The world of aviation has come a long way since Orville and Wilbur Wright burst out of the hangar on that December morning in 1903.
Or has it?
Today, airlines have a mission to cram as many passengers... sorry, make optimum use of available cabin space for the ultimate comfort of their stakeholders.
We all know seats are shrinking and the already virtually non-existent legroom is decreasing before our sleep-deprived eyes, while in airline-company evil laboratories, sadistic boffins are conjuring up and registering patents for truly cruel and inhumane seating configurations.
Some of these designs forged among the searing flames of hell include two rows of seats sandwiched on top of each other and "saddle seats" where passengers apparently squat, which would require hamstrings of steel for a nice 16-hour jaunt.
Other patents include a seating configuration with passengers facing each other, standing seats, double-arse bench seats for the big-boned flyer, to the option of seating passengers inside a bubble on top of the aircraft.
They have to be taking the piss, which would not be difficult when you are sitting in that squat seat.
One aviation story caught my eye, that America's airlines are introducing a class below economy.
Below economy? What? In the luggage hold?
The next step I assume will be a seat bolted to the wing. Imagine the breathless (literally) marketing spin, "Experience unforgettable 360-degree panoramic vistas from the comfort of your seat."
Though I can see some benefits in this wing seat. At least it would be a fart-free zone.
I don't have any conclusive medical evidence about the subject, and it would make
a fascinating thesis, but what is it with flying and farting?
Why is it that people become frequent flatulators at 43,000 feet?
Do they normally practise these disgusting anal acoustics in the comfort of their home, or do they kindly wait until they are in close, inescapable proximity with hundreds of poor unsuspecting souls before cutting the cheese -- and I don't mean the platter on the tray table. The culprits are always bloated businessmen. You know who you are.
These are serious questions. I am not being classist about these arse-blasts. Indeed, the wafting cloud of rectal turbulence can be experienced equally in economy and business class.
From personal experience, the methane menace is worse at the pointy end, and has woken me up like some cheek-squeak alarm clock. Makes you want to reach for the oxygen mask.
I implore airlines to implement a zero-tolerance policy on backdoor belches, with ejector seats activated for passengers who play the trouser tuba, not to mention use corny fart euphemisms.