Airline promises to find you a seat buddy

lift lurker and grandpa fardel

EVER SAT NEXT TO a really annoying person on a long-haul flight? (If the supersized whiskey-drinker who sat next to me on a recent Singapore-Hong Kong flight is reading this, keep it shut.)

An airline is about to launch a seat-buddy system to make sure everyone sits next to their ideal companion, I heard from reader “Grandpa” Christian Fardel, who works in the aviation industry. (Grandpa is pictured above, sitting next to Lift Lurker.)

How do the the airline people work out who you’d like to sit next to?

When you buy your ticket, you tell Air Baltic your preferred general “mood” of travel (“I like to network”, “I prefer silence”, “I fondle strangers” etc.) and your work and interests (“I am a Malaysian-Latvian contract-killer who collects Hello Kitty figurines.”).

The airline reckons that even people who normally prefer grim silence may open up if someone on board has the exact same interests. “Hey, I love Hello Kitty too!”

Other frequent travelers I discussed this with were intrigued.

Reader Chris Huber (right) from Hong Kong said he’d ask the airline for a middle seat between two top models.

Sandeep Singh said: “I’m going to put down ‘gynecology’ as my hobby.”

I pointed out that he had no medical qualifications.

“I could say ‘AMATEUR gynecologist’,” he said.

Yeah right. I hope they make him sit next to a woman with HORRIBLE CONTAGIOUS diseases.



THE US national spelling contest last week was won by a girl with Asian roots, Snigdha Nandipati. What did she correctly spell? Her name?



PLAYBOY BOSS Hugh Hefner, 86, is having a stormy relationship with his fiancé, a 22-year-old model. The argument? One says: “You’re just after my money” while the other says: “You’re just after my body.” The report I was forwarded didn’t say which was which. Oh no! Now I am going to have spend hours trying to work it out for myself!


AFTER PLEADING for 24 years, a woman last week persuaded officials that she was alive. Arshafi Devi had been wrongly declared dead in 1988, the Indo-Asian News Service reported.

Last week officials in Patna, India, gave her what she called “a certificate to prove that I am alive”.

These days, being able to walk and talk is not considered evidence of being alive.

Look at Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, who clearly died years ago, but still tours.


lift lurker 2

LIFT LURKER, a reader, condemned the current obsession with weight loss in a recent comment which definitely was worth putting into the newspapers.

“People don’t need to know how much they weigh,” he said. “At the grocery store there is no ‘counter for people over 50 kilos’. At school, the test for getting into second grade isn’t ‘You reached 30 kilos’. And when you apply for a job, the ads don’t say: ‘Wanted: CEO weighing 70 to 75 kilos’. When I got married, the ceremony didn’t go like this: ‘Do you accept all 90 kilos of LL?’ ‘I do, but only up to 110 kilos’. And finally, I don't need to know my weight when I die. ‘Here lies LL, 1954 to 2154, 90 kilos’.”


A RESEARCH company called Pew Global asked Europeans: “Who are the hardest working Europeans?” Everyone wrote down “The Germans” except for the Greeks, who answered: “The Greeks.”

The survey, results of which were revealed last week, failed to ask: “Who are the most deluded Europeans?”


Happy Monday.