Socks off a plane


I put them in a plastic bag and walked off the plane with my swollen bare feet inside my shoes. I made the terrible mistake of getting on a 20+ hour flight home from India with dress shoes and kind of burly pair of socks on.

For those of you who have never sat upright for a day at 40,000 feet – your body, particularly your feet expand like accordions. Somewhere over Jakarta, I slipped my shoes off compounding the first mistake – which allowed my dogs to swell at their leisure outside of my shoes. Believe it or not, not only did I go to graduate school, I did pretty well.

Fast forward three beers later when I have to go number 1. Mind you, I am on a full flight of about 400 people who have not only ingested as many fluids as I have but have flat out ransacked the lavatories. Ten hours into it, they still look like a room used by civilized bipeds. Fifteen hours into the flight, it reminds me of a fraternity party and what happens when a bull pisses on a flat rock in the wind.

Pay attention. In the next paragraph is the lesson of ages that will prevent ever having to carry your socks off a plane.

I really have to go. But my feet are so swollen that I can’t get them in my shoes – with or without socks. I realize it’s now a choice of soiling my groin or my feet. I rip open my back pack and see I have plenty of Purell hand sanitizer left – enough to wipe out 99.9% of the germs that would get on my feet.

The lavatory door opens. A bittersweet moment. Because I know what is about to happen. It’s instantaneous. The moment I step into the water closet it’s a wet sock in what I can only hope is a diluted puddle of urine. I stand on one leg and as far away from the toilet as possible – which is about a 36 inches away – and pray for no turbulence. As soon as I get back to my seat, off with the socks. Out with the Purell.

I’m just happy I didn’t have the second package of walnuts.

– Jose Mallabo

  1. #1 by Iain Blackstock on October 7, 2009 - 8:49 am

    That was just great!!!! Better bring 3 pairs of socks for the next flight.. )and a whole lot more hand sanitizer)!! hehehe

  2. #2 by Dee on October 7, 2009 - 8:52 am

    I know what I’m getting you for Christmas!

  3. #3 by Dave on October 7, 2009 - 6:12 pm

    I don’t even like it when my shoelace touches the floor in a public bathroom. Nasty.

    BTW – that was a John Candy in Planes Trains & Automobiles move to take your shoes off to begin with.

  4. #4 by dmdmdm on October 12, 2009 - 10:48 am

    that was really funny! Make some more up!

  5. #5 by Jeff B on October 13, 2009 - 12:07 pm

    you kill me man…I would have guessed a big hitter like you would be in first class…they give you little sock booties up there! lol

  6. #6 by Kelleen on October 15, 2009 - 2:20 pm

    JOSE!! Oh Geez. So here’s a little tip…you need to keep those little slippers they give you at your hotel…those are not only so you do not have to put your bare feet on those nasty hotel carpets, but you keep those and have them in your carry-on JUST for that reason alone.
    Here’s hoping you upgrade soon and can pee with the elite!

  7. #7 by Jose on October 15, 2009 - 4:25 pm

    @Kelleen – Gone are the days of flying business class for me. I pine for those luxuries as I reflect upon my sticky socks from India.

  8. #8 by Jose Mallabo on January 21, 2011 - 10:13 am

    Jose :

    @Kelleen – Gone are the days of flying business class for me. I pine for those luxuries as I reflect upon my sticky socks from India.

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