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8:26pm on Monday, 24th July, 2006:



I was sat next to a rather elderly, rather overweight, Irish granny on the flight to Italy.

After about an hour, she decided she wanted to go to the toilet (it was a two-hour flight, so no way was she going to make it without my having to get up for her...). She shuffled along the seats to the aisle and off she went.

When she got back, she didn't sit in my seat and shuffle back. Instead, she edged along standing up. Then, she grabbed hold of the seat in front of her and slowly lowered herself down. At the last moment, she let go of the headrest she was holding, and —


The seat shot forward. In it was a middle-aged man who had, up until the moment he was propelled forwards at velocity, been asleep. He yelped in surprise to find himself launched awake, and looked back between the chairs to see who had tried to kill him.

"Do you mind?" said the granny, sharply. "You startled me with that noise!"

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).