I ventured my way East via the JetBlue red eye out of Oakland, not my preferred flight, but it was at my preferred price: cheap. The midnight hour flight boarded and took off on time. The crew was the usual, pleasant and professional. There were not any whiny toddlers or crying babies. All was looking great.
I was sitting in the aisle seat. There was an empty seat between me and the other passenger in my three-seat row. He was a guy around 30 give or take five years. His was the window seat. He was a handsome, buff, well-groomed, coffee color chap with an elaborate sleeve tattoo on at least one of his arms. I only like men for their minds, so I don’t look that closely at guys. It’s possible that both of his arms could have been tatted. He was taking forever to shove his carry-on crap in three of the overhead bins. I found that annoying. He seemed oblivious to blocking the aisle for a million waiting passengers.
Me: Are you ready to sit down yet?
Also, he was reeking of pot, but that doesn’t faze me. He did have the munchies. Typical.
As the plane takes off, he keeps grabbing his tee shirt and fanning it like he’s a blast furnace. I ignore his antics. After the captain gives the okay to reactivate electronic devices, he plays with his iPad. He had every iGadget going — the MacBook Air, the iPhone. It’s late. I’m tired. The crew shut off the cabin lights so we’re flying in the dark. I close my eyes. When I open them I notice that he’s stripped down to just his tighty whities.
I think: What the hell is this about?
I say nothing. There are no small fry running around or are there any kids on this flight, but Jesus H. Christ, no way would I exhibit myself on a commercial flight. I don’t even like my Special Someone to look at me when we get horizontal, upright, sideways, on the ceiling, etc. So, is Mr. Natural intentionally trying to freak me out because he assumes I’m a demure middle age woman? Is he blind to my motorcycle boots, the telltale sign that I’m not quite yet the Little Old Lady from Pasadena? I do what I always do when I encounter some idiot clamoring for attention.
I ignore him.
When the flight attendants hand out snacks and beverages, they can fully see this guy is practically naked. When one asks him what he wants, Mr. Natural chirps:
Mr. Natural: Cookies!
I used to eat Cap’n Crunch when I got stoned. The attendants, three women, act like everything’s cool with this nearly naked guy in our presence. Do they know something I don’t? Is he our Air Marshall? Part of me think that by keeping cool about this situation it might be for the best. Do I want JetBlue to land the plane in Wyoming to place Mr. Natural under arrest and then I don’t get home until five in the afternoon instead of nine in the morning? Next, I wonder:
Me: Am I being punked?
Yet, Ashton Kutcher seems to have other things going on. I also wonder if Mr. Natural looked like Sydney Greenstreet, would his being nearly nude then be an issue?
After a while, I need to pee. When I return to my seat, Mr. Natural’s in his clothes again. Great, this aberrant episode is behind us. He needs to get up, so he does. He returns with two fistfuls of more cookies. I close my eyes and drift off to sleep. When I open them and stir, I see on my TV screen showing our route that we’re leaving Iowa and entering Illinois. And, oh yeah, Mr. Natural’s now napping STARK NAKED with his mitts covering the sausage.
Inside my head, I’m screaming:
Me (screaming): What the fuck is going on here?
I long to take a picture of Mr. Natural for Lame Adventures, but I’m too intimidated. He’s clearly a gym rat with biceps the size of cantaloupes. If he hit me he’d probably knock me straight through my seat and through the seats of all the passengers sitting behind me. Plus, the lighting is too low. I know I’ll need to use my flash, and that could wake him if he really is asleep. In addition, this guy is possibly just messing with my head. What do I do here along side a naked man sitting next to me on a commercial jet?
I resume doing nothing.
Actually, I drift back off to sleep. When I wake, we’re exiting Pennsylvania, and he’s clothed again. I’m now wondering if I’ve made this all up in my mind? My shoulder was hurting before I boarded, and I considered popping an Aleve, but I was concerned that it might make me feel loopy at 35,000 feet in the air. I’m completely drug-free and I doubt I had any contact high from the pot field Mr. Natural surely smoked before boarding. Later, when I encounter him again standing several feet away from me at the luggage carousel, he’s staring at me. Even though I feel his stare, I act like he’s not there. I get my bag first and split.
When I return home, I share this tale with my buddy Coco. She’s super straight so I figure if anyone can explain to me what was going on here with Mr. Natural, she’s the source:
Coco: Who gets naked on a plane?!?!?!!! Who strips to their underwear!??!!! How are the stewardess’s ok with this? I have never heard of anything more inappropriate! Gross! Bare ass cheeks on the seat!!!! Maybe he was a stripper. He obviously smoked some excellent pot because he did not give a rat’s ass about anything …. except for cookies. This is total LA!!!! That is insane! I am speechless.
I could not have surmised this better myself.