I must not be the brightest bulb in the shed. I’ve always thought the purpose of that little tray that folds down from the seat in front of you on an airplane was for holding food and water. But it appears that I’m wrong, yet again.
Turns out that tray is actually a personal grooming center:
But this is an anomaly, you say. That little flake sitting on the tray next to the sandwich you brought from home? It must be an onion slice that fell out of the previous occupant’s sandwich. It only looks like a fingernail.
Sorry to let you down, fellow weary traveler.
Last month I was flying back home after a visit to Connecticut. I was sitting in my seat while other passengers stowed their luggage and squeezed into their seats. Suddenly I noticed a sharp odor. It had the nasty chemical stench of a paint thinner. At first it was faint but then got progressively stronger. I felt a headache coming on and looked across the aisle. The woman in the window seat had her tray down. And she was polishing her nails.
See the four people sitting near the Lady In Pink in this photo?
They’re not sleeping. They’re dead, felled by the fumes emanating from her toenails.
But it’s all good, yo. Slowly but surely I’m getting wiser. The next time I’m flying and I squeeze into the restroom I won’t be fooled. I’ll see that little fold-down table that’s purportedly for changing babies’ diapers and realize that it’s actually a flat surface for doing lines of coke.