The Power of Observation

When You Travel You Meet Some Unique Characters...

From the writing desk of Christine Mazurk

I traveled yesterday on two different flights and met (I'll rephrase that to say, I witnessed) two unique people who may end up as quirky side characters in one of my books.

The first, we'll call, Ms. Self Absorbed. Oblivious to the passengers around her from the moment she arrived at the gate to after she stepped off the plane. And my guess is it extended until she reached her final destination or beyond.

The show began when she plowed through the line of first class passengers to board the plane first. Most stepped aside not to get rolled over by her wheelie bag. When I was boarding, I heard her bark at the flight attendant, "I need a beer or something to take the edge off. I've had a trying morning. I don't deal with traffic where I live."

I'm intrigued. No traffic. Then she continues, "We have no highways." Okay, so traffic on Interstate 95 must have been traumatic for her. I'm showing a bit of sympathy at this point. That disappeared quickly when she continued to be aggressive in her demands of the flight attendants. I'm pretty sure the whole plane heard her, and I don't know about you, but rudeness never sat well with me.

The most dramatic moment though was when we landed. She crawled over the aisle passenger seated next to her to get into the aisle first, pushing a woman already standing in the aisle back into her row. Then she clocked the guy sitting in front of her in the head with her bag as she yanked it from the overhead bin. The passengers in that section gasped, but it didn't seem to phase her as she wanted off the plane. I hope she didn't steamroll anyone on her way out, and I hope she made it in one piece to wherever she was headed. Sometimes, you have to see the humor in things...

On the next plane, Little Ms. Sweetness arrived, wearing her cute patterned capris and a straw hat with a pink flower tucked in the brim. Her husband placed his small computer bag in the overhead and sat down by the window. She cleared her throat and glared at him. "Put mine up there too."

"Sorry, dear, what was I thinking?" He stood and took her flowered wheelie and turned to place it in the bin.

"Don't put it there. Put it over there." She pointed. "And turn it sideways. Not like that. You're not doing it right. Turn it. The other way."

The gentleman seated next to me chuckled and rolled his eyes, to which I responded, "I'm a writer. People like that make great comedy relief in a book. I'll bet she shows up in my next one."

We had a good laugh, then pulled out our devices to read.

The power of observation for a writer is a wonderful tool. Oh, the things my imagination could do with either scenario. A crooked wig, turbulence and spilled wine, the possibilities are endless.

Until next time ~ Christine.  



  1. Yes this is a character you need to keep. I too people watch.and enjoy it so much. I use lots of them in my writing too. I love the ones that make me laugh while I'm writing it. Be careful to enjoy them when they sit next to you in a plane. Even if you have never met or met only casually be sure to talk to them because they may become your best friend. What do you think Christine? LOL

  2. I am so glad you were not on our flight home from Vancouver a few (eek almost ten) years ago. Some poor couple were ousted from their seats in business class by my father who couldn't make it any further. (Wheelchairs don't fit down airline aisles.)

    Once he was seated, I couldn't climb over him to join him, so my teenage niece and my six year old son got to sit with him. (Family trip.) I sat with my daughter and younger niece. I lucked out. They played cards and napped while I read, napped and periodically told my son to return to his seat.

    My older niece was not so lucky. Nor were the people immediately surrounding my dear father. He's sweet and charming and incontinent.

    I know if you were one of those passengers, you would have been plotting murder in the air.

    But it's my story... heh heh heh.

    1. Too funny, Alison!! Our imaginations can turn any situation into a story, that's what I love about writing. Thanks for sharing ...


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