering to shut it off for him if he was suffering from some sort of physical manifestation which kept him from following the direction himself. I really do hope his mom sees this…but I think you should have gotten a better nose hair shot.

  87. I’ve flown a few times this year and I swear this is getting more common. I saw people near me on the past 3 out of 4 flights I was on doing this. Makes me so angry. Even worse was the guy sitting in the aisle seat using his iphone in plain sight, and the flight attendant ignored it! UGH. This same guy also took his shoes off(which doesn’t bother me too much) but then proceeded to also take off his socks, on a complete full flight, how rude.

  88. i was totally assuming this guy would be under 24. not that that would excuse him or anything, but it’s at least something i would expect from my generation. but that guy, what a putz. you just have to feel sorry for someone who’s that age and that much of a complete doofus.
    and the kinnearing, ha! i just went on a trip where, at the hostel, another guest did a really absurd (non-violent, but totally horrible) thing to me while i was sleeping, and my husband put his name up all over the interwebs. good old fashioned social shame finally returns, albeit in a weird modern guise.

  89. Amen, Sister!
    There’s a guy in my neighbourhood who consistently parks right next to — no, no, he parks in FRONT of — a fire hydrant. As near as I can tell, he has never gotten a ticket. I pray night and day that his car burns to a cinder because the firetruck couldn’t hook up to they hydrant and put it out.
    OK. Now I’m mad again.

  90. I totally get it. I could have written this post myself (only not nearly as funny, of course). For me, it’s all about things being “fair and just”.
    I swear that people like this are why I sometimes need anti-anxiety meds LOL.

  91. I once had a guy sitting across the aisle from me talking on the phone ( in fluent English) as we were taxi-ing. I asked him to turn the phone off but when he ignored me, I pushed the button and had “tattled” on him to the flight attendant. That shut him up right quick.

  92. I think the thing that would really aggravate me is that the dude is acting like a child. “I’m going to get away with this…cuz no one can see me…” with no idea that this has consequences for others.
    Piss me right the hell off.

  93. At first I thought that this was headed in the direction of the rules-don’t-apply-to-me dude getting freaked about your knitting and complaining about the “danger” until they forced you to put it away. And he’s the type of guy (don’t-apply-to-me-but-they-do-apply-to-you) who would do that.
    Glad you found some satisfaction, albeit small as it may be, in this post.

  94. You should have called the attendant and ratted him out loudly in front of all the other passengers. Some people just don’t think rules apply to them.

  95. I am also a nervous nelly flyer and would have had the same reaction as you. He probably watched the episode of Myth Busters when they debunked the myth that the plane would crash if electronic devices were left on. However, I would have been sorely tempted to stab him with a pointy stick. Good thing you were watching Stargate and not knitting.

  96. And really, if you are going take a chance and break the rules, are you going to do it to watch a cartoon on a tiny screen? At least make it be for something worthwhile. Can you imagine an air marshall arresting him upon landing and him having a criminal record for watching Family Guy on a 2 inch screen? (Wouldn’t that have been cool?) Please! Serious Weenie.

  97. I just have to tell you that a)I read your blog almost daily but have never commented before; b) I would have pounded the guy with my carryon, so I am impressed by your restraint; and c) I have liberally accepted the use of the verb “kinnear” and have been using it constantly since you first originated it. Thanks for the smiles.

  98. I am so totally, totally with you on this. I just flew to Seattle and back (which involved four flights, not two) and I’m terrified of flying. I’m also a terminal rule-obeyer. If that arse-end had been sitting next to me I’m not sure what I would have done but I would have felt exactly as you did. Of course that guy was American, not Canadian, and he sure wasn’t from Seattle. I have never been to a more law-abiding, orderly place where everyone was just content to wait their turn. He must have been from one of my current home towns, NYC. Sigh. Nothing makes me madder than that sort of childish sense of entitlement. I think I would have bitten him.

  99. On my last flight the 20-something guy next to me kept texting after the announcement was made, and clearly knew he shouldn’t be because he would set the phone down at his side whenever he saw a flight attendant. Finally, I screwed up my courage and simply asked him “Is the message really important enough to risk going to jail over?” I got back a blank look, and then reminded him that not following the rules on a flight can land you in jail, with the feds. He was grouchy for the rest of the flight, but he did comply. A friend of mine uses, “I know you may think it’s a stupid rule, but it *is* a rule and the air marshalls really don’t want to have to deal with stupid infractions like this.”

  100. Dear Stephanie…. I have also spent most of my life being a “Good little girl” and following rules, and respecting the voice of authority. Things changed for me on September 11, 2001. A friend of ours was in the second World Trade tower. After the first was hit, many people started to evacuate. Then the voice of authority came over the loud speaker and told everyone the damage was to the other tower only, and they should all return to their desks. Our friend did so, and was never seen again. The people who were with him said “Hell, no” and kept going down which is how we know what happened to our friend.
    I know I would have followed the rules then, but I started re-thinking things after that. If I’m going to die, it will NOT be because I was afraid to tell someone to turn off his ipod! (And the other thing: I tell people I love them all the time now. My husband and oldest son both worked in the Trade Center, and I don’t take it for granted that they’ll come home every night. Every night they do, I rejoice.)

  101. “too bad you couldn’t accidentally “spil” a drink on his ipod. Oops…” Posted by: Knitter
    I’m thinking more of…in his lap…wet pants syndrome.
    No wool for him this Holiday season.

  102. My pulse and respiration rates and blood pressure went up as I read this post. (I will be the one dying in the 10 items or fewer line at the grocery store, right behind the jerk with 11 items in his basket.) Use the call button. Or just shriek “OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!” That oughta get a flight attendant to your row.

  103. What you are talking about is called “Manners”. That is not a 4 letter word. Manners are what make civilization. Without manners you have anarchy and rampant assholes.

  104. Stephanie, *just last night* I was wondering what happened to all of this Kinnearing of people. First it’s a thing, and then it dies a sad, silent death.
    There is a psychic tie, here, I tell ya!
    (And yeah, total weenie. Not because he doesn’t like the rule, but because he thinks he’s better than everyone else who has to follow the rules. Weenie giveaway #1.)
    And just for the record, I smuggle hand lotion onto airplanes not because I’m a weenie, who thinks she’s better than everyone else, but because I have desperately dry skin, and would otherwise suffer great tortures. (If I had to choose between a flight with lotion and a flight with knitting, I’d choose the lotion. See!)
    Also, my boyfriend’s pudding cup got confiscated a few weeks ago. Which is neither here nor there, but just a lot of fun to say. He was sad.

  105. I totally thought it was a 20 or 30 something you were talking about. Isn’t this dude a little old to be concerned about missing “The Family guy” on his Ipod?? LOL

  106. It makes it worse that it’s a grown man of middle age. When you were detailing the scenario, I was completely picturing a teenager, or at least a man in his early 20s. ’cause that seems like something a person would do at that age, right? Plus, Family Guy? I know that people older than that age group watch the show, but really…
    And don’t feel bad, I would have been doing the same freak out in my head as you. I would have been fuming inside, but I wouldn’t have said a thing either. I would have been shooting daggers at him with my eyes, but nary a peep would have escaped from my lips.

  107. Amen! Lucky one of us didn’t rip it out of his hands and throw it out a window! Oops! Maybe not the window.

  108. I’m with the other guys who say you should have taken a picture of his whole face. I would have posted it on the internet with a “Mr. Ignorant in Flight” tagline.

  109. Gee, I got all the way down to the Kinnear before I figured out it wasn’t my Ex Husband…
    I would have called the steward(ess) over to ask how dangerous it was to land with an iPod on…

  110. Some people just believe that they are “special” and that rules do not apply to them. Next time hit the “call” button. I am a really bad flier also and this would have definitely pushed me over the edge.

  111. Some people reach the age of two, and then just get taller instead of growing up.
    They cut in front of you in traffic, hog anything useful or fun, and throw tantrums when they’re adults.
    And don’t turn off electronics during take-offs and landings.
    Their mothers should be ashamed of themselves.

  112. I expected him to be a young’un too. If he was sitting right next to me, then I would’ve said something. I would’ve had to calm myself down first so that I didn’t scream, but if he said, “so?” and I went apeshit, so be it.
    I used to travel for work and saw some ridiculous behavior. Teenaged girls hitting the call button so the flight attendant could retrart the movie they’d started watching on the seat backs before we’d taken off. The plane was at a 45 degree angle and the flight attendant had to get up to talk to them and tell them to wait (FAA regulations prohibit them from ignoring the call buttons of idiots or something). Their mom was right there and said nothing.
    Or the woman who got out of her seat to switch to another row as the plane was accelerating. Her butt hit the seat just as the plane left the ground.
    And I have silent rage for people in front of me who don’t make their seat back upright during landing and takeoff. I saw the Mythbusters where they tested out the crash position (which they found ot be effective) and if the seat in front of me is too close, I’m convinced that it’ll break my neck if we crash. Because apparently my life isn’t worth as much as their right to decline by 5 degrees.
    If there’s anything that makes me hate humanity, it’s communal transportation.

  113. Put his picture on youtube and warn the world about him! Dufus needs to know he’s a jerk!
    Can’t stand people who think what they want to do is more important than what anyone else wants to do!

  114. Remember when we weren’t allowed to bring any liquids on the plane – not even those purchased in the terminal? It was a brief time period, but the airlines were very serious about it. I was flying sometime during that time period, when the dude next to me just pulled a big water bottle out of his bag mid-flight. I was angry. Not because I actually thought he was dangerous, but just angry at his apparent belief that he was above the rules somehow.
    And, like you, when I’m in that situation I just can’t think of anything reasonable to say, so I usually don’t say anything. Grrr.

  115. I would have told him, and actually I would have touched that little bell that brings the attendant over. The guy’s a jerk. I hear that the Prime Minister of Canada (notice that I don’t say “my” PM) does the same thing…..

  116. On our flight to Hawaii last year a woman in the row behind us was painting her fingernails! The smell was overpowering. The flight attendant came by and asked her to put it away, which she did for about 5 minutes-just long enough for the air to clear before she got it out again. The flight attendant was not so friendly the second time around and the woman got all huffy. I realize that it is not on the same level as messing with the communications, but such noxious fumes! How is it that some people are so into themselves they don’t think about the rest of us? grr.

  117. I needed that laugh to day. πŸ™‚ The whole thing isn’t funny. I would be angry at him too for not following the rules, but I love that you had the balls to take his picture and post it πŸ™‚

  118. I’m a rule follower too. Doesn’t mean I don’t sigh heavily when I don’t want to follow it.
    In the grand scheme of things, your laptop, his iPod? probably not the worst electronic devices to have on during take off and landing. The reason to turn them off has to do with radio waves and interference with communications. I think it is just easier to say turn off ALL electronic devices than to turn off the ones most likely to cause that interference, like cell phones, which you are permitted to turn on as soon as the plane touches down apparently – though you are not permitted to unbuckle and retrieve it from your stowed person item! πŸ™‚

  119. The dude has what I call “the D*ck-Head Virus”. It seems to be spreading north and looks like it may have spread into Canada. (As a knitter you have an natural immunity to the DHV.)

  120. This drives me crazy, too–I hate it when people think that they are above the rules. Part of the reason that electronics should be stowed is that in an emergency, those headphones may keep Mr. Jerkface from hearing critical instructions from the crew.

  121. I don’t know, I think one of my knitting needles may have “accidently” slipped in some of that “turbulence” you sometimes get on flights. Maybe a deep pierceing wound with a size 1 double point would have broken the mental control that Ipod obviously had over the Weenie. Anyway, I think putting his picture up on the internets is a much better way to avenge your nature. Someone, somewhere is going to see this by chance and say “Hey, I know that guy” and then tell him all about how they saw him on the internet and someone called him a weenie for not doing what the pilot said and can’t remember where it was.
    Conversely, a knitting flight attendent who is devoted to your blog and has a photographic memory for faces will see him, recognize him, and hover over him for his entire flight, pointing out all his shortcomings.
    yeah for the internet!!1

  122. “I follow the rules because I …well… I’m not entirely sure, but it has something to do with believing in order and queueing up and taking turns and playing nicely with others when you can and I do think co-operation is important and manners make things nicer and I like CIVILIZED BEHAVIOUR DAMMIT.”
    Steph – you’re Canadian. No other explanation needed. You guys fascinate us rude folks south of your border. Though, really? It would have driven me crazy, too. But I would have done something obnoxious about it – because I’m not a nice, polite Canadian.

  123. Being totally non-confrontational myself, I would have either pushed my Call light (or his, if I was thinking clearly enough). Let the hostess handle it, she’s trained in that sort of thing.
    I thought it would be some young person also, that man is old enough to know better. Maybe it was a time for the judicious bandishing of DPNs?

  124. I love that blogs let us gather and rant about things lke this. Here I was felling all alone with my quirks, and then Stepahnie shows up and starts spouting funny stuff. Then hordes of us gather ’round and cheer and jeer. It’s so old-fashioned, and yet so modern. Best of all, I can participate at 3 AM in my jammies and not worry about dodging rotten veg!

  125. For all the flying you have done since the book launched I am truly amazed that this is the only seat mate you’ve had to rant about. The first time I flew to Europe I had a seat mate reading large print religious tracks and muttering to himself the entire time – you do realise that a charter takes 11 hours from Vancouver to London?

  126. All while reading this I assumed that this was a young guy. He is an even bigger douche bag for being old enough to know better.
    Btw: I mostly follow rules because when I break them, I get caught. Ask anyone I know. If you want to get caught, no matter how many times you’ve gotten away with something, bring me along.

  127. I was always the kid who said, “You guys, we shouldn’t do that… we’re going to get into trouble.” I still won’t jaywalk, unless I’m with other people who dart out into the street. And then, I’ll go with them but I can’t keep from muttering “jaywalking is a CRIME.”
    Yeah, I’m a terminal rule follower. Even the stupid ones.

  128. I wouldn’t have said anything to him either, because of not knowing how he might react, but I would have ratted on him to the flight attendants afterwards. Which obviously would be too late for that flight, but might smarten him up for the next time. Maybe. He’s obviously one of those people to whom rules do not apply. He probably runs red lights and cuts people off too. I’m starting to take a definite dislike to this guy.

  129. I would have totally popped a blood vessel too. I’ll never say anything or rat him out but I would stew.
    I figure there are some rules made that I won’t completely understand because I don’t know everything.
    I always have an evil plan. Like if the plane started going down then no one would notice me smashing the ipod against the weenie’s head.
    This probably all stems from the fact that it chaps my hide that I’m the one who would have gotten caught watching my ipod and he didn’t.
    I may need some professional help.

  130. Oh gawd, me too me too!! I thought I was the only one who went mental about people who think they’re too special to follow rules.
    Funny that others have brought up turn signals. . . it especially bugs me when people use their signal slightly AFTER they’ve changed lanes. I always say that turn signals were created to signal an intention, NOT a fait accomplis. Is that so hard??
    *pant pant* Sorry about the outburst. But I feel better now.

  131. I, like you, strive to follow rules of politeness and common courtesy, and am constantly surprised when others don’t. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, etc. I am often amazed at how selfish and small-minded people can be, taking the proverbial yard when proffered the accomodating inch. Since having a stroke on 6/1, I am rethinking this generosity, as the hospital social worker suggested to me that 56 year old women who have strokes have to learn to set limits, especially when dealing with boors. Just sayin’…

  132. I hope some of your readers somehow recognize him and give him hell. Why were you uneasy about speaking up to him? Are you ever going to see him again? What’s the worst (worse than crashing your plane) that would happen? Take a chance. Get mad!

  133. What a total jerk – I hate when people do that kind of stuff and I love the fact his picture has now been seen by about a million knitters who will certainly squash him if he is seen in public.

  134. What you should have sincerely asked him is where he got the impression that the rules don’t apply to him – was it his mommy who told him he was “special”? Weenie…

  135. I can so relate! This situation is not the same but similar- I was at a movie with my husband. A 20 something guy was sitting behind me with his friends. He was talking on his cell phone the entire time. Apparently I had my bossy boots on and couldn’t resist asking him to knock it off. I was polite at first but by the third time I hissed really loud to go outside and talk on his phone. This did nothing to curtail his conversation.
    At the end of the movie I started to really let him know he ruined the movie for me and how inconsiderate his behavior was. Before I could get warmed up he said I’m sorry Mam! I’m only 33! That took the wind out of my sails and I couldn’t say anything else!

  136. It’s Yarn Harlot Friday and I’m looking forward to seeing you tonight! Glad to hear you made it safely!

  137. “I even toyed with the idea of asking him sincerely why he didn’t turn it off”
    Oh goody! Someone else thinks this way too! For the record, I once acted on my ever-present urges and asked a rude driver if he knew he had just broken a particular law (we were both still driving, so I didn’t have time to get into his motivation, although I wanted to). His response? The finger. It was not the information I had asked for.

  138. I was recently in the UK and heard a news story of a person being charged for killing another person who cut in line, and my first thought was…one day I’m going to snap and do something like that (hopefully not to that extent though). For me, when people blatenly disregard rules and order, I feel like they have no respect for me…and that drives me a little insane (although, I don’t usually say anything out loud either). I have a wicked dirty look though : )

  139. . . . .and my next greatest peeve is the people who fill the gas tank with A.) The engine still running (I was at a gas station when the whole joint caught fire because of that tactic): B.) Talking on the cell phone, or C.) walk away while the tank is being filled, totally ignoring the “must remain in sight of the nozzle statement. All of these are listed as DON’Ts on the pump. They can’t read, let alone follow verbal directions!

  140. I would have politely said Excuse me, you’re supposed to turn that off, maybe you didn’t hear the announcement? If he ignored me, I’d tap the call button and point at him. He’s lucky you didn’t let a sock needle slip, if ya know what I mean (wink wink nudge nudge!)!
    I hope someone DOES recognize that weenie and totally calls him out! What a LOSER!

  141. You had ever right to be upset. People like this are taking advantage of everyone around them that is obeying the rules. I find this type of behavious rude and extremely selfish.

  142. I soooo always follow the rules that I drive myself crazy sometimes. But, I really would have told him nicely to turn it off. I play nicely with others. I am a kindergarten teacher. But that said, I would have tattled. I like living!!!!

  143. Good for you. I, too, get frustrated with people who show such lack of respect for rules and order. Wouldn’t it be great if someone recognized him and showed him the blog?

  144. I was at the grocery store once and the woman parked between me and the cart return couldn’t take the few steps to return her cart. I knocked on her window twice and politly reminded her she failed to return her cart. She ignored me so I parked the cart behind her car.

  145. Next time, push the call attendant button. Technically, if he defies instructions to put it away he can be arrested (federal crime too!).
    And yes, he is a weanie.

  146. I sat next to this guy on a small flight to Iowa that was watching war scenes (live uncut footage of bombs and screaming and stuff) without headphones! The whole tiny plane had to listen to it. The attendant didn’t even ask him to turn it off- she just shared an astonished look with the rest of us.
    I agree with Kat- you should have pressed the attendant button every time he got it back out. You could have been really really thirsty.

  147. I think the call button is an overlooked tool on the quest toward decency. I’m usually traveling with young children and they behave better thatn that!

  148. Steph, be sure to let us know when you get the email that says: “OMG, that’s _____!” And, of course, I’m sure this guy will be included in your upcoming book tour speeches…I heard you speak at Bailey Crossroads and I still laugh about the guy at the cocktail party who didn’t know who the Yarn Harlot is, but his wife did!

  149. The older I get, the mouthier I get. You might try it, you’ll certainly feel better.
    Today I went to pull into a parking spot next to a handicapped spot at the beach. Someone beat me to it (and nearly took out the front of my car while at it) but she was in such a hurry she parked 1/2 in *my* spot and 1/2 in the handicapped spot.
    I parked on the other side of the aisle but, as I got out of the car I said to her open window “You should straighten out so you aren’t in the handicapped spot. We get a lot of seniors at this park and they need the spot.”
    I got a mouth full of lip. She told me I was just annoyed because she beat me to the spot and called me a name. I told her it didn’t make any difference to me, but the cops check the lot often and I could guarantee she was going to get a ticket.
    She continued to mouth at me while we gathered our stuff and left the parking lot.
    When we left later, she had a ticket. That’s a $500 ticket.
    I’m vindicated. πŸ™‚

  150. On my way back from TNNA, there was a guy who did the same thing with his blackberry. he was checking email. And when the flight attendant came by, he hid it under his arm. I was going nuts just like you. When we were flying, he couldn’t check email anymore so he was forced to read his stupid car (penis) magazines until we landed. Jackass.

  151. Well when the next plane goes down because he can’t turn off his Ipod. They won’t need the black box. Just this shot of the jerk who wants to kill himself and everyone else around him!

  152. That sort of thing drives me nutty also. Don’t know why.. just does. I’m more curious about what looks like a blowup doll sitting next to him. Were they together?

  153. I would have been right there with you in the stew pot had I been on your flight.
    I always want to say something but am afraid that the type of person who has such blatant disregard for the rules would be the same type of person who thinks nothing of starting a fight.

  154. Chicagoans are in for a treat! I love reading your blog after a signing. Have a wonderful Chicago event.

  155. I imagine it might not have seemed such a major offense if they’d just let you fly with your knitting needles and knit it all away! πŸ™‚

  156. This is kind of like my dad, who worked with xray equipment, telling me that cell phones weren’t a threat to hospital equipment. But, like another poster said, they err on the side of caution just in case.
    I keep waiting for someone to say, “Hey, I totally know that guy!”

  157. Once you get them on the plane, the attendant will never ask you to please turn off and stow your knitting needles until the captain makes the announcement that you may craft again.
    And yeah, it makes no difference what you think of the policy, you are required by law to obey instructions from the cabin crew. They are people trying to do a job and keep the average level of happiness on the plane as high as possible. They are as tired and frustrated and worried as you get at your job and deserve our help.
    If you’ve ever worked in food service you should have nothing but sympathy for them.

  158. I am SO with you on this one. I just don’t understand why some people feel they are better than everyone else so the rules aren’t for them! Good for you on the kinnear. The weenie deserves it.

  159. People watch movies on ipods? Really? (I admit I am a complete Luddite, so this is news to me.)
    You mean they watch a movie on those little 2 inch screens?
    Do they revel in the the full cinematic experience? Do they enjoy the SurroundSound environment?
    They must have much better eyesight than I. I wouldn’t even bother trying.

  160. I once watched a passenger argue with a flight attendant about turning her cell phone off and refraining from texting during landing. I was flying home from a year in Russia. The young woman was Russian and pretending not to understand even though she was texting in English and I had heard her speaking perfectly fluent English earlier. Anyway, I had been in Russia for a year, so I was still in Russian mode (older Russian women are not shy about telling you exactly what you are doing wrong in their never humble opinions), so I bitched at her (in Russian), loudly, to turn her damn phone off. The sharp tone of my voice made other passengers who hadn’t noticed the ruckus to this point turn and look. She gave me the evil eye, but did it. Sometimes one just has to screw up one’s courage and tell the “nice girl” inside to f*&^ off for a few moments. It’s taken me a long time to learn this, but it’s been worth it. Anyway, I’m sorry you had such a stressful flight!

  161. Ahhh…totally with you on the rule following and silent seething. It probably says something about me how delighted I am that you kinneared and blogged him!

  162. Say something next time, even if it goes against all your ‘be nice’ interior thought processes. You will feel better and stand straighter when you call weenies like this out and point out their weenie-ness. I promise. I’ve had to pull of those sort of punches and when I do, there is always a woman who comes up to me afterwards and says “I wish I could do that”.
    So do it for those who won’t do it for themselves. You’ll feel better.

  163. I just goggled kinneared to try to explain it to my husband. And there it is in the Urban Dictionary with credits to you for coining the verb! Way to go!

  164. Rule-follower–you? Really? I recall that once you jaywalked across the Congress Avenue bridge in Austin just to see some stinky bats. Remember?
    But I would never rat you out.

  165. “Thank you for reminding me that our lives outside our houses are not private and there are things I wouldn’t want published on the net. Nose picking comes to mind.”
    Ahem. Yes, excellent reminder. I’ve taken note of it.
    I live in PEI and every summer I go to the beach and watch the offspring of select overfed, under-civilized yuppies jump over fences and wreak havoc on our protected seaside dunes. It absolutely fries my ass! Last year, I just lost it and totally screamed (out loud, to be heard over a crowd of about 100 people) at the 13 year old I caught doing it. The little cretin actually had the nut sac to talk back to me!
    Oooooohhhh no you didn’t!
    Let’s just say, it felt pretty good humiliating him (where the bleep are the parents, anyway?), but I’ve decided that it just isn’t worth it. I go to the more expensive beaches now so that I don’t have to deal with the crowds. Easier on my heart.

  166. Poop for brains — especially at his age. Generally, Steph, you are much too nice a person. Maybe it’s all the years I spent practicing law and in a court room. Maybe it’s being in my mid-40s. I would have been in the Dude’s face telling him my next step would have been to find the air marshall on board (usually the dude who looks like he just left the marine corps) and if that didn’t work, I’d probably threaten to place the Ipod where the sun don’t shine. I have little tolerance for fools.

  167. jasus! I was totally imagining him as some young guy with baseball hat on sideways and chock full of attitude…but this guy’s got the middle age pot going on!
    You never can tell, can you?

  168. wait? wouldn’t you have to have your cell phone ON during a banned time, in order to kinnear him misbehaving? tsk tsk

  169. This person is rude. He may not have been causing disruption to the navigational system, etc., but he obviously heard and ignored the request. I think you were wise in NOT saying anything to him. Afterall, if he was so enthralled with “The Family Guy” then my guess is that he would hardly be reasonable or amiable to suggestions. In fact, he probably would have been loud, beligerent and downright nasty to travel next to. Pick and choose your battles… and if that doesn’t work then order a beer! Cheers!

  170. I am TOTALLy like that!~ I flew back from NYC 2 weeks and and there was a young teenager flying sort of by herself, at least seperated from her fam. It was like none of the rules, what-so-ever, applied to her. Wandering around during take-off and landing, no belt on ever etc etc. Drove me INSANE!
    I also believe in the karma principle that if you don’t follow the easy rules, it will come back to bite you in the ass. (Like the $500 parking ticket, very funny!)

  171. I used to be shy about stuff like this, but no more. I have become a shit-disturber.
    i would have asked him to turn it off and, if he didnt, I would have called the attendant. each time he started again.
    I just can’t take these selfish sods anymore!
    Have fun in Chicago, my favourity US city.

  172. Hey Stephanie, yeah, I can totally understand you on that. I’m the same type of person as you are. I generally do what I’m told to do….and it drives me absolutely nuts to see other people ignoring it and get away with it. But at the same time, I won’t dare say anything to the rule breaker. Good that you kinneared him and outed him here.

  173. Stephanie – you are clearly a much more sane person than I am. I wouldn’t have been tempted to “snatch it from his hands and smash it into a million bits”. I would have been fantasizing about my own in flight entertainment, which likely would consist of about wrapping the cord around his neck, pulling tightly and then perhaps offering the ends to my other seat neighbours. Since he won’t play by the rules of cvilized behaviour and insists on his right to imperil those around him, he has broken the social contract and we should not have to behave in a way that protects his safety.
    Okay. Maybe that’s just my hormones talking. My cramps have cramps and my DH is being supportive, so perhaps I’m just taking it out on your fellow traveler. Maybe a less extreme form of justice is called for.
    How about this: It would serve him right to be seated directly in front of a toddler with ADHD who really likes to kick on his next flight (and all his flights thereafter, at least until he learns to behave himself).

  174. I hate that, too. I don’t think I would have been able to sit there and not say anything. Or, I would have pressed “I need help” button and pointed it out to the flight attendant. What a jerk!

  175. Yeah it’s not fair.
    Did you ever notice that people like this never get caught. Pretty much do as they please without any sort of repercussion.
    But let a person who follows rules try it. What happens? Totally busted.
    No, not fair at all.
    He needs to be the poster boy for what not to do on a plane. Would so serve him right.
    And the whole time I was reading this, I was hoping you’d do exactly what you did. Thanks.

  176. Or maybe he’s terrified of flying, and must bury himself in his cartoon to distract and calm himself. I do it with books and knitting, but I can totally understand using video instead.
    It’s also possible he recognizes there is exactly no risk — terrorists wouldn’t need to plant bombs or take over planes with weapons, if there were — and sees himself as resisting a pointless restriction on our liberty, and hoping to encourage others to resist as well.
    Focusing on either one of those explanations might help your sanity and your blood pressure.
    It’s kind of like telling yourself “well, maybe he’s rushing to a sick spouse who isn’t answering the phone” when someone cuts you off in traffic and drives like a jerk. It might be true, and it might not, but focusing on an explanation that lets you feel compassion, rather than fury, helps. At least, I feel a lot better when I remember to do that.

  177. I’m the type of person who says what they think. It comes out before I can stop myself.
    I would have been the “Dude, put that away.” kind of person.
    And yes, my mouth gets me in trouble – a lot.

  178. Steph, a shout out: YOU ROCK.
    I love that you kinneared him.
    I would have probably told him to knock it off, but then again, who knows.
    Flying brings out the worst in me, oh, the Humanity of it all! I admire you for how much of it you have to do. I’d be very bad at your job.
    Have a great weekend, enjoy Chi-Town! I miss it.
    And yes, I still want White Castle.

  179. Don’t you hate it when you think of different things you could have done AFTER the fact?
    Like…accidentally stabbed him with knitting needles or told him he was a weenie to his face whilst taking his picture…
    next time push the little button and tell airline attendant weenie man has his ipod on. THAN take his picture. It’s a shame you couldn’t get his whole face on your camera…

  180. I’m exactly the same way. And here is why.
    My job requires that I have to tell people when they are doing something wrong. I am the enforcer of a lot of rules. So when someone knows the rules and still doesn’t follow them, it is disrespectful. If you know the rules and don’t follow them you are making me take time out of my life to tell you to do something, that as an adult, you already know you are supposed to do, it is disrespectful to me and my time. And I try to be very respectful of others and their time. And even though I don’t always show it, it is stressful. Confrontation on any level is stressful and I don’t personally need anyone adding stress to my life. So when I see others breaking the rules, big or small, I feel bad for the person who has to tell them to stop.

  181. I’m with you on the rules-abiding front and the frustrated-to-insanity-with-people-who-don’t-abide-by-the-rules-and-get-away-with-it. Well, at least the weenie got what was coming to him now, thanks to you! πŸ™‚

  182. Dude is a weenie and King Baby. What an entitled putz. However, you have a wonderful time in Chicago, I am sure Chicago-knitters are waiting with baited needles.

  183. My husband almost go into a fight with a guy who wouldn’t turn off his laptop when we were about to land. We lived, so it turned out the “almost fistacuffs” were not worth it.
    I realize this has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me, but I thought I’d share.
    I’m just glad your plane didn’t crash so you can keep on making me giggle when I sneak a peek at your blog while I’m at work. Thanks for that, by the way.

  184. Dude is so totally a weenie. I hate when people think they are entitled to do what they want, not what is asked of everyone. My persoanl weenie thing? Dudes who drive up the right merge lane to get ahead a couple of cars. Hate ’em.

  185. Hahaha! I’m just enough of a jerk to have said something to the guy. :-> Your restraint was admirable.

  186. There is a time for rule breaking. The Civil Rights Movement comes to mind.
    This is one of them. It’s called good manners and consideration for your fellow human beings and the planet. Oh, and human decency not to get your fellow fliers killed. Or even just way stressed out.
    Weenie is way, way too kind in my book.

  187. This so happened to me once. And the beauty of being in your 50s is you simply don’t care any more about propriety, especially when you think it your life at stake. I just leaned over my travel companion into the aisle and said, “HEY, turn that off.” And he did. BTW, if anyone deserved to be kinneared it was him! Good work.

  188. You totally should’ve said, in a nice, polite Canadian way, “Excuse me, sir? Can you please explain to me why the rules apply to everyone on this plane except you?”
    Or, just taken out your knitting and ‘accidentally’ poked him a couple of times! πŸ˜›
    Seriously, I admire your restraint, I don’t know that I could’ve handled it as well as you did.

  189. “Dude was probably an engineer who knew that what he was doing would not affect the behaviour of the plane. And most engineers think they are special.”
    Oh you hit the nail on the head! That is precisely how my DH thinks and he is an engineer. What is it with these men?

  190. Ok…You are probably one of the nicest people to fly with. How come you didn’t take one of your magical dpns and stick it where he would feel it for a while, along with a, “Did I disturb you from your intellectually stimulating show that’s going to change the world even though we’re landing and it won’t matter if you crash this plane?”
    Yeah, it was probably better that you were sitting beside him instead of me.

  191. It is really very unlike me to take such a stance. So at the risk of making myself very unpopular…
    …I have skimmed the last half page of messages, and so I may have missed someone already saying this but – whatever happened to quietly leaning over and asking him to put it away?
    That way, letting him know that his behaviour is unacceptable and is not to be tolerated?
    Or just leaning over to confess very quietly that unless he puts it away that you will feel compelled to request steward assistence to deal with his lack of adherence to the rules.
    Then if he ignores you – do it and let the trained staff deal with him?
    We put up with a lot of nonsense from others when we travel. However, when you buy a ticket, you agree to the carrier’s T&Cs – bet this point is in there somewhere.
    I am not confrontational (generally). However, it is worth bearing in mind that by remaining silent – albeit seething, he made you complicit in his actions, bad behaviour and if something had gone wrong, you could have been in the wrong for not bringing his actions to the attentions of the cabin crew?
    What’s worse – the above…
    …or dealing with the mild embarassment of sorting out a single person that you are unlikely to ever see again?
    After all, the rules were clear and announced in two languages. You understood them. He demonstrated that he knew what the rules were from his behaviour when the stewardess came round.
    Today Naomi Campbell was sentenced to 200 hours of community service for bad behaviour on an aircraft – the bottom line is that there is no excuse for bad behaviour on an airplane – from anyone.
    Flaunting the rules in clear view underlined his lack of respect for you, the other passengers and the crew – who are there to work, not put up with childish passengers who think that they are above the rules. Not to mention the fact that there will be a reason, even if it is a very overcautious one, for the rule. His actions could have compromised the safety of the aircraft.
    Perhaps it irritates me because I live under a flightpath – every 2 minutes a plane flies over my house. On every plane someone could be breaking the rules because they think that they can get away with it.
    Frankly, nothing that is on their iPod is worth many tonnes of aircraft crashing through my roof.
    My apologies for taking an opposing view an’ all.

  192. I’m with you. It’s a simple request that 99% of the people on the plane were complying with.
    Come on, he’s that addicted to his silly cartoon??

  193. I’m right there with you. I have to fly tomorrow and if there is anyone who is leaving their phone/laptop/gameboy/ipod on I will totally do what you did… flip out mentally and not say a word.
    I’m pretty much a rule follower as well (I think this comes from all that “Obey the rules” stuff they drilled in our heads in elementary school). I even hate it when my co-workers don’t come to staff luncheons. I mean, the world’s not going to end because they didn’t show up but it’s an unspoken that *you should be there.*
    Oh, and that dude is totally old enough to know better.

  194. I think the major reason for not allowing electronic equipment that doesn’t emit any sort of signals (like ipods or walkmans) while take-off and landing is because you risk your own safety by not being focused on what happens. that, in turn of course means that you risk other people’s safety too – but the plane isn’t going to go haywire and crash because an ipod is on (mobile phones without flight-safe modes and radio-like equipment, I’m not so sure about)…

  195. My dream is that he knows or is related to someone who reads your blog. And that that person totally rips him to shreds. That would be sweet.

  196. OK Missy, before you go flying again. . . make up a sign to stick into your carry-on. One side says “Turn it off” – on the other side it says “Rule Breaker”. Then when the idiot sitting near you isn’t following the “turn it off” rule you can pull out your sign and shove it at him/her. If that doesn’t work, then turn the sign around and wave it in the aisle toward the flight attendant. Provbably wouldn’t hurt to make a small sign that said “idot” that you can stick on this persons back as they are leaving the plane. This all may not do a bit of good, but it surely will make you feel better. What do you think?

  197. About a dozen years ago a flight attendant asked me to turn off my CD player. I told him it was off (and it was), and he accused me of being a liar. I was still wearing the headphones, but nothing was on. I was not nice to him, but he was not nice to me first. I wish he’d been on your flight to deal with this guy.

  198. πŸ˜€ Wow, I am so with you! I go more nuts over breaking the rules qua breaking the rules that whatever the (minor) infingment is. That seems to be the general problem with being a grown-up is that there is no one who enforces those small rules that make the world neat and orderly…

  199. You are my hero with the Kinnearing! I think I would have to call a flight attendant and say, “I’m sorry but this person is making me very nervous with his electronic device. I feel unsafe and would like him to turn it off. Did he make it through security with this? Really??” And then pull my knitting needles out and consider poking him, but instead go with knitting quietly. (Hey, if ‘they’ can be pushy to get their unfounded needle-phobic point across, I can pushy to get my rule-follower point across!)

  200. I either flew with this guy or his brother about 4 months ago. My guy was using his cell phone and telling his assistant what needed to be done. When the announcement came on – he kept talking – the attendant told him to stop – he hid the phone under his leg and kept talking – she came by again – he started texting down by his leg. IDIOT!
    What did I do – mentally complained and muttered to myself

  201. What? You didn’t have a couple of knitting needles handy? You know, SHARP knitting needles? I would have been tempted to dole out a little poke or two, myself. You know, all accidental, like.

  202. I’m freakin’ out for you right here on my couch! I’m not sure I could’ve contained myself though… the whole fear of flying and death thing probably would’ve exceeded any self-composure I try to maintain.
    I don’t know what the whole electronics thing is about but clearly the dude has never seen LOST. Great picture though.

  203. honest to god! my anxiety level was rising just READING about this…this… RULE NON-OBEYER!!! aaarrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhh.
    i just can’t cope with this type of egocentric A-HOLE behaviour!!! ok, i need to go do some deep breathing work now.

  204. I totally get both your frustration with this twit and your reluctance to speak to him directly about his behaviour. I struggle with similar situations myself.
    There is something to be said about the value of shame and its usefulness in promoting basic standards of polite behaviour. Too bad it is atrophying from lack of use.

  205. I agree with Stine, make a sign and make a show! You could stand and point. And I think I would write out a note that you could just pass to the person that says “How would you feel if your functioning electronic device brings down this plane? Turn it off, please.”
    I think I would have had to restrain myself from pulling it off him and tossing it to a flight attendant!

  206. I too am a rule-follower, and that stuff drives me nuts. Reading your post, I was sure you were sitting next to my brother-in-law, who pulls this crap all the time (he also will put his ipod on and sit in the middle of a family gathering being as obviously antisocial as is humanly possible, while ignoring the fact that his children are trashing my house). But then I saw the picture, and he’s not nearly fat enough or ugly enough, so it’s not him.

  207. A.) weenie
    B.) I heart Stargate! I have a bunch of Atlantis’s tivo’d to watch. Yay SciFi!

  208. What a weenie! At least if you are going to break a rule and/or maybe put someone in jeopardy or something do it for a worthy cause, not some dorky cartoon like Family Guy. DO break the rules if it means standing up for someone, or protesting war etc., or smacking the hell out of jerks like him! DON’T do it for something completely WORTHLESS! And DON”T break the rules on a PLANE…..

  209. Dude, a little more face so we could have thrown old, broken dps at him if we ever have to sit next to him on a plane. Sadly, he’s not the only person who thinks the rules don’t apply to him.

  210. JERK! A whole generation of “entitlement” out there! They think-it doesn’t apply to me and their parents tell them that in so many ways – it couldn’t be their fault(my child is perfect and if I tell my child “NO” it will smash their self esteeM).
    I see this every day in the schools ( my job), in the work place(if you weren’t here I wouldn’t have to wait on you syndrome)and in the lack of manners this generation has. Sometimes I fear for the future of the world.
    Parents do the world a favor-teach your kid to respect others and their rules and property, teach them to take responsibility for their actions, and teach them a little guilt-it’s good for the soul and for the kids karma.
    And, Steph, next time just say,”hey Buddy, turn it off — or it’s mine.”– the greatest teacher line ever!

  211. I agree wholeheartedly with this. I go completely postal at these little breaches of civility BECAUSE it’d be so easy to follow them, and takes effort to go against them [he had to actively hide that thing].
    My husband, who is American, [I’m Canadian] notes that the physical rudeness is less prevalent in the US, because people might just shoot you if you elbow them in the grocery store. He’s kidding. But people gave me far more personal space when I lived in Seattle.

  212. I used to run a food pantry where almost every client felt the rules should not apply to them because they were in some way special and exceptions should be made for them. And yes, we are all special, in our own way, but not so special that we don’t have to follow the rules.
    I, like you, follow the rules and expect others to do the same. And as I watch civility and respect for others decline at an alarming rate, I can’t help but think rule following is one of the things that keeps chaos from erupting.
    Proud of you for kinnearing him. At least you took a small stand for humankind, and who knows where that picture might lead.

  213. Mythbusters totally nailed this one. Anybody who doesn’t see this as a risk is truly a selfish weiner.

  214. funny, i expected him to be an 17-19 yr old based on his scowling and sneaking around.
    language barrier aside, he’s old enough to know better.
    i’m proud of your restraint. next time, i suggest you totally use that line “DUDE, OFF TIME!” because that’s hilarious. hahahaha

  215. Just so you know, I think the rule is there so that IF something should go wrong, you can hear the instructions and be saved. (Which means that the maximum penalty for not turning it off is the death penalty.)

  216. You are not the only person like that. I would have been shooting daggers out of my eyes too, especially since he had the bad taste to be watching The Family Guy. Your show had a lot more class and is one of my favorites to knit to.

  217. I wish I could be more up front with people who tick me off. So when I take the dude’s picture and he asks what I am doing I could say “Oh, I just want to post it on my blog. Today I am writing about arseholes.”

  218. Here’s my game plan for when I become Queen; everyone is assigned a paintball gun with red paint. Should someone misbehave in the manner you described, or misbehaves in general (I’m not making any new rules up – lets just use the ones we have for now), you are allowed, no, required, to shoot his/her once with the paintball gun.
    When a person has accumulated 10 splats on his body they are immediately vaporised from the planet and therefore freeing up much needed “green” space and leaving more oxygen for the “common” man.
    I think that would solve the problem perfectly!
    Tora in Chagrin Falls, Ohio

  219. *That’s* the guy? Seriously? He’s old enough to know better. I thought the guy you were describing was a teenage punk. Hmph.

  220. You go, girl!!! I’ve wanted to do something like this for years. I follow the rules. Why don’t other people? I mean, we even give up our bamboo circulars if the flight attendant tells us. Jerk!

  221. UGH, he’s more than a weenie. I can’t stand it when people think they are above the rules. I’m glad you Kinneared him, now he’ll have lots of angry knitters on the lookout for him.

  222. I have a bunch of things in my car (iPod, Garmin navigator, radar detector, phone) and the compass on the radar detector needs to be reset if any of the electronics changes.
    It has to figure out the various magnetic fields in conjunction with the earth’s magnetic field in order to figure out which way is north.
    So, it may not be unreasonable for passengers to need to turn their stuff off.
    I’ve had to reset it when moving it from car to car — the combination of things is different enough to change north to east.

  223. Totally concur.
    Like, ok, I have enough problem getting OFF the ground. Let’s not complicate things with morons who don’t play by the rules. Kill; kill nasty bad man watching iPod. Kill.

  224. This is just the type of behaviour that causes the gov’t to step in and waste their time making more stingent rules for us to live by. The people that really believe that rules do not apply to them are egotists of the universe that spoil it ALL for everyone else. Why do we have to put up with this behaviour and say nothing. I would have , I’m afraid, said something to this person and if I got a rude reply I would have moved to a different seat if possible or at least told the poweres to be . Can you tell from this that I get all upset when I have to fly ? Are our “”machines “” really worth a plane getting the wrong signals from the tower on take off or landing ? As I say often enough “”Machines are going to be the death of us all one day” Good for you to kinnear him.

  225. A lot of times rules are there for safety reasons and as you said civility. There is nothing wrong with wanting people to behave decently.

  226. I totally expected to see a picture of a nineteen or twenty year old not a forty to fifty year old man! At that age he definitely knows better. Freaking out=justifiable.
    All I gotta say is that if there is a God, karma, or whatever anyone else believes in, the “dude’s” wife is a knitter and will ream him good when she sees this. To that woman I say, “you go girl”.

  227. And I’m sure he was the middle-aged mid-life-crisis type of guy who thinks the world revolves around him.
    I am totally with you! Rules are there for a reason. No one has a god-given right to fly, so if you can’t obey the rules they should throw your stupid arse off the plane and ban you from any other public interaction.

  228. But didn’t you have to turn your electronic camera on to take a picture of him?
    I mean, I woulda done the same thing, but it does prove that there are point at which even the best-behaved are willing to break the rules.
    Unless you knew, and pegged him, and took the photo in-flight!

  229. You go girl! Kinnearing him was exactly the right thing to do. Let’s all look out for this jerk with the double chin and the green shirt.

  230. I also have the nice expensive noise-canceling headphones and you’re right. They are worth every last penny, in spades. That said, I turn off all my electronics for take-off and landing, but I always leave said headphones on my head and (sometimes leave them turned on). But yeah. Watching Family Guy is yet another illustration of the I Am More Important Than The Rules society that gives me hives on a regular basis. Grrr …

  231. Holy crap! I thought the guy you were talking about was about 12 years old! Don’t know why but perhaps the way you were describing his behaviour, I assumed he was a young kid who was just being “rebellious”!!! This guy is supposedly an adult!!!!

  232. I love the way you operate – just wish you could have shown his face and plastered his photo all over the place. Can’t stand these people who think the rules apply to everyone else.

  233. …….and if he has children, he is teaching them that obeying the rules is only for other people…or maybe he is teaching them that rules are only for people that care……pretty sad in any event……

  234. Really, for the life of me, why do some airlines exclude knitting needles and still like buttheads like that fella on the plane.
    Kinnear, baby, Kinnear!!!

  235. I was expecting a teenager! Not a grown man! Dude’s a grown man watching Family Guy on an iPod and can’t follow the rules. I bet his maturity level is the size of his big toe.

  236. I’m with you all the way. They are flying me in an airplane, and I have no control over the flying but I can do as they ask, assuming they know some reason I should do it.
    When we think that the rules are only for other people? Usually rules have a basis in some sort of fact even if only necessary some of the time. It’s scary when anyone is that self-centered in the face of possible safety issues!
    I personally want to help the flight team do the best job possible. And get me there safely. Not crazy at all.
    What makes me nuts is that people like that can own my thoughts for hours, even days, and be oblivious… where I wasn’t a blip on their radar for even a microsecond. How they can own my brain space forever (or so it seems) is where *my* crazy part comes in.
    I think part of the crazy is wishing I had the guts to speak up. Except clearly speaking up wouldn’t help and would perhaps make one feel even more impotent than before speaking. I think.
    OK, will shut up now…

  237. I always seem to sit by the jerk who not only leaves his electronics on during takeoff but also has to put his seat back. And it’s almost always a really BIG guy, who happens to be balding with a flakey scalp. Seriously. That’s the reason I hate to fly so much.
    I would have flipped out the same way you did, good for you! LOL

  238. Sadly, this happens near me on the planes ALL the time. They keep stuff on, they don’t put the heavy computer bags in the bulkhead area away, on and on. But let me keep an extra bag of yarn out, and they’re all over me. Last night…mr. 300+#’s kept playing all flight with a pair of bright red Victoria Secret’s underwear falling out of his pocket while copying EVERYthing I did on the plane, except for my knitting.
    I am convinced the flights into LAX are filled with all the weirdos.
    Your “dude” has a lot of company on a lot of other airlines. And that’s a very sad thing to know.
    OH, and Naomi Campbell didn’t get jail time for her ‘behavior’ in London on a plane. Oh, so much wrong with that!

  239. Dude.Was.Watching.”FamilyGuy”. Need.We.Say.More?
    Not only that, from the kinneared photo, Dude was also: A. Older than 35..more like 45, B. Seriously in need of exercise. Fits the FG image, okay.
    Dude HAD to be American…we, as a country, have an awfully lot of real thoughtless, nay, RUDE, people who simply MUST entertain themselves with electronics.My guess is he is a Californian…..so am I and if he is on a flight with me, I WILL tell him in no uncertain terms. So.There.Self-Centered Dude!

  240. He is the same guy I follow who throws trash out his car window. His mentality matches what he is watching on his ipod!

  241. I’m all for breaking rules. But break the ones that matter. The ones that make a difference.
    Someone commented to me at work that I wasn’t plugged into an ipod like everyone else. My response is that I enjoy being present. If I want to listen to music, I’ll listen to music. While I’m working, I work. Even at the most mundane tasks.
    By the way, on the plane, I’m the one with a plan to take out a would-be terrorist with an airline supplied magazine or a ball point pen. Did you consider what could have been done with his earphone cord?

  242. I was on a plane landing in Houston several years ago – we landed without incident but as we taxied up to the gate, the pilot came on and in a VERY angry tone said that he could tell that a number of passengers were already using their cell phones and they were to turn them off NOW until we were at the gate. So they must have the capability to tell when electronic devices are on… I have also flown with the person sitting in front of me using his cell phone throughout the flight, but hiding it whenever a flight attendant was near. I really think it’s the “it’s all about me” rule for those folks.

  243. hmmm, first I was thinking, “well, she’s Canadian and polite so of course won’t say anything to the weenie” but then, you got into this thing about how you follow rules, and really, I cannot follow. How many patterns have you deconstructed and reconstructed? How about the rule that knitting girls don’t make a living writing about it? Or, marrying your man when you damn well please? Weenie broke the rules, and that is not good, but you, my dear harlot, are a different sort of rule breaker, a better sort of rule breaker to my way of thinking, and we all love you for it. Just my perspective though… could be the wine…

  244. Dude–were you allowed to knit on the flight? That’s really what I want to know, because, seriously, if you weren’t allowed to knit, and Mr. Kinneared Asshat got be ‘all about me’ then I hope he sees himself through our eyes.
    I watched mythbusters, though, and I’m pretty sure their conclusion was that there is a possibility that electronics can leak through their communication system, but it doesn’t happen often. And as for the ‘leaning over’ and quietly asking him to put that away–I recall when you were being asked to put your knitting needles away. You did it–you’re a classy person that way. Seeing this prickweenie being a fool probably didn’t inspire you to an ‘event free’ quiet request.

  245. I’ve read and enjoyed your blog for a long time, but have never posted any comments. Usually, when I read your posts, I think “That’s awesome! I totally agree!” But I must admit, that I just don’t understand this one. I’m generally a rule-follower, but not just because someone said so. I have to ask why? Why should I follow your rule? If someone can’t explain to me why (or I can’t figure it out for myself), I might just decide to ignore that rule. I turn off my electronics on a flight when I’m supposed to because I’ve decided that if something bad happens, I want to be paying attention and be able to respond quickly. The most likely time for something bad to happen? Take-off and landing. I don’t follow the rule because someone told me to. And I don’t drink and drive because I could get hurt and hurt someone else, not because I might get caught.
    I’m generally a rule-follower not because someone says so, but because I’ve decided that a particular course of action is a good choice for me. So when I break a rule, it’s not because I have bad manners (which I don’t think that I do) or I don’t care about other people (I most definitely do care), but because I’ve decided that not following that rule is not a bad decision. For instance, I speed when I drive. Not excessively. Not when I’m passing a playground filled with children. I don’t weave in and out of traffic on the highway. I’ve never even been pulled over. When I go 5 MPH over the speed limit, I only do it when I’m not endangering myself or others by doing it.
    So, I put a plea out there for mercy for the rule-breakers who make rational decisions about which rules to follow and which to break. And please don’t say that this man has bad manners. He made not have realized that he was inconveniencing anyone. Maybe if you had said something, he would have felt really bad about stressing you out so much. I certainly would have if I were him. I also haven’t ruled out the possibility that he is indeed a weenie with bad manners, but I don’t think that that judgment should be passed because he didn’t turn his iPod off during landing.
    I do feel awful that you were put under so much stress during your flight to Chicago. I will keep your story in mind the next time I decide to break a rule. I hope that you enjoy your time in Chicago (my hometown!), and you have a stress-free flight home. I look forward to hearing all about it in your next post.

  246. He’s also hogging the arm rest! Dude! He deserves a smack upside the head with my hand-knitted bullet-proof sweater!!

  247. Yes, if you are going to expend energy breaking rules, make it matter. Fight real injustice, not “I want what I want forget everyone else.” As a teacher and a parent, this story hacks my chain. We are all role models whether we like it or not. These days more and more people are doing what THEY want and influencing others to do the same. No one seems to think about others any more.
    This guy is a twit. Family Guy is heinous. Am I drawing too broad a conclusion when I say today’s entertainment options have a lot to do with the growth of the asshat population?

  248. Well, I’m easily annoyed by people who don’t follow the rules, and not the sort to keep it to myself. My standard line in situations like this is, “So, I’ll bet your mommy told you you were special and you actually believed it, huh? That explains why you don’t think the rules apply to you.” I once made a grown man CRY in a parking lot after he rudely and deliberately stole the parking space I had been waiting for. In my own defense, I had a toddler and a new baby screaming in the car and had been searching for a spot for a really long time, but even my long-suffering husband was astounded.

  249. Yep, I practically break out in hives at the suggestion of breaking a rule or not doing what I’m supposed to do. I think this comes from my being the elder spawn in my family and looking outside of myself for direction.
    I also really like Family Guy.

  250. I am totally with you. I think you have expressed my reaction completely. It’s not fun to feel that way or to feel powerless.

  251. I read your blog everyday and own everyone of your terrific books, but I’ve never made a comment
    until today. I, too, am a terminally well behaved person and I so related to everything you said about the ipod guy. Your solution was better than anything you could have said to him on the flight!

  252. If he were sitting next to me, I, too, would have been completely mental. How is it he thinks he’s so special that the rules don’t apply to him? Mainly because I have no self-control and do enjoy confrontations with obviously stupid people, I would have had to tell him to turn it off and put it away. Because if he didn’t do it himself, I’d be doing it for him, and he wouldn’t like where I’d be putting that iPod.

  253. This post really hit a nerve with me. Last night someone smashed out the rearview mirror of my van. Just a random attack. No good reason. I wasn’t specifically targeted. Just some sh*t head who gets his/her jollies by ruining someone else’s possessions. Same sort of feelings I have for rule breakers.
    I also must apologize for automatically thinking that your story revolved around an arrogant YOUNG man. That photo is not of a young man at all. Someone that age “should know better”.

  254. Why Stephanie, I do believe you need to take a better look at that picture. I would imagine that when you kinneard this shot you missed your 20-something subject altogether and instead took a picture of a mild, middle aged gentleman KNITTING. Look at the way he is holding his hands and the white yarn coming away from them! Obviously he has just started a project using a circular needle! (Must not be a sock, however, as he doesn’t appear to be using the magic loop method.)

  255. hmpfff………dude is fat as well. maybe from sitting his arse watching cartoons.

  256. Girl! Don’t get me started! I’m also not the best of fliers. And, with persons who ignore the rules, makes you kind of crazy. Thank heavens, God watches over fools.

  257. That is pretty damn rude. My husband (he’s an AME for a local airline) says that some of the older, small airplane’s instrumentation can be affected by the signals electronics like handhelds use to connect to the internet and satellite signals, however the commercial airliners won’t be affected by them unless something is already wrong and then they wouldn’t be flying.
    That doesn’t make the guy less rude or thoughtlessly selfish, just that his inability to comprehend how annoying he was behaving won’t be the death of you.

  258. Ah well… from what I’ve seen/noticed/done myself, it doesn’t make much of a difference, but I suppose on the off chance that one person’s ipod is one and thus causes the entire aircraft to spontaneously explode, I can see the point.
    Honestly? I left my cell phone on and didn’t realize until I got off the plane. Then I promptly got 2 new voicemails and a text.
    I think he and I, when I’m in the right mood (or wrong if you want to look at it that way), follow the same school of thought: If it hurts no one, it doesn’t matter. Pointless rules = waste of time/effort.

  259. I think y’all are a bit nuts. I save my wrath for the fart heads that make up such stupid rules for the fun of it. ALERT: Cell phones don’t interfere with medical equipment or cause gas pumps to blow up. And IPODS don’t crash planes. Get mad at the idjits who spread this fearmongering crap.

  260. Why are people so down on Family Guy? It’s one of the best shows on television–which isn’t saying much, I’ll admit.

  261. The guy is indeed a weenie. But not necessarily for breaking the rules. He’s a weenie because he watched Family Guy.
    I used to be a good girl rules follower. Now that I’m bearing down on 40, I’m breaking rules and loving it! I do follow rules that make sense or that are for safety, but I will totally break nonsense rules. You should try it. It’s very freeing.
    Psychologically speaking, getting angry at a rule breaker usually indicates anger at oneself for being too afraid and meek to break the rules. Once you start doing it, instead of seething when other people break rules, you’ll be cheering them on.
    Come over to the dark side. πŸ™‚

  262. Good Lord, your story made me get all squirmy in my seat, I was uncomfortable just reading it! I wouldn’t have the guts to say anything either but I would have mentally wished him… a terrible day, or some other polite Canadian hex…

  263. A lot of people are more comfortable when the people around them follow the rules: It makes life easier for all of us. Having said that (and once having been a control freak myself), I wonder how many of us recognize the need to feel secure by managing our surroundings? Especially at 30,000 feet? (Raises hand)But, I would be the last person on the face of God’s green earth to deny anyone the right to behave like a selfish jerk if they see fit. It just reminds me how far I have to go to become a better person.

  264. Oh yeah, almost forgot….I LOVE YOUR BOOKS! You are one funny, talented lady and you crack me up. I just bought a copy of ‘Things I Learned About Knitting’. Your books are great and I like that they fit into my knitting bag so they are easy to share with my knitting and non-knitting friends. (The meetup group I just joined is considering taking turns reading aloud from your books while we knit at meetings.)

  265. Could someone please clue in Maddy that cell phones CAN interfere w/medical equipment? Or would Maddy like to talk to the RN who had to look for the idiot who had their cell phone on when my husband was in the Cardiac Care Unit and was screwing up the monitors he was on?

  266. I hate when people leave their electronics on during takeoff/landing too! I am totally freaking that something horrible is going to happen. Why can’t people just turn their electronics off for two freaking minutes? Why?

  267. Like BarbaraM I followed rules until the day I was physically assaulted and I started to fight like a wildcat and then stopped and apologized for being rude. It’s painful to think about how deeply socialized to be nice I was, but it changed me. I follow the rules that make sense to me and I follow the rules that make for a smoother society now. I guess I’m a situationally ethical person.
    Oh, I want Marin to call the police and turn the guy in for parking in front of a hydrant. That will cure him.
    I love that you kinneared the guy. I admire you for restraining yourself, because my fear of flying would have caused me to go insane on him. I would have been the one endangering everyone with my freak, and I know the purplish seeming calm that happens before the freak. Blog humiliation is totally assertive, if you ask me.

  268. Too bad there wasn’t an air marshal on the flight. That ipod wouldn’t have seen the light of day!
    Perhaps you could turn him into homeland security?

  269. I… don’t turn off my ipod during liftoff and landing. So maybe I’m a selfish jerk, but I never realized that people care so much about a thing that seems perfectly harmless to me (but I think I might revise my choice next time I fly). And now maybe I’m sounding a bit self-righteous, but so is everyone else in these comments.
    I guess I’m a weenie, but so is everyone else then. The world doesn’t revolve around toeing every single line there is. Then what would you guys complain about if everyone/thing followed the rules?

  270. First off, please know that I was thinking of you tonight at my knitting night, and I hope you had fun in Oaklawn. I’ll be there in a few weeks.
    Secondly, judging by the comments, you are totally with your people on this one.
    Thirdly, you totally got him back. I like the tv series Monk, about a obsessive-compulsive detective, and I remember this one episode where the FBI or some government agency asked for his help with catching this one mob guy. They promised Monk assistance in solving his wife’s murder if he helped them catch the guy. He helped them solve the case, but I think the guy got away or something, or it wasn’t even that guy who did it, but anyway, there was some loophole that the FBI dudes wrangled out of helping Monk with his wife’s murder. He’s watching them drive their white government vans away from the building, and he says to his captain, “That’s ok…I got them back.” The captain is like, “Really, how?”
    Monk says, “Those vans? One of them is completely full and the other one only has a few boxes in it.”
    Get it? OCD? The vans weren’t even. That’s how he got them back, by not telling them that they were uneven. Bless his heart.
    Side note…why didn’t you “accidentally” stab the ipod with a dpn?

  271. The guy was a dork and you got the ultimate revenge. He is publicly known as a tool. Now if only someone he knows is a knitter and a follower of your blog.
    Rule breakers need to be smacked upside the head. If you don’t like the rules of the airline… take the bus or drive yourself. I’m sure he’d be the type to sue the airline if he were injured in some mishap on a flight.

  272. I’m a big girl with a big mouth, and they would for sure know if they were ignoring the rules. As well as the other passengers, the attendants,the pilot,the air martial,and the doctor at the hospital who had to remove the ipod from Mr. Ignorants a$$ after I was done with him. πŸ™‚
    You are way to polite Steph, look at all the stress he put on you. It could have all been taken care of by pressing a button.
    I’ll be reading for the next time when you do press the button. πŸ™‚
    These are the people that I love to torture with my 20″ long straight needles…

  273. While clearly this guy is a weenie it’s less clear that he’s an engineer, as others have speculated. Frankly, we tend to have better toys. Some of us even carry our knitting on planes. And every engineer I’ve ever travelled with follows the rules.
    Now those marketing weenies are another story.

  274. Completely agree with you (of course).
    I actually got to do something about it today, though. I got on the College streetcar behind a young woman wearing a fentanyl patch (serious pain reliever – really, better than morphine) and carrying an obus-forme. Nobody gave her a seat. I asked her “shouldn’t you be sitting?” and she just shrugged and gave a tiny smile. I tapped dude that was obviously able-bodied and sitting directly in front of her and asked him nicely to move. He looked shocked, and did. As she sat down (using the obus-forme) I whispered to her “sometimes it pays to be obnoxious”. She gave me such a smile it made my day.
    But seriously? I really wanted to thump that guy on the head and say “dude, get the fuck up – she needs the seat more than you’. Obviously a weenie-relative of your guy.
    But really, better that you kept inside in this instance. I’d hate to see the headline describing an air marshal taking you down due to vociferous verbal protests of poor behaviour on the part of others.

  275. I was on a plane once with a guy in front of me who answered his phone while we were waiting to take off (and again during take-off). The minute we left the ground he jumped up and headed for the loo (seatbelt sign still on). When he returned he proceeded to recline his seat as far as he could and put his hand up over the back, and thus in my face for most of the flight.
    As we were leaving the flight, I turned to him and said, “You don’t like rules, do you.” Of course he said no…then asked how I knew. Sheesh!

  276. Oh my god, I am totally on the same wavelength with you! There are rules, we have to follow them, it’s as simple as that to me as well. Unfortunately there are crap load of people out there who don’t believe the rules pertain to them. They even think rules of PHYSICS don’t apply to them, or else why would they try to just woosh their car over to where my car is on the freeway? Part of me wishes I lived in their little fantasy world, but then I know how much their fantasy world ticks off people in the real world. I’m so glad to know it’s not just me that goes crazy in those kinds of situations. Thanks Stephanie!

  277. I’d have been tempted to stuff those little ear buds up his nostrils, but I’d guess that’d be even more of a problem. I’d have thought about it, though.

  278. I’m sorry that I’m going to be a little long winded here, but I didn’t realize until I started writing this that you had touched a nerve.
    I too tend to follow rules, but I do like to know why they are in place and who it protects. Since I lost someone in my family in a plane accident, I tend to pay attention the what the pilot and flight attendant say when I fly. My problem with people like this gentleman who was sitting next to you is this – I’m sure that he doesn’t confine his rudeness to just while he’s flying! People who tend to behave this way only look out for themselves and what they want, they don’t look at the bigger picture. They don’t care what happens to others and how their actions effect other people. They have a “Me First”, and “I’ll Make Sure I Get Mine” attitude. I think in the long run people like this tend to do more damage to society than most people think. The boys from Enron wanted to make sure that they got theirs too.
    Anyone with almost any electric gadget has at one time or another experienced electric interference. Some gadgets are more sensitive than others and some make more “noise” than others. One gadget probably won’t cause a problem. The problem is however, since you have people from all over the world flying with all sorts of gadgets that have also been made by different standards all over the world, there is potential for a unforeseen problem. I know first hand what happens when someone dies in a plane crash. It’s an awful thing for everyone involved. Airline personnel and their families, passengers families, rescue personnel all suffer after an accident occurs. When someone has a terminal illness you have a chance to work out issues and say what you need to say to them before they dies. You have a chance to say goodbye. When someone dies like this, one minute you’re telling them have a good flight and I’ll see you in a few hours, then their gone. Often it takes hours and hours until you find out if your loved one is alive or dead and often they are many miles away. Let me tell you, an hour seems like a year when you are waiting to hear what happened and if your family member is alive, severely injured, or dead. We waited about nine hours. It was one of the longest days in my life and one I’m glad that I can’t repeat. It seems to me that 10 minutes of putting aside your own personal gratification is a really small price to pay to reduce the chance of having a plane crash. Even if the odds of an electronic device causing a problem is one in several billion, seems to me that asking someone to amuse themselves in another manner for 10 minutes isn’t too much to ask. I’m glad that you Kinneared that guy. He should be really glad that I wasn’t sitting next to him. Knowing what I know, I would not have been so patient.

  279. If it would have been me, I probably wouldn’t have said anything either, but I am sure I would have felt my blood boiling and felt the need to kick him in the shin.
    I am glad he got kinneared and put on the knitting blog. πŸ™‚

  280. I am laughing and loving this blog. Any grown man watching cartoons is a weenie

  281. Um, Stephanie? I’m pretty sure it’s against the rules to use a camera on an airplane too.
    At least, they used their “bad passenger–no peanuts” voice when I did it…. :-p

  282. Ooh – maybe next time you could just say, “Excuse me, but can I take your picture so I can show the blogosphere the face of the one guy on the plane who feels the rules don’t apply to him?” Betcha he’d stop then.

    I am SO SURE he could tell he was making you nervous (as I would be too!!) and he is just a WIEEEEEEEENEEEEEERRRR!!!! End of story.

  284. There is a diagnosis for this guy, and people like him—“Entitled.”

  285. I had a similar situation a few days ago when the woman in my row did not turn off her laptop – just closed it after the stewardess told her to turn it off and then took it out again as soon as we were in the air. This must be a growing problem. So why did I not say anything and then hate myself for being such a little chicken? (I would have hated myself even more if I had said something – just can’t win) At least I had my knitting to comfort me!

  286. Wow, you touched a nerve here, didn’t you? I thought the guy would have been younger too. Maybe it was the angle of the photo that made him look paunchy and double-chinned? Serves him right.
    I work in a high school where these things are not supposed to be used. Does that stop the kids? NO. They think, in their best “if I can’t see you then you must not be able to see me” way that a hoodie over the ears renders the device invisible. You ask politely, they say “yes” and ignore you, and finally you confiscate.
    You totally should have confiscated that guy’s I-pod. Although I bet he has execrable taste in music.
    On another note, congratulations to my I-pod listening son on his graduation from high school.

  287. I once saw a flight attendant allow someone to use their cell phone on a plane, and I’m thinking the main reason is because he was a handsome actor from a daytime soap. LAME.

  288. Totally Righteous Sister…people who think the rules only apply to everyone else drive me insane!

  289. I don’t understand. You didn’t tell him to turn it off because you were afraid of his wrath? You have 3 teenager daughters. As they all seem to be lovely people you have obviously been able to deal well with tantrums over not getting their way. I’m sure you would have coped excellent well with him.
    I would have told him to turn it off and called the flight attendant if he got childish(because that’s what it is) about it. But I’m British – I tell people off who try to push into queues.

  290. A friend of mine who was a pilot explained to me a few years ago when I had the same thing happen to me is the reason for turning off all electronic devices during take off and landings is that for that period of time is the most likely that anything can go wrong with their control equipment or crashing into another plane. People need to be alert and aware of what is going on if the flight crew makes any announcements that can end up saving your life. From the way the picture looks, you were in the window seat and he had the aisle seat. That would mean that you would need to get around him if there was an emergency. You should have called the flight attendant and ask her to move your seat location for your safety right after the take off. They usually will be glad to help you with that when you tell them what your reason is.

  291. That totally happened to me on the way back from Toronto – guy has his BlackBerry on (I mean, hello, that’s basically a phone!) – I told him that he had to turn him off and that I’m a nervous flier and would realy appreciate it (and it took me about 5 minutes to work up the courage to say something, by which time we were practically in the air anyway), but back on it went as soon as I was looking the other way. People are so inconsiderate sometimes!

  292. Thank you so much for writing about this! I’m a rule-follower too and I would be freaking out if I had been in the same position!

  293. dude is not a weenie. That is enormously generous and kind. Dude is a self absorbed, ignorant, f’ing pig.
    I mean, it is not about merely the RULES. It is about the fact that we have to share the planet with people who have absolutely no clue about jack.
    These were the same people who were raised by parents who let them run through restaurants and do anything they wanted to in the name of creative expression you know.
    It is all very sad.I wish you had a really great full on photo of him. His ugly mug should be on every tv screen in the world. “If you see this man, kick him in the ass with a really pointy pair of shoes. Reward to Follow.”

  294. That guy is WAY TOO FREAKING OLD to be watching “Family Guy.” He probably wonders why he can’t get a date — your post explains why. What a jerk.
    Ugh. I need coffee now.

  295. Ah! I am not alone! This, too, annoys me to no end. As much as my rational mind knows that a cell phone or ipod can’t (can it?) take down a plane, the blatant disregard for the rules–and if the dude’s on a cell phone, the blatant disregard for his fellow passengers–is infuriating. I have always wondered why it irks me so badly. I guess it comes down to alot of self-absorbed wankers out there.

  296. Saddest thing – he doesn’t appear to be a teenager. So he actually has lived before the era of electronic-device-attached-to-one’s-head-at-all-times. What a ******* (instert favorite here).
    Incidentally, the whole “no electronics” during takeoff/landing is that devices that receive frequencies (radios, cell phones, laptops, etc) are what could interfere with the instrumentation. There’s also the attention thing – if you’re only reading a book you’ll hear any warnings the pilot gives if trouble comes up; if your hearing is obliterated by Spongebob you might be in for it.

  297. This just happened to me this week. I was freaking out – especially because the guy “hid” his blackberry when the flight attendant walked by. The fates had us sitting on the runway for an hour and I knew this guy wasn’t going to stop emailing and I-ming for a silly thing like take-off. I wrote a note to the flight attendant and then went to the restroom and passed it to them. (Then of course I worried that the passing of a note to them might make them think I was a hijacker) The flight attendant came by- made the general announcemnt again – but he was impervious… Obviously we did’t crash… but still
    I think airlines have to get serious about this stuff or give it up… I’m OK either way as I can still knit, read, nap or otherwise amuse myself….

  298. I TOTALLY follow the rules, too! And I’m starting to figure out–at the age of 39–that many, many, many people in the world do not care about anyone but themselves.

  299. The rules you are allowed to break in my book are the ones that run counter to your morality and for which you are willing to take the consequences; i.e. running an underground railroad station to shuttle erstwhile slaves from the American south to the north. The people who broke those rules were willing to go to jail or even die for their morals. Being inconvenienced by not being able to finish their episode of Family Guy probably doesn’t cut it.

  300. I feel the same away about rules, sets my blood pressure to rising. I think its the attitude of entitlement that other people feel that they don’t need to do simple things that they are asked of them.
    I was surprised to see that he wasn’t a teenager, since that’s the kind of behavior I would expect of someone young and immature. Glad you put him on the blog!

  301. I know the rule breakers are frustrating but a thought occured to me. Maybe he’s really afraid of flying and the way he deals with it is by compulsively watching cartoons.

  302. Well, I haven’t read all the comments, but based on the ones I have read, I’m the minority. Yup, dude should have turned it off. And I would have (and I’ve done it before and will do it again) taken it out of his hand and sat on it.

  303. I would of freaked out like you. He doesn’t look like a kid. So whats wrong with following a few small rules when asked? Its not a life time committment, its just for a few moments. I am guessing he loved defying the rules. ONE of those kinds.

  304. Stephanie, maybe you’ve stumbled on the solution for what to do when people are rude, impolite and behaving badly. Next time we witness something like this let’s all stop and take a photograph of the weenie in action and post it on our old pal the internet.
    If we can’t make people behave, at least we can document their bad behavior and possible shame them into rethinking their thoughtless ways!

  305. EXACT same thing happened to me last night on a flight. well, not exactly the same: it was a girl, and it was her sidekick. NOT JUST AN ELECTRONIC DEVICE – A PHONE!
    she also took up way more than her personal space and her blanket kept falling on my lap and her arm – oh, her arm! – insisted it be in contact with mine the entire flight. my arm wasn’t even on the armrest. **fuming**

  306. i am totally with you on this. i am an xray tech at a doctor’s office and i have gone to get a patient who couldn’t be bothered to get off the cell when they arrived. i walked them down the hall, into the xray room, and had them lay down on the exam table WHILE THEY WERE STILL ON THE PHONE! at that point i simply stand and stare at the phone until they hang up. dudes, it’s a doctor’s office. we’re trying to take care of YOUR health, the least you can do is hang up.

  307. Stargate???? Way to go, girl! My hubby & I just finished watching Season 10 and are waiting on the “Ark of Truth” to come in at the library. Enjoy! Of course, we already know you are a Trekkie, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise! I must say tho, that seasons 9 & 10 lose a little something w/o Jack and I’m not particularly fond of Vala or the battle with the Ori. Indeed!

  308. What I regret most is when I haven’t said what needs to be said, I finally figured out that I was the person I have to live with and to speak out, felt a whole lot better.

  309. Nervous fliers should not watch LOST. Trufax.
    Also, this would have driven me crazy, too. Honestly, dude, how hard is it to stop watching Family Guy for a few minutes? *facepalm*

  310. You did NOT overreact. Just like I don’t overreact when my husband drives across empty spaces in a parking lot instead of going around them.

  311. I think you should have started breathing really heavily and grabbed the sick bag and kind of hung your head over in his direction. Tell him that takeoffs and landings really make you nervous/dizzy/nauseous, especially when someone is engaging in life threatening behaviour in the seat right next to you! The prospect of throw-up on the iPod might have encouraged him to put it away.
    Then, if I’d been sitting in the aisle seat, which I usually am (but you probably weren’t, right?), I’d have sat there and waited until the entire plane disembarked before I got up to get my stuff. He sounds like one of those guys who has to be up and off the plane pronto, and that would drive him crazy back.

  312. A rule is a rule. I think buzzing the flight attendant and pointing out the (weenie) issue is probably the way to go, but I would have had to do something, or the diatribe going on in my head would have made it explode. I was raised to be polite, and considerate, and there’s just some point at which I’d have to DO something!

  313. I am exactly like that & I suspect that most of us rules followers are. Jerks like him rely on that fact. They KNOW we won’t say anything. Which just makes me angrier – but not likely I’ll say something anyway.

  314. Oh – I hope someone recognizes him and soon his family and friends will know he’s a jerk.

  315. This has happened to me numerous times. The problem is that the guy sitting next to me it is my husband. Makes me and my kids totally nuts too. I live in a very large, long, coastal state in the US where a number of people think that their wishes are more important than the “rules” or courtesy. My son had a high school teacher tell him that he won’t use a turn signal on his car “because it keeps the other drivers on their toes.” Yeah right, dude.

  316. I totally agree with you. I follow the rules and why is it that there are these people who feel that the rules are for everyone else but them.

  317. I am a rule follower. The world seems to be full of people that believe that the rules should apply to everyone else – they are “special”.
    How about the woman who told me that she purposely brings her kids late to school every day because her kids don’t like hanging out at the playground before school. When I said that it is disruptive to the whole class if her kids enter late, she told me that she doesn’t care that it is about what she feels is best for her and her family. sigh…

  318. I totally hope his mother or wife or sister or some knitting person who knows him recognizes his elbow (and his attitude) and shows him this blog.
    But OMG Stargate SG1 !!… if that didn’t gain his respect, I don’t know what will!

  319. Know what I would have done?
    I would have said to him in an innocent voice, “‘Scuse me, did you read the cnn.com report about watching those things on an airplane? I read that it can affect…you know…” then slyly glance at his man parts, then say, “That’s just what I read…kinda like what laptops do. Something about the electromagnetic currents with ipods and planes. But you go ahead and keep watching. I’m sure nothing will happen.”

  320. I completely relate. I am BIG on rule-following. Don’t these people know rules are there for a reason? Without rules we’d have bedlam! Chaos! What are we animals? Turn off your ipod, guy!
    This also completely reminds me of the first scene in the first episode of 30 Rock (where Liz Lemon buys ALL of the hotdogs from a vendor when someone breaks the queue rules). If you haven’t seen it, you really have to get 30 Rock for your next flight!

  321. As a rule follower, too, I agree with you. I like others who have commented are so tired of the selfish “it’s all about me people” out there. As my DH would say, “what kind of world would it be if NO ONE followed the rules” Rules are what makes us stop at red lights and go on green lights.

  322. There are no interference reasons for turning off your ipod – it’s a safety issue instead. If the plane has to be evacuated or another such emergency pops up, and childish Mr. selfish is listening to his ipod so loudly that he can’t hear the flight attendant telling him he needs to move because he’s blocking the escape chute, well…. Also, he’s not listening to the emergency protocol at the beginning of the flight, which most of us know already, but still… Poor flight attendants… they’re really on planes to save our lives if we get screwed over, but most people treat them like babysitters or waitresses.

  323. This is the sort of person you get in politics. They make up rules for other people and then promptly forget they apply to them as well. Which makes me even crazier. I’m with you, I hope he burned a whole stack of karmatic green stamps and now he has bad traffic all week.

  324. SWEET!! That’s exactly how I get with rule breakers. Next time SAY something…you’ll be glad you did. Too many people think THEY are more important than anyone else on this Earth. Rules are there for a reason–so we can live in a CIVILIZED SOCIETY DAMMIT! Plus, doesn’t the electronic signal interfere with the control tower somehow? I would have shut it off for him, at least I like to think so πŸ™‚

  325. The nerve of some people….if you had been in an awfully nasty mood you could have poked him with your knitting needles and then acted like it was an accident. But of course, that is really only stooping down to his level, I don’t know what I would have done in that situation, but probably something along the likes of you (quietly fumed on the outside, but was a writhing current of anger inside, writing up a scathing blog review) yeah, it’s crazy how some people completely disregard rules. They have the rules for a reason okay? People come on…

  326. Stuff CAN mess with the controls of the aircraft, my aircraft flying Navy husband says so. Good for you for taking his picture and putting his dumbass self on your blog. He looks to be of an age where he could in fact do as he is told….. Some people!

  327. I think he is just an example of how we as a society have just become so selfish and me, me, me, driven. I would have been like you, concerned to say something to this person, because who knows what would have happened and you are traped in an inclosed space in space. But, let’s hope that someone who knows him reads your blog and he is made to realise what a wennie he is and changes his life for the better.

  328. I completely thought this guy was going to be some college-age kid, but from the picture, he’s obviously old enough to know better.
    One thing I will say is that now that I’ve been teaching for umpteen years, I have absolutely NO problem telling people to behave properly. I have been known to tell people to stop talking in the movie theatre, to take their cell phones outside, etc.
    If it ever happens again, just pretend that he’s your kid or something, and just tell him off. For goodness’ sake, the airlines will kick people (women) off planes for trying to breastfeed or even for having a noisy baby. Which have nothing to do with safety regs.
    So telling him to deal with no entertainment for 10 minutes is not that big of a deal. Or if he refuses, just press the call button and tell the flight attendant that he keeps taking it back out, when he clearly knows the rule. Either that or they need to get rid of the rule.

  329. I, too, am a terminal rule-follower. These jerks make me crazy. P. M. Forni, professor at Johns Hopkins University has written two books about civility and how to deal with rude people. They are on my reading list.
    In the US, there seems to be an epidemic of uncivil behavior. I really believe it is like a cancer in our society. I will never understand why these types don’t see the value of treating other people and the rules of our society with respect and consideration.
    I’m grateful nothing awful happened on your flight, you bring a smile to me everytime I read your blog. Take care!

  330. Oh I am so there with you in all aspects. I would have been just as frustrated and not had the nerve to say anything.
    You are right to be worried about something like that. What most people don’t realise is that electronic equipment can give off sparks and if there is fuel in the air you will get an explosion. Same reason no phones at petrol stations. The radios and things fire fighters are classed as ‘intrinsically safe’ in that they do not emit sparks and so can be used in dangerous locations.
    Stargate and Atlantis and knitting, no one else understands!

  331. I’m with you – I’ve always been a good girl and I follow rules. My boyfriend seems to think that most rules don’t apply to him and it drives me nuts. He got a ticket recently for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign and I was completely unsympathetic. He said he’d only been going about 3 miles an hour when he went through the stop. He was SO mad at me when I said, “the sign doesn’t say ‘slow down’, it says STOP!”. He said, “So, are you saying that YOU always come to a complete stop?” Trying not to sound too smug I got to say, “Yes, I do”. He didn’t have a reply to that so he went off in a big huff. I gloated inwardly for quite some time.

  332. Next time ring for the attendant…..say oops when she arrives…then keep on ringing so shehe notices him……..all his stuff should be stowed away anyway.. i bet i wouldn’t have had the nerve to say anything either……er um tell tales in the galley?

  333. One of the many reasons I don’t fly!
    But…as an aside: is it entirely ethical for you to take a picture of him, without his permission, and post it in this context?

  334. Admission: please could some kindly commenter give me an explanation of “kinneared” and “weenie” (although I’m just checking I’ve got the right meaning of weenie). With you all the way until you eventually do nothing. In my opinion, life has become too, too, too short for holding on to such stuff at your soul’s expense. Next time, push the light button and get some help to bring a swifter end to it. The steward is TRAINED AND PAID AND EXPECTED to take on such pathetic guys. TIP: by doing this, YOU ARE PLAYING BY THE RULES … and your soul will thank you for it.

  335. On my last flight, two people used their cell phones during the flight. No one told them to stop. It may be possible to use your phones, but it gave me the heebie-jeebies with thoughts of the plane bursting into flames. It may be following the rules, but it’s also a courtesy to the other passengers who might get freaked out about rules getting broken. Oddly enough, the guy next to me didn’t care about the cell phones, but asked me “how did you manage to get those knitting needles onto the plane?”

  336. Omigosh! I totally would’ve been freaking out too! My BIL turned on his GPS once when I was flying with him, and I practically ripped the thing out of his hands. And my husband always makes fun of me for following the rules, even through silly little things that no one would find out about. But I would still know! LOL! Good for you for kinnearing him (LOL! That’s the first time I heard that! Great new verb!_

  337. I, too, don’t understand why others think they can put their priorities ahead of other peoples safety. Self-centered and without empathy.
    Same thing with people not following traffic rules like stopping at stop signs or red lights. [peeps in New Orleans don’t even roll-stop, they drive rigth through] Dangerously cutting people off in traffic or extreme tailgating!! Or punks of all ages leaving their cars on when pumping gas?!! Just because the world doesn’t explode right then when not following the rules doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Its called RISK. And my LIFE isn’t worth your RISK of STUPIDITY.
    Sigh. I need to knit now to calm down.

  338. Wow! You have coined a word in the Urban Dictionary. This makes you cooler than words. Next stop … Websters!

  339. While I agree the guy was being a jerk, I stopped worry about cell phones on planes when a friend who is a commercial pilot told me he likes to call his brother from the plane (while he’s flying) to tell him “I’m over your house right now.”
    Frankly, if you want to worry while you’re flying, there are way better things to worry about than electronic devices. There are microbursts during landing (why I don’t fly through Dallas if I don’t have to) and there are drunk pilots (why I like to fly in the morning) and there are sleepy pilots (why I’m not big on taking the red eye).

  340. As a 21 year old knitter who flies across the country on a regular basis, I get looks from people who think I’m going to be one of those weenies (lip rings and sunglasses are apparently indicators of pain-in-the-buttness). I derive a great deal of pleasure from confounding people by behaving well and following the rules, especially the iPod thing, and pulling out my knitting once the plane is up and level.
    I would have told the weenie off. Then poked him with a needle. Or asked him to hold my yarn while I dug through my pack. I know how to be irritating as well as how to be polite.

  341. Last week I was flying and the attendant told me to put my 8mm circular double pointed needles away for take off. The lady beside me snorted and said we’re in trouble if she impalls herself on those….risky talking back!

  342. Dude was a major weenie. I’m a rule-follower too, and it drives me completely crazy when “special” people don’t follow the rules.
    I try to see both sides, especially if it seems like a dumb rule, but still… the Good Girl in me is just a natural rule-follower who expects others to do the same.

  343. I’m the same way. In HS I used to get called “good two sandals”. A lot. I’m also not the type to call him on it so you are not alone. Guy was a weenie and a dumbass!

  344. I always tell myself that I’ll say something when I see stupid rule breaking going on, but it never seems to happen. I wouldn’t say that I sweat following all of the rules myself, but the rules I truly don’t care a rat’s patootie about are ones that I’m pretty careful when I break (like jaywalking… I walk too much to always want to look for the next crosswalk).
    But even when I’m not following rules, it would never occur to me to go back to my rule breaking right after I was told to stop. (And the plane rule is not one I would break… so you are safe from me!) It just feels sleazy and smacks of stupid entitlement.

  345. I am delurking just to say that I am exactly the same kind of rule follower, but you are much more restrained than I am – I would have gotten up and tattled on him to the flight attendant. Maybe I look like a dweeb, but at least we don’t get into a plane crash just so Mr. I’m-More-Important-Than_Everyone-Else can watch his show.

  346. A friend of mine can’t remember the pin code to his phone so he never turns it off…just mute the volume for flights! So no, it is probably not dangerous, but this guy next to you…
    …should be smacked with the wire from a broken circular.

  347. My BIL is a pilot, and while the official line is interference with flight electronics, the actual story is that while in the air, the cellular companies can’t determine where you are, and it messes up their billing, so your calls are free. They don’t interfere with the flight computers. If flight computers were susceptible to cell calls, heaven help us all . . . the atmosphere is positively teeming with those kinds of waves!

  348. Marie – Sorry darlin’ Your nurse was FOS. Before celll phones, it was beepers. Everyone in the ER and examining rooms were requested to shut them off. Yeah, except for the doctors.
    A populace kept in a constant state of fear is a populace more easily controlled.
    I’ve been told by doctors and nurses alike, when I was the ICU patient myself, “Your cell phone will not interfere with anything, Don’t worry about it. Just keep it low key because that asshat over there is a control freak.”
    Really, does it make any sense that perfectly law abiding passangers can’t carry a water bottle on an airplane? Or that a diabetic has to be searched and have a protien bar discarded from an arena that wants to sell their hot dogs for $6 a piece?
    I’ve reached the point in my life where I no longer feel like I must behave like cud chewing cattle. I WILL say something when someone is doing wrong. If it IS wrong.
    I will pay for a knitting pattern I want rather than accepting a photocopy from someone. I will NOT necessarily follow it, unless it makes sense to me to do so!

  349. From June 20, 2:53pm: “If they want my attention for the safety announcements, make them entertaining.”
    Are you kidding? Do you also think traffic signals should be entertaining?

  350. Amen! I am so glad that you posted his pic too. I just wish you had captured more of his face so we could identify him better!

  351. OMG Steph! I was flying from New Orleans to NY on Thursday and I had a Jerry Springer want a be ( I’ll explain soon why I call her that in a minute)behind me who was asked by two different flight attendant to turn her Blackberry off and she just kept on using it. The person with her also asked her to turn it off and she kept on tapping away, now like you I was feeling exactly the same frustrated fury that someone can’t simple follow the rules that apply to all while a 60,000 lbs piece of tin is trying to propel itself into a state of flight miles above the earth, kind of funny that way. Anyway in my anger which I usually would not say anything(honestly) but today was different I actually mentioned to the guy next to me how amazing it is that people can’t seem to follow simple rules that are clearly stated to them (yes I know passive aggresive but I couldn’t help myself) She of course heard and needless to say started yelling at me. Actually threatening to beat me up when I get off the plane which off course brought all 3 flight attendants over very quickly ( mind you I never even turned around in my chair to waist any more breath on her, besides even in her silver stillettos {sp?} I knew I could take her if need be, not that it was going to come to that) So finally she did turn off her blackberry and the flight attendants watched her all through the flight and after we landed she quickly got off and went on her way. I know this was not the way to handle it and it could have ended poorly and I really should have just stewed over it all but it really did feel good to get her to turn it off.

  352. I can understand completely as I am also a good girl and do as I’m told. It infuriates me when people are naughty.

  353. Gee, looks like no one else has had this experience! ;^)
    I’m right with you, Stephanie. I detest it when people don’t follow the rules, and so did my mother. We used to laugh and say it was our German heritage that made it so intolerable to see others not doing as they were told.
    Unfortunately, this has led me to the brink of road rage sometimes (ever been the self-appointed enforcer of the speed limit in the fast lane on the highway?). My dear husband has retrained me on that (nearly), and living in France where rule-breaking is a national pastime helped me realize that civilization can continue even if everyone else isn’t a Good Girl like I am. (See? I can’t even say “…like me”!)
    Still, I would’ve just throttled the guy.
    Glad you made it to Chicago.

  354. I’m a good girl too. The thing that really gets me is when people don’t put their seat in the upright position for take off and landing, especially when they’re right in front of me. I do say something and people have been irritated, but I want to be able to get out of my seat if need be, so I speak up. Now while it isn’t a rule, I think it’s rude to keep your seat down while they serve the meal, but that’s not a rule, just common decency.
    Must remember not to stow my camera in the bin above!

  355. Wow, Dude must be my neighbor!!! At 7:30 Sunday morning he’s out mowing his freakin’ lawn! Talk about lack of Civilized Human Behavior!!!!

  356. Many years ago (before 9-11-01) a woman was arrested on a flight from Pittsburgh to Florida for giving the flight attendant a hard time because her “special menu” did not meet her expectations. The pilot came out and warned her to cooperate, which of course, she didn’t.
    The airport police took her into custody and took her off the plane in full view of everyone when the plane landed. She had a trial, but I never heard the outcome. Today, I think she would be put on a “do not allow to fly” list. She was interfering with the work of a flight crew.

  357. Whew… I am SO glad it wasn’t my husband. I swear he wasn’t even on a plane this week.
    But it would BE HILARIOUS if it was a knitters man. Just hilarious.
    PS- that’ll teach him.

  358. “I kinneared him, and I’m putting his picture on my knitting blog, and I’m saying this. Dude’s a weenie.”
    Bloody brilliant! Humour will never fail you Stephanie — you know, unless an Ipod can bring down a plane…

  359. I have been nursing a little girl-crush on you for some time now, but now that I know you appreciate the greatness that is Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, I totally want to marry you and make you a nice sandwich.

  360. I think I would fart as much as possible. Maybe not all would be “silent” revenge.

  361. Maybe he’s a rebel in the morning and straightens up later in the day. Let’s hope so!

  362. Like many, I hate this sort of arrogance too. I can’t stand it when the minute the plane touches down you hear the seat belts being unbuckled. I wish I could stomp on some brake so those folks would get there faces smashed into the seat in front of them.
    I am not normally a passive-aggressive person, but in a situation like this I would be. I’d be afraid of the person getting belligerent so I’d accidentally-on-purpose bump the thing to call the attendant (obviously this only works if it’s the kind in the armrest).
    Also, I’m shocked at the age of that guy! I thought it would be someone in their early twenties (unless he has aged very poorly).

  363. there was a survey not too long ago that said that even if cellphones were safe to use on planes, the majority of passengers want to KEEP the ‘no cellphones allowed’ rule. They don’t want to be stuck listening to everyone’s cell phone calls.

  364. This is about the 112876th comment, so you’re probably not going to read it, but I thought this story might make you feel a teeny bit better.
    I was on a plane, sitting at the gate, and there was a woman toward the middle who was talking on her cell phone and according to the flight attendant, cell phones had to be off so we could leave the gate. Woman did not get off the phone. Finally, the flight attendant came down the aisle and asked the woman to turn off the phone. I’m not sure what the woman said, but the flight attendant’s response was this:
    “Well, we could ALL sit at the gate until you finally finish your phone call.”
    Woman turned off the phone.

  365. I just realized that “kinnearing” is the 21st century version of putting an offender in stocks. Kinda like the idea.

  366. I teach preschool, deal with this all the time. What this is basically about is thinking of self (what I can get away with) vs. being part of the community (what is my responsiblity to the group’s welfare). Freaks me out when I see grownups feeling ok about doing stuff that gets you busted in a preschool setting. What jerks.

  367. Yes, I agree entirely with your sentiments. I tend to be a stickler for the rules and this guy’s behaviour was out of order, agreed, very childlike.
    However, I just got a new cellphone yesterday and to my amazement there is something on it called “flight mode” – yep, it switches off anything that would require the antenna, so you can still use other features on the phone! Makes sense, really, that it is only those kinds of things that might, possibly in a million years, affect a plane, and as an iPod is a self-contained device that has no antenna… So really, although as I said, I agree with doing as I’m told on the whole, this guy was not endangering anyone. Perhaps, as a nervous flyer, this is an important consideration for you in case there are other future naughty boys!!!
    Just my 2cts.
    Bet you’re exhausted, anyway, so if you are anything like me, your nerves will be shot!
    Take care, get some rest πŸ˜‰

  368. Weenie is too nice a word for the guy. You could always poke him on the shoulder, ask him sotto voce if he’s ever joined the “Mile High Club” and tell him to go meet you in the loo……then tell the flight attendant to block it so he can’t get out…..and stretch out and relax for the landing πŸ˜‰
    Alternative B: Reach over with your knitting needle and “accidentally” stab his ipod a-la three-musketeer…..
    Alternative C: “Oh, wow, you’re too much of a man that you can’t follow the in-flight rules like the rest of us? Wow…remind me to be impressed sometime.”
    That said, I am heartily impressed at the Kinnear factor πŸ˜‰

  369. OMG, that’s my brother-in-law! Only kidding, good job with the kinnearing, whatever that is – we don’t use it in the UK!

  370. He deserves everything that comes to him. I hope you get some rest, ’cause I’d be totally exhausted thinking about possible outcomes. Have a great time in Chicago! The weather is awesome this weekend!

  371. Ok, I have to comment on the hand washing example above.
    Even if your hands aren’t covered in piss and fecal matter from yourself after you use the toilet, there is piss and fecal matter all over the surfaces of a public toilet (and probably a private one too, no matter how clean you think you are. It happens, and germs are invisible.) You touch it and then it’s on your hands. Want to take the chance of not washing? I don’t.
    Flicking your fingers in water for 20 seconds doesn’t do anything except get them wet. To wash you need soap, water, and scrubbing.
    And for everyone who said “hey, but it’s a stupid rule”–so what? That’s probably what the dude on YH’s plane was thinking. That’s not the point. The point is what makes him think he’s above the same rules as everyone else? Or the law? Or even decent manners, for that matter?
    And I could bet my last dollar that this dude, and others like him, aren’t the ones who are going to be out and be challenging laws and rules that are grossly unfair and discriminatory if it doesn’t affect them. It’s all about selfishness and “me, me, me.” This is the guy who would have said “who cares if the black people have to go to the back of the bus? Nothing to do with me. Besides, those are the rules!”
    So I’m guessing he’s not only a weenie, but a hypocrite, too.

  372. Weenie indeed! As a fellow rule-abider, it drives me nuts when people see just how far they can push the boundaries. If they don’t have anything better to do, they need to get a life, for real. Also, if Family Guy is so important to that guy that he can’t stop watching it for five minutes, he probably needs to assess his priorities, stat.

  373. As a matter of fact, he was in a public place. You can take as many pictures of him as you want, he has no right to the expectation of privacy on a public aircraft.

  374. You know – I’m with you on that one. I think we all just expect everyone to do the right thing. I’m still reeling from the jerkuses who stole your bicycle pump on the street that time. Do the right thing people! Follow the rules! Sigh. Enjoy the sunshine that’s happening now and remember to breathe!

  375. I’m the same way about rules, and that would have driven me crazy. I might have called the flight attendant over and asked her what would happen if a hypothetical someone didn’t turn their thing off.

  376. Man – I’m a rule follower, too. One I witness a lot is at Riverdale Farm. There are about ten signs throughout the cow barn requesting, in several different ways, that you not feed the animals. Without fail, every time we go (which is often), someone is feeding the damn animals. Sometimes I let them know, sometimes I don’t (usually depends on the age of the party/ies involved.) And recently, a batch of new goats were born and there are ‘Quiet Please’ signs all over the place, including one that explains that the poor little goats just can’t take it! Again, always noisy. Not exactly crashing airplanes but come on, people!

  377. To the commenter whose neighbor parks at fire hydrants: my brother is a firefighter and tells with glee the story of smashing windows on both sides of a car so they could lead a hose from the hydrant and THROUGH the car to fight a fire on the other side of the street. When the cops came, they also gave the car a ticket for blocking the hydrant.

  378. Goddamn, I gotta tell ya. I spent an entire flight (take-off, in flight, landing) watching a woman text messaging with her boyfriend. I was steamed and not happy, and I didn’t say anything, but if looks could kill……

  379. Thank goodness you followed the sacred rule and didn’t turn on and use electronics during the Forbidden Time.
    Oh, wait, you did. Well, at least it was for a good and truly important reason. Oh, wait…
    I think your aggravation got the better of you this time… πŸ™‚

  380. Total weenie! I’m a total rule-follower and I HATE rule-breakers. I also wouldn’t have said anything, but silently seethed for the whole flight. Good on you for Kinnearing him… go Harlot!

  381. We just returned from a family vacation trip to the Grand Canyon, which involved flying out of Ohio. We had the following:
    While we were taxiing, after even the flight attendants were belted in, some guy in a middle seat decides he has to get something out of the overhead. So the guy in the aisle seat also gets up, and they’re standing in the aisle. Flight attendant addresses them on the speakers telling them to sit down. Which they finally do, only leaving the overhead open, which she then has to tell them repeatedly to close. Too bad you don’t have to show your passport for all flights, so they could stamp these two’s passports as a future warning to cabin crews.
    On one flight, a woman gets on with a small dog in a soft-sided carrier, with the dog’s head sticking out. During the flight she even took him out of the carrier. She was finally lectured by one of the cabin crew that the dog needed to be in a CLOSED UP carrier, under the seat, and could not be taken out during the flight. What I can’t fathom is how she even got through security and the gate.
    Another bozo who wouldn’t get the message about seat backs being up unless explicitly told to bring the back up.
    Seat backs need to be up so the people in the row behind you (my family in this case) can get out if necessary. I’m convinced that electronic devices with no broadcasting capability (iPods, laptops before wifi) are verboten because people don’t pay attention to what else is going on when they’re using them.
    I’m sure there are actually plenty of cell phones on planes that are not turned off because people just forget or don’t pay attention.
    But I am ever so pissed off about having to take off my shoes to go through security, both because I’m not convinced about the cleanliness of the floor (make that I’m totally convinced about the cleanliness of the floor – ick!) and because nerve damage in my feet (from chemo) makes it hard for me to pad around without shoes on. Let all of us pray someone doesn’t someday hide some sort of wire in a brassiere. Can you just picture the security procedures?
    And I just can’t wait until every passenger is trying to get through security and onto the plane with the max-sized carry-on to avoid the checked bag charges.
    Just saw the hand-washing comments. I have lots of comments on that one, but here is just one. Daughter just returned from a week at a camp with an academic bent. They stay in a university dorm, and after her first year there I realized that people send their kids off thinking it’s like a motel. Not. The first year I mailed to her, and in later years sent with her a pump bottle of hand soap for her to put in the shared (between 4 girls) bathroom, for them all to use. This year she commented that only 3 of them used it. One of her suite-mates didn’t wash her hands when she went to the bathroom. Eew! – her comment. Think about that the next time you hear about an outbreak of something in a school or college dorm, and the next time someone is bringing home-made goodies in to share…

  382. This is how I feel about people who stop into gas stations to fill up and leave their engines running so that they can boom their incredibly loud and annoying “music”. They do this under the sign that says-TURN OFF ENGINES.
    Why do you think you should turn off your engine in the gas station? Duh!

  383. I’m the kind who listens to the rule, although if I don’t know why the rule is there or if I think it’s stupid, I really hate obeying the rule and I’m always envious of the people who break those rules.
    Also, I used to work in one of the giant government office building in DC, and their rules were absolutely ridiculous.
    Thanks to a commenter I now know that the electronic stuff does make a difference so now I won’t be annoyed with my own rule-following behavior.
    And I agree with the commenter who said they should give us more info for the rule if they really want everyone to comply. Because, lets not forget that blind obedience is what allowed the US to bomb the crap out of Iraq.

  384. I think the point of the rule is that it can, not that it will disrupt the air signal. If all of the control towers in the world were up to par, I would agree it was a useless rule, but I do not think this is true. One time I was on a flight and the flight attendant came on and said “Whoever has the electronic device on, must turn it off because it is interferring with communications.” Now you could not hear anything playing or someone on the phone, but they knew. After that, I took the rule very seriously. Honestly, why take chances. I think everyone can survive not being plugged in for 20 mins or so. It might actually do a person good.

  385. The thing is that weenies like him will usually be rule breakers in other areas. You want someone like that wiring your house?
    Same goes with people breaking the rules when driving. We live about 60 miles outside DC and when I think of how many people around here work for the government and other entities it really bugs me. If you can’t follow the simple rules of civility on the road, you are far less likely to follow them elsewhere.
    Lavender Blue

  386. Flying is such a nightmare nowadays–and the “rules” of flying are as much a crapshoot as anything. Last winter a flight attendant made me stow a KNIT CAP I had on my lap. While a few weeks ago the woman sitting next to me in the aisle seat had on her lap a giant pocketbook and at her feet not one but 2 carryons. My own rule-following exhasperation was heightened by the anxious thought of having to climb over all her crap if something happened. Luckily we’re all here to complain about these headaches. The alternative is unimaginable.

  387. I had a lady sitting next to me texting through the whole flight and I had the same reaction. She would sort of hide it as the flight attendants went by but she was texting the whole way. With the bad mojo I was sending that phone, I’m sure it blew up as soon as she got off the plane.

  388. Brava! These small rule-breakings may seem inconsequential, but these transgressions add up and the next thing you know, your family’s on Jerry Springer. Tray tables up, seat backs straight, and Ipods OFF!

  389. It has been shown that some electronic devices interfere with the navigation electronics on planes. He looks like he should have been old enough to put his toys away and find a book to read. Next time you see that, make a fuss. Make the offender feel like the selfish must-be-gratified-regardless-of-danger-to-other-passengers jerkoff that he is.

  390. I so agree with you! Except I would have said something. And called the flight attendant if he didn’t comply. What a weenie!!!
    And… why am I not surprised that a selfish git weenie man like that liked Family guy?

  391. What a weenie! And he isn’t even a young guy. I very much dislike the rule breakers.

  392. Must have been the guy that was sitting behind me when I went to Florida in April. (Although, I was surprised he was allowed to remain on the plane when he said some not-nice words to the flight attendent!)

  393. Aw, I’d totally annoy you. I’m a fanatic rule breaker, even breaking the “rules” with my knitting. I just can’t seem to color in the lines. I drive several of my good friends nuts with my rejection of authority. I wouldn’t have even noticed the guy’s IPod.
    I can only assume you waited until the plane landed to Kinnear him? Cameras have “on” buttons too.
    Sorry he freaked you out ~ but most probably he had no idea that he did. He was just doing his thing. I hope that the panic at least got you into some high-energy knitting.

  394. Good kinnearing job!
    Oh, and BTW, I learned this weekend that my Number Guy’s aunt, a non-knitter, reads your blog regularly.
    Just thought you might like to know that even the non-knitting community finds you amusing!

  395. There was a great line used to confront people who smoked in inappropriate places: “I hate to deprive you of the only thing that lights up in your presence, but. . .” Seems to fit i-pods, doesn’t it?

  396. Last January when we flew to Cuba we had to wait almost 20 minutes for some stupid woman to get on the plane who apparently missed the flight announcements because she was talking to her daughter on her cellphone. The plane was already 2 hours leaving due to some repair delay – everyone is itching to go because they’re missing valuable Beach time – and then they have to wait for a missing passenger – And when she gets on the plane, she’s sitting RIGHT NEXT TO ME. And what does she do while they’re preparing for takeoff and have the No Electronics sign on? Gets out her cellphone and calls her daughter AGAIN and talks to her for another 15 freaking minutes, which is how I know how she missed the flight announcement in the first place because she tells her ALL ABOUT IT. IDIOT!!!!
    And I, like you, said nothing, did not create a scene, did nothing but sit and silently seethe. Because that is what Canadians do.

  397. LOL, Stephanie. And TOTALLY in agreement. Okay, so he got away with it this time…. but does he ever think about the common good and why the rule might be there.
    You forgot to add the Canadian politeness thing too.
    Small fantasy for you… situation replays but you are in the center 3 seats. Weenie in middle, you on one side, Teal’c on the other [wearing, I might add, a lovely striped hat you have knit him from hand-dyed that covers the tattoo thingy]. Weenie persits in being a weenie. Teal’c leans slightly forward and gives you the eyebrow [you know the one]. You stare back deadpan. Teal’c reaches over, and grips the I-pod holding hand of Weenie and -squeezes- while smiling, politely. Weenie drops Ipod in horror and clutches hand. Teal’c does the little bow thing to you – and all is well.
    Well… it could happen that way…

  398. yeah that bothers me too…I don’t know why they tell you turn them off..but there is A reason..I probably would’ve said Hey Dude time to turn your Ipod off..I’m like you in the rule world..drives me batty when others don’t pay attention..glad you enjoyed the baked goodies at your table..

  399. I would have snatched it from him and made a scene. But then I do work for the FAA and rules are rules. The reason they don’t want electronics on at certain times is because there are quirky things in the air and you never know when some electronic gadget on the plane will interfere with the equipment the pilot uses to fly and land the plane. So next take it from him, rat him out or jab him with your needle. These people piss me off royally.

  400. SG1? I missed that you’re a SG-1 fan. My grey bunny is even named O’Neill (with 2 L’s!). And he was watching Family Guy…that explains everything. Weenie indeed.

  401. iPod man was a spineless rule breaker! Serious rule breakers break rules and get rich or powerful or save lives. iPod man was hiding a tv show from the flight attendant, for goodness sakes!
    iPod man is a weenie and I hope he recognizes himself (and not you!)

  402. I So can relate to your story. About 10 years ago on a flight from somewhere that I was on, there were an unusual amount of children flying without adults. They were placed, mainly up front of the passengers. After the plane landed the stewardess announced on the intercom that these children needed to get off first because they wanted personally to see to their safety, etc. please remain in your seats till we tell you that you can get up, etc. Well, you should have seen the caos that happened!!! I couldn’t believe these RUDE adults and mainly MEN pushing ahd shoving their way out, knocking over these little kids and the flight attendents yelling and trying to help and protect these little children. I too felt like physically restraining some of the idiots but then, I am a whimp…

  403. Now you know how I feel when I find the front page of a major newspaper riddled with grammar and usage errors.
    Which, in the grand scheme of things, matters far less than following the rules on airplanes… but I can’t help it either.

  404. You Kinneared him! That is hilarious! I flew a red-eye last night/this morning and those rules are still fresh in my mind.

  405. I happen to think the guy was perfectly justified in keeping his iPod on — one of the things about iPods is that you cannot shut them off. Instead, when you don’t use them for some length of time, they shut themselves off. So the iPod is producing the same level of interference whether it’s on “pause” and stowed in the seat pocket or in his hands showing Family Guy, and he probably finds it a lot more reassuring when it’s on.
    So the right thing to do, if Something Had To Be Done, was to say something to him, and then, if that didn’t work, call over a flight attendant.
    But that said, the reason I’m posting: the responses.
    Look at all the comments that said the guy was too old to watch cartoons. Aren’t we sick of people telling us that only grandmothers knit? Why, then, are we justified in age-stereotyping other people’s interests?
    One comment about a guy on an airplane reading car (penis) magazines. How often do you read your knitting (breast) magazines? Do you appreciate it when other people put down your interests? Why, then, are you justified in putting down someone else’s?
    All the comments that said he was fat — like being overweight is some kind of indicator of moral decay. Do you appreciate when people make a moral judgment because of your appearance? She’s thin, so she must be obsessive! She’s a little overweight, so she must have no willpower! Why, then, are you justified in making moral judgements based on his apearance?
    All the comments that said Stephanie should commit assault and battery with a dangerous weapon by poking him with a knitting needle, some of them encouraging her to poke him so hard he needed medical assistance. Not complying with the instructions of the flight crew is a felony, but so is assault with a dangerous weapon. Why, then, is his felony unacceptable but the one you’re suggesting acceptable?
    This is disgusting – a bunch of people complaining about “following the rules” showing so little regard for basic manners in their own behavior. All of Stephanie’s books say that knitters are good people. Shouldn’t the comments on her blog reflect that as well?
    You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

  406. I am _totally with you_ on the rules thing – and your silent psychic freakout! I too am a well-behaved person, and maybe I’m actually a neurotic freak, but it _really bothers me_ when people break rules, and I can’t break them myself without carrying around an (unreasonable?) weight of guilt for a long time.
    I figure the rules are there for reasons – maybe not even good reasons, maybe they’re outtdated or irrelevant or whatever – but wherever there are rules there are systems for changing them, and those are the systems we should use if we discover or believe a rule to be outdated or in some way not apply to us – not our own selfish judgement! Whether or not his little ipod had any chance of interfering with the plane is not really the issue – the discomfort he caused you – and his intentional undermining of the stewardess trying to do her job is a form of social assault – no, I don’t think the word is too strong – and avoiding that kind of social discomfort is the reason we have rules and manners and such.
    And you were perfectly in your rights and in the “rules” to Kinnear him – it’s a public place and the photo is not being used to advertise anything but his own behavior.

  407. My first thought when reading this: you should needed to channel Jenn H. I can hear her voice saying rude but appropriate things to this guy.
    Or you could have just started getting really nervous and started frantically pushing the call button…

  408. I am the same way! It’s less about the paranoia for me, and more about just doing what you’re supposed to. My mother always used to whisper ironically to me, when we saw stuff like that, “Oh, that rule doesn’t apply to *ME*”
    The best thing I could come up with, when confronted with similarly inexcusable weenie behavior was, “It’s called the Social Contract. Look it up.” It doesn’t necessarily fix the problem, but at least I got to feel superior afterwards! πŸ™‚

  409. I just experienced this too … woman across the aisle kept her cell phone on and was texting the entire time the attendents were saying to turn the damn things off. I turned on my call button (first time ever, I swear) and handed her an empty cup and pointed. The woman was asked to put it away, but she switched to playing a game instead and apparently that was OK because the FA didn’t say anything about it.
    Argh! Not fair.

  410. I don’t know…Martin Luther King Jr and Gandhi were both (clearly) rule breakers.
    And I’ve always wondered why they make me turn off my iPod during the parts of the flight (take off and landing) when I need it the most.

  411. Ugh, there was a guy on my flight to San Francisco last week that did the exact same thing. I hate when people blatantly disregard safety rules.

  412. I was on a plane once, seated next to a pilot who was getting a ride. I forgot to turn my phone off and it rang in the air (well, we weren’t too high up yet.) He told me that a phone can wipe out the display screen if it connects at the right time. I assume any electronic object can cause problems, radio waves or not! I would been just as frustrated and nervous as you were!

  413. I have one question. What did you take the picture with? Something that should have been turned off????

  414. At least it was “Family Guy” on an Ipod. Much better than porn, with the sound turned on, on the laptop of the guy with the window seat.
    I took seventeen showers after that flight. Ick.
    I suspect the real reason you are not supposed to have cell phones turned on or in use is that a phone signal can be used to detonate a bomb.

  415. Not agreeing with the rule is no excuse for not following it.
    The rule is there for some reason. That reason may be to minimize electronic interference, make sure we pay attention during landing and take-off, or something else entirely. They can’t explain all the reasons for all the rules (unless we want to spend 4 hours watching the flight attendant’s going through it all).
    If everyone decided to say screw it to the rules, then there would be chaos. Those few people who think they’re above them can enjoy a comfortable, safe flight because the rest of us are doing what we’ve been asked.
    Dude’s a weenie.

  416. Some people are just oppositional – they get a kick out of always defying authority. He’s definitely old enough to know better…

  417. I am glad you are a fellow Stargate watcher. We just finished all our SG-1 and Atlantis DVDs (we have every season on DVD) and I am going into withdrawal. It is awful.
    I hate that guy.

  418. Yep. Those who think they are above the rules drive me CRAZY. Of course, Quantas Airways taking my knitting away coming back from New Zealand also drove me crazy. No other airline has for a long time. And as one person told me in those days, she just asked for four pencils when they took her needles.

  419. I’d have been in the same boat, seething silently, feeling somebody should say SOMETHING and yet worrying myself to pieces about just what to say so I wouldn’t get a response that would make things worse. But seething! Tough question is, how does this guy manage to own so much of my head-space!? How do I resolve it so I can move on?
    Reading through ALL of the comments, I thought of a possibility: not to be silent, not to be confrontational, not to be passive-aggressive, not to stab him! We all seem to be seeking ways to avoid an angry comeback from the guy that would make things worse.
    Maybe the answer is direct application of humor: to look at him wide-eyed with a smile and an expression of total astonishment, and say, “are you really HIDING your IPOD?!?? from the FLIGHT ATTENDANT!?? Dude! that’s the funniest thing I’ve seen a grownup do all day!” And give him the biggest mega-watt highly-amused smile you can manage! Maybe picturing him as a little kid or a puppy who just did something amazingly dopey. Shake your head a little in affectionate wonderment. I’m trying to picture what his reaction might be. It’s actually hard to imagine an aggressive comeback to that! Maybe he’d be embarrassed enough to put the toy away. At least he might become self-conscious about hiding it! Let HIM squirm a little! Then, I could go back to my yarn. Every time I found myself seething, I could give him another big grin and a bit of a head-shake and a chuckle. Heh-heh-heh.

  420. Eep, I’m glad you haven’t flown next to me. There was a period of my life during which I flew a lot. I could have recited the safety speech from most major air carriers. So I did tend to leave my iPod on, albeit with the volume turned down so I could hear any major announcements. Also, it seems like I read up on it at some point and found out that non-communicating devices like iPods basically don’t pose a problem. Otherwise why would they let us listen to them once in the air? I think it’s just a safety thing to be sure people hear the instructions, and I’ll admit to being pretty careless about it.
    Of course, I am also not good at following rules. Or knitting patterns for that matter.

  421. Honey, I think you are tired. You need some rest (and maybe so do some of your readers) and a nice bubblebath. Honestly, this wasn’t worth getting upset about. I’m in your mom’s club.
    Even if it wasn’t worth getting nickers in a twist – here’s my recipe for the annoying passenger. Use the call button to get a steward over to your seat. Ask steward a stupid question or give the steward a complement, say thank you for something. Repeat until the behavior in the next chair stops completely.

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