Normally I’m happy and carefree when I travel. Also gum and I have always gotten along… until now.

I like to think that I am a pretty lucky traveler when it comes to air travel. Most of the time my flights are on time, my luggage is often one of the first to appear on the carousel, I’ll get the seat I wanted on the plane, often the screaming children aren’t seated near me and so on. It’s been pretty great.

But then today happened.

Due to having to get my tailbone x-rayed from injuring it in Cancun and also due to my deciding not to pack the night before I went away I arrived at the airport in a bit of a rush.
I smartly bought some earplanes hoping they would help my ear infection from my last trip two days before, not feel so bad (which they did. Worked marvelously.) My flight Halifax to Toronto (although I got stuck in a middle seat) went great.

Then it started.

I had to rush to make my US connection and the gate we landed at was as far as possible from the US Customs area. I quickly walked down the hallway and I can feel my shoes rubbing at the back of my feet from my hurried pace. Here come the blisters. I enter the US area to collect my baggage, it’s not showing up. There is about 20mins until they start boarding my flight. That bag needs to get on that plane.

Five minutes pass and it suddenly pops up by itself, I grab it, make it through customs in a flash and dump it on the connections belt.

I board my flight, in a window seat happy to see there was no one between me and the next guy. Perfect, I have room to move and wiggle around because it pains me to sit still on my bruised tailbone for too long.

Then it starts again.

The guy behind me is pounding on the tv screen on the back of my headed rest. Don’t people realize you don’t pound them like buttons? It’s a touch screen, honestly a light touch will do. I sit there and bear it hoping he will find something to watch soon.

He doesnt. I think he is looking at every goddamn thing possible to watch on that thing. I contemplate asking him not to hit it so hard. Then I contemplate asking a stewardess to ask him. I give up, put on a sleep mask and try to ignore it.

Fifteen minutes later.

I hear a funny noise next to me. He has reached ahead and is trying to close my window. No part of that window was in his “seat zone”. It didn’t pass the front of my chair, he really had to reach. Groggy from my quick nap I couldn’t quite grasp that that had actually just happened.

Im not a person to close windows on planes. I rarely sit at the window but when I do I like to keep it open for the view, the light and just to see what’s going on. I don’t like the windows being closed.

The food cart comes around. I’m awake. Its been about 20 minutes from when he closed my window. I open my window, as I crunch on my carrots and celery. All of a sudden I notice it is closed again. I whip it open, spin around and give him the nastiest of all nasty looks.

“The light is in my eye.” he says.

I say nothing and keep it open. At this moment I think about my karma. Should I close it for him? But I don’t want it closed, it’s my window and airplanes have windows! What did he expect a cocoon of darkness? I leave it open.

I watch a movie then have a nap. I wake up to the captain saying we are landing soon… Oh and to the guy retching next to me in his air sickness bag. Are you kidding me? And of course the seatbelt sign is on.  I try to block out the noise and smell. I’m one of those people that gets sick when they see someone else getting sick. I try to block it out. He eventually stops.

We land in Denver, I sit forward to grab my bag from beneath the seat but my hair pulls me back to the headrest. Was this guy behind me pulling my hair? Was my hair stuck in Velcro or something? Nope. It was gum.

Not one but TWO pieces of gum! Peach flavored gum!

I can’t tell how fresh it is, but it’s stuck in my hair, my beautiful long hair I just had cut yesterday. Why me?

We all have bad hair days now and again. But gum in my hair? I felt like I was 6 years old!

My thoughts automatically go to the guy behind me. I almost whip around and accuse him of doing it but I refrain myself. No way in hell was that gum on my seat when I sat down 4 hours earlier. Also that wasn’t the first time I moved my head from the headrest. It must of been him.


I am able to yank one piece out and run to the washroom once inside the terminal for the second piece. I got most of it out. But the smell of peach is haunting me. I keep getting wafts of it. I fight with my hair for ten minutes then head for the luggage carousel planning on dealing with the rest when I get to the hotel.

Oh my god but the smell of peach. I’ll never be able to smell it again.

My bag pops out of the carousel pretty quickly, but my favorite bag tag is missing. Given to me by an old boss 3 years ago, it’s been like a travel charm going around the world with me. Not sure if I lost it in Halifax, Toronto or Denver but its missing. Boo. Why me?

Today is not my day to travel.