If you fly regularly, chances are you’ve encountered “that passenger”–the one whose mission is apparently to stress test your sanity and the limits of your personal space. You want to say something to the person, but getting into a back-and-forth while trapped thousands of feet in the air would only make your flight all the more hellish than it is now.
The answer: a passive-aggressive open letter. Just ask 24-year-old Lau Mun Yee.
While on a flight from Singapore to Sydney, Lau encountered the passenger from hell–more specially, from “the anus of Satan.” Her experience with loud talking, obnoxious chewing, and questionable odors led her to pen this amazing open letter to the offending passenger:
Dear passenger 15A,
You do not know me but I was seated in front of you during the flight from Singapore to Sydney on April 12th.
What I had initially thought to be a routine flight turned out to be a once in a lifetime experience – and it was all because of you.
I am writing this letter to thank you personally.
Being the cheapskate Asian that I am, I did not pay extra for a seat next to the emergency exit.
Though it offered more legroom, I couldn’t be bothered to read the special safety procedures. The last thing I would want is to compromise the lives of all the innocent passengers because I do not know how to open the airplane door.
Despite my common economy seat, you offered me a full back massage by repeatedly kicking the back of chair. To date, I have yet to regain full mobility of the lower half of my body. But since I am single, I suppose I don’t have much use for it anyway.
I did not pay for the in-flight entertainment package and I was worried that I might get bored. But my concerns were unnecessary. You were talking so loudly, as if your friend was seated in the cargo hold rather than right next to you.
Perhaps she’s hard of hearing? This might strike you as odd but for the first time in my life, I wished I had a hearing impairment too.
Also, could you tell me where you bought those obnoxious snacks? I assume that they must have been delicious cause you rip one open every 30 minutes.
Thanks for the loud rustling and chewing ambient sounds!
At this point, I thought, “It can’t get any better than this.” But what I had meant as a rhetorical question, you took as a challenge.
For immediately, my nose was assaulted by a putrid smell of death and decay.
The stench was so strong that I turned to check if the old lady seated next to me was still breathing.
It was so nice of you to take off your shoes and put your feet between my seat and the plane window. It must have taken considerable effort – it was a small space but you stuck it as close to my face as you possibly could.
Your kindness moves me.
The sun is rising above the horizon; the sky is bleeding crimson and gold. But I cannot turn to gaze at this everyday miracle because every time I do, I smell the anus of Satan.
I had half the mind to pull down the oxygen mask above me. But then I remembered that I was flying on a budget airline, so I’d probably have to pay extra for that.
Did you know that you have made me a more religious person?
I have said more prayers in that eight-hour flight than I have in my entire life.
I was torn between asking God for strength to endure the rest of the journey and,
“SWEET GUAN YIN MA, TAKE ME HOME!”
This experience has been so memorable that I am writing this from my therapist’s office. I have also signed up for ten more sessions to talk about it.
Thank you once again.
Lau’s passive aggression is so poetic, in fact, it has inspired this dramatic reading: