Open Letter to the Scraggly-Bearded Dude in the Concert Tee Who Stood in Front of Me in the Line for the Airplane Yesterday


Reeking of skunkweed and hasty lavatory wiping is no way to go through life. I’m just saying. I pity the poor bastard who had to sit next to you for three and a half hours. It must have been like having a coach seat in Willie Nelson’s outhouse.

So, seriously, dude: Before you subject anyone else to your (literally) crappy pot-smoking ass, air out and take a second pass with the TP wad. It’s really not too much to ask.

Thank you for your attention.

52 Comments on “Open Letter to the Scraggly-Bearded Dude in the Concert Tee Who Stood in Front of Me in the Line for the Airplane Yesterday”

  1. Dear fanatically clean science fiction writer behind me in line:

    Dude, stop harshing my mellow.

  2. “Don’t rain on my parade” crossed with that mustachio’d guy sweeping up the elephant poop at the end of the parade in the interstial of Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons.

  3. It is your fault, they only put you in line behind that guy when you opt out of sitting in the screaming baby section of the plane.

  4. Hmm… Sans the hemp smoke, it sounds like he could’ve been a Silicon Valley engineer. I’ve met more of that type than I’ve cared to while shopping at Fry’s.

  5. I think I know that guy! I work with him. Fortunately, his cubicle is nowhere near mine. Unfortuntely, he has like 3 fans going at all times, which means his odor is shared within a 15 foot radius.

  6. Ahh, I see you have the same luck as I do. In addition to Stinky Guy, throw in a troop of hyperactive teenagers on their way to some sports event, the Chatty Born Again Lady who chews with her mouth open, the Patented-Kid-Kicking-The-Back-Of-My-Seat-For-Four-Hours, and the overweight guy with six elbows and you’ve pretty much described every commericial flight I’ve ever been on.

    Which is why I fly military space-A when I can, I’d rather sit on top of a bulldozer for six hours in a freezing cargo compartment than next to Ganja Man.

  7. While I’m here, I’d like to get the opinion of fellow Scalzi admirers. I’ve recently started a blog involving casting my favorite novels and I just completed an entry for Old Man’s War. Let me know what you think!

    Sorry for the interruption. Back to your regularly scheduled ‘Scalziation.’

  8. Garett:

    In general we try to keep comments in a thread at least tangentially related to the thread. Something for future reference.

    I post pimp threads from time to time, which would be a good place for a comment like yours.

  9. I think it would be totally awesome if it turned out to be a Whatever reader.

    “OMG, Scalzi was busting on ME!”

    However, I give my fellow Whateverites more credit than that, so I think it’s unlikely.

  10. Remember back in the day when people used to get dressed up to get on a plane? Now’a’days we pretty much just worry about wearing shoes that are easy to get in and out of that don’t look like they could explode.

    Maybe this guy was worried he would be searched – thoroughly searched – and wanted to dissuade any guards from breaking out the rubber gloves.

  11. I was thinking, “That sounds like half the bus-riding population of San Francisco” when I remembered that you actually were in San Francisco. When you live here, you learn to subconsciously hold your breath when you pass by certain people. It’s a life skill I never knew I’d learn when I moved here.

  12. Sorry to have to go there but it seems obvious… the unsanitary smell may have been from hastily finding someplace to hide his stash. *shudder*

  13. I am never, ever, EVER coming to this blog after eating a late lunch again. HUUUUUURAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH.

  14. OK, anyone who needs their weed so bad that they hide it inside themselves has some serious issues. Issues hell, they have subscriptions.


  15. Although only tangentially related, this reminds me of the girl who gave me a lapdance at a NIN show last year. Never mind that she was sitting one aisle below me; I still had to deal with the business end of her thong in my face. It was a little sad; she had clearly hoped that this particular mating ritual would earn her some points with one of the boys in her party, and he just looked embarrassed for her. I felt like tapping her on the shoulder and telling her that there are sometimes more effective means of getting someone’s attention than grinding one’s underwear under their nose. But she was drunk, and a lot bigger than me.

  16. I too love me some Willie. Doesn’t mean I want to spend any time in his outhouse.

    Or at least any more time than you have to. Because if you’re in Willie’s outhouse, that means that you’re at his house, and that’s pretty cool.

  17. Just to be fair, there is a chance that Skunkweed Man’s odor in part may have been caused by a medical condition rather than lack of TP expertise. You never know. . . .

  18. He needs to take some pointers from the guy who got on my bus this morning reciting snippets of the Gettysburg Address. Vocal crazy still keeps people away, and is a lot less itchy.

  19. That always happens to me. I see some dude and think, “I pity the poor bastard that has to sit by him.” Too often that poor bastard is me.

    On one specific occasion the object of my ire was an overweight monk. His rolls and his robes kept covering up my headphone hole. My karma has been a bit off ever since.

  20. I’m sort of with MichaelC on this one. While there are undoubtedly people who go through all of life this way, I shudder to think what the poor people stuck next to me the day I flew from Singapore to Atlanta (via Tokyo and SanFran) with the flu thought of me. I know that by the time I hit customs, nobody would get within ten feet of me, though I was too miserable to really care.

  21. At first I thought you’d been to some really bad rock concert…worked 10 years at a local amphitheatre, and mid-summer, that would describe 90% of the attendees after any given show…

  22. John mentioned this guy was wearing a concert tee. I know that Willie’s name was thrown out there, but I doubt that he is the one. So that begs the question; what concert tee was he wearing?

    Did it have dancing pastel colored teddy bears?

  23. What I’d want to know is how he got through airport security.

    “Sir. Do you have a ticket? And this is YOUR ticket? Please step this way. SIR.”

  24. I did a double take on the “I too love me some Willie” then I realised it was “ie” Willie and not the “y” willy. Maybe it’s just an Aussie thing.

    Marko @ 35, I don’t know what you mean by the French thing? They’re pretty eau de toiletted up these days. Better than the average tourist over there at least.

  25. He could have used an old con trick (not convention): stash that skunk up inside a deodorant stick. Might have helped to kill two birds with one stone(r).

  26. You are the greatest writer in the world! I could smell the guy-it was like I was there.
    (So glad you sent Wil that velvet painting! – it’s how I found you)

  27. Ah, air travel. This reminds me of Stross’ “Saturn’s Children”, which I read while flying. I think everyone here who’s read it will agree with me when I say that book is, in fact, an allegory about the foibles and discomfort provided by modern airlines.

    Also, I’m totally going to steal the “Willie Nelson’s Outhouse” simile. Having just started taking courses at UC Berkeley, it may come in handy. I kid, I kid, it’s a really clean campus–they don’t let just anybody in there… Still haven’t quite figured out why they’re letting me hang around. As for the city of Berkeley, well, see the above post about the other town just across the bridge…

  28. Aw shucks, I really expected that the master wordsmith would produce the perfect putdown which would save the rest of us, sending those anti-social beings scurrying to the nearest bathroom with a newly bought t shirt and nickers. I would happily pay royalties for that, I fly a lot…

  29. Did you tell the man he smelled? We had a new employee at work and he had too much cologne. Twenty foot range too much. So I told him and he hasn’t stunk up the place since. One of my other coworkers was shocked that I spoke up. How else will they find out that they are repelling everyone around them?

  30. “Did you tell the man he smelled?”

    I’m doing it now! He looked like the sort of fellow who spent a lot of time on the Internets, if you know what I mean.

  31. …your (literally) crappy pot-smoking ass…

    He actually smoked pot with his crappy ass? He’s doing it wrong.

    Also I note above:

    #34 Fathercrowon 21 Jan 2009 at 7:11 pm
    I’ve never read Scalzi. Is he any good?

    #35 Markoon 21 Jan 2009 at 7:11 pm
    I take it you’ve never been to France.

    Well it amused me.

  32. Dear Skunkweed Dude;

    You don’t need these extremes to keep people away on airplanes. Just smack yourself in the forehead and shout “Shut up in there! Shut up!”

    Works every time.

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