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I'm sorry, I'm not bothering you, am I?


Nah.

The fact that you're reading a Dan Brown book kinda disturbs me, though.


You've got to have something to take you away from the relentless stress and stupidity of your daily life.


You could at least do it in style.

...


...

...I have two words for you and the second one of those is 'off'.



(The woman began on the isle seat off the plane flight I was on. I was at the window. The guy in the middle had long legs, so she swapped with him so he could stretch out, which was kind of her. She was small, in her late forties, weathered, and with bright blue eyes. Her Dan Brown book (Demons and Angels, I think) was tattered and bent, and the spine broken. She didn't say another word to me during the whole flight, but when the plane hit a bit of turbulence, and she closed her eyes against it, I said, "This is great. I hope it never stops." It did, of course, so I plugged in my headphones and zoned for the flight. I get sick reading, even in air travel.

In case you're wondering, on the flight out of Sydney, I sat next to a guy reading Kafka, who I also don't like a whole lot, though for different reasons. Kafka's very dry, I find, and difficult to get into.)

Comments

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scarlet_arts
Oct. 29th, 2006 12:07 pm (UTC)
This is the best story you've told since the time you explained the concept of the "69" to a class of 7yo's :)
benpeek
Oct. 29th, 2006 10:13 pm (UTC)
that class was IN year seven, not seven :)
ex_chrisbil
Oct. 29th, 2006 12:31 pm (UTC)
Awesome. Hey, if Kafka's dry, perhaps you should try reading him on the shore. Ahar. Ahar. Ahar. A...

Ah, balls.

I'm going to buy an I Hate Ben Peek badge off Deb this week! Also, the book. Thus I fund your adventure on aircraft, and we get more stories of you abusing Dan Brown readers. (which, incidentally, is a hobby close to my own heart to.
ex_chrisbil
Oct. 29th, 2006 12:32 pm (UTC)
*close parenthesis*

!
benpeek
Oct. 29th, 2006 10:13 pm (UTC)
cool! i hope you dig the book. in fact, in a few minutes i'm going to post the cover of it and BLACK SHEEP here.

i do like abusing people who read books i disagree with. i'm a book nazi. here to ensure good reading.
(Anonymous)
Oct. 29th, 2006 01:25 pm (UTC)
And did yuo hassle the guy for reading Kafka? or do you onnly go after middle aged women?
ex_chrisbil
Oct. 29th, 2006 04:33 pm (UTC)
Heh. Judging from the anonymity and poor spelling I think it's Geuf Baloney [sicut... !!1!fd£!) again. We should feed the troll I Hate Ben Peek badges!

Dear troll, never change, man - I love your dimwit comments almost as much as I love Ben's posts!

Also, I don't think Ben said that he hated Kafka in the same way as Dan Brown, who you can take apart in even the simplest critique, just that he found Kafka's style to be drier than Gandhi's flip-flops, and not to his taste.
benpeek
Oct. 29th, 2006 09:58 pm (UTC)
the kafka guy was very quiet and never spoke to me, so he escaped my amazing wit for the plane flight.

:)
black13
Oct. 29th, 2006 03:38 pm (UTC)
I don't like Brown either. I've read only one of his novels, but that one made the movie Independence Day appear intelligent.

That said...

If you feel the need to insult complete strangers on a flight, at least be witty and original. I make it not my business to criticize the reading materials of strangers on a plane.

At least they're reading, right?
benpeek
Oct. 29th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
to be honest, i wasn't really insulting her. i was just making a joke, and the whole exchange was done in a light way (even her fuck off bit). i just thought the whole thing was funny: one of those passing moments on a flight.

no big.

and reading bad fiction isn't the same as reading good fiction. i like to think we all haven't got to a point where just reading is a good sign.
ataxi
Oct. 29th, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
Last time I was on a long flight (thirteen hours) I had an interesting conversation with the guy next to me for the first half hour or so, and then spilt an entire glass of water on him. Conversation chilled out a bit after that.

---

Kafka's a pretty awesome writer, especially of shorter works. "The Giant Mole" is my favourite. His work is sf-ish in the sense that it's almost always strongly based on premise, and not in the sense that he comes up with rather un-sf premises most of the time. Maybe you should revisit his stuff.
benpeek
Oct. 29th, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
that last time i was on a flight, i was talking to a woman who wrote pornography, i think. she was okay, though these flight friends are things i tend to think i can do without half the time.

i was thinking of kafka over the week, cause one of the people there really dug him. he was saying the same thing of you, and i suppose i ought to try again. i like the ideas behind kafka, after all. but we'll see. so much to read. so little life. comparitevly, you know?
ataxi
Oct. 29th, 2006 10:39 pm (UTC)
Come on dude, those collections of his short works are only about 200 pages. Just drop two or three hours out of your blogging schedule! And skip the "Scientific Investigations Of A Dog" one, it's shit. It's all about "The Great Wall Of China", "In The Penal Colony", and "The Giant Mole".
benpeek
Oct. 29th, 2006 10:55 pm (UTC)
time out of my blogging schedule! are you mad! ;)

heh. anyhow, i have one of the collections stillr ound, so i'll give it a go again.
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