Monday, January 9, 2017


I can't claim to have invented the art of eaveswatching--surely I'm not alone in doing it--and I haven't checked Urban Dictionary to see if someone already defined it. But it's pretty much the second funnest game you can play on an airplane.

Being too cheap to rent a digital movie player and unwilling to upgrade my family to something better than a single, second generation iPad that barely holds a wifi signal, I do most of my plane-based movie watching by shamelessly looking across the aisle onto another passenger's screen.

Without sound, it's pretty hard to follow along, and you quickly realize how stupid most films look without words or music. This particular movie--the last 20 minutes of which I watched over the shoulder of a 70 year-old man--featured a token ethnically diverse cast of no-name actors and Paul Giamatti from Sideways and San Andreas. 

From what I could deduce, it was a scifi thriller that involved secret medical experiments conducted on unwitting teenage girls at a creepy asylum/clinic in the woods. But the girls, who wore hoodies and were (improbably) expert firearms handlers, managed to best the nefarious white coats/blue latex-glove wearers who were holding them captive for reasons I failed to grasp even as I watched the credits roll. When you think about it though, I actually culled a lot of information eaveswatching this movie. Certainly enough to play IMDB or Google detective later while avoiding unpacking.

I said above that eaveswatching is the second funnest game you can play on an airplane, which begs the question: What's the first? I'm glad you asked!

The first is a game I like to call "Coma Gallery Walk." It works best on a morning flight, when most people go back to sleep, and if you're sitting all the way in the front or all the way in the back of the plane.

Here's how it works: As soon as "it's safe to move about the cabin," you get up and take a walk all the way up or down the aisle, looking at everyone's hideous sleeping expressions. You'll find people with their mouths open, snoring, wearing weird neck pillows absorbing drool, and tongues lolling out of the sides of their mouths like they've suffered neurological damage. 

The only evidence they haven't is that you heard them talking loudly and obnoxiously about Christmas travel strategies in the boarding gate, and yet still you're tempted to alert a flight attendant to a potential medical emergency based solely on the hideousness of these people as they sleep. And you will find yourself wonderstruck that anyone sleeps next to these people in real life, followed quickly by the realization that you probably look like this (or worse) while sitting up asleep on a plane.

The moral of this pointless story is that flying takes patience, so it's important to amuse oneself with free and creative games. This is something Isaac has yet to fully grasp in his six years of flying. For example, just today, the pilot got on the loudspeaker to say "folks thank you for your patience." 

Isaac turned to me and whispered: "But I don't have any patience." Neither do I, kid. Neither do I.

1 comment:

  1. After the free screening of "War Dogs" ended on my flight today I eaveswatched a few minutes of someone else's screen (until 22D's cranium obscured my view) wherein a ripped guy in a football jersey body-checked people into walls while he led a visibly pregnant lady in a wheelchair through a hospital ward. I dunno if it was a movie I missed the previews for or a new round of Old Spice commercials, but it looked, um, edgy?


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