COPENHAGEN, Denmark: We leave hours late, because of the European security delays, following the foiled bomb plot. Then we sit on the runway an hour more. No one's terribly cheerful.
In fact, the SAS flight grows downright freaky.
First, the attendant won't give me more water. I'd drunk my 500ml bottle: game over. Finally she grudges out a glass, but refuses to refill.
"Miss, remember there are 200 other people on this plane!"
"But I'm dehydrated, I don't feel well. Please?"
"No," she barks. "YOU SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT YOUR OWN WATER."
At which point, my cool evaporates and I snap back: EVER HEARD OF A LITTLE THING CALLED TSA?"
She glares, but tops up my glass, at least.
Slightly huffy, I return to my seat and kvetch with my neighbor, a Danish veterinary student. Suddenly, a finger pokes my shoulder.
"Your hair is problem," the man behind me announces. "Is hitting me. I am not happy."
Huh? My mop's long, but not the five-plus feet required to brush his body over a high seat back.
"I'll be more careful," I promise.
But his animosity swells, poisoning the atmosphere. I must resemble his ex-wife. As I'm scrabbling in my purse for an elastic, he prods me again.
"I'm trying to help you here, sir," I say, "even if your request is kinda strange."
"You are pain in the @ss," he declares.
"That's pretty strong language in English."
"PAIN IN @SS!" he bellows.
The Danish vet rips out her ponytail holder and hands it across. I scrape my offensive mane into a bundle. The Swedish meatball keeps yelling.
"Calm down, mister, or else you'll need to be reseated. You're scaring me."
I hit the call button. Maybe the nasty flight attendant and hair-rage man can duke it out in a steel-cage death match.
Except she assumes the request was for my vegetarian meal and thumps it onto the tray. At this point, the scene's calmed, so I let it slide.
I do, however, jack my chair into full recline for the next nine hours.