For the first time ever, I got the seat on an airplane that is in the absolute back of craft. Only the lavatories were farther to the back of the jet than me.
It's so far back that just getting to this seat is a trip unto itself. As I walked down the aisle, I realized my seat 49E is the equivalent of a nosebleed seat in a baseball stadium. I kept looking at the row numbers and mine never seemed to come up.
Finally I made it.
I make the seat sound bad, but I think it might be one of my favorite seats on a plane. Granted, anyone sitting there is in a perilous position when it comes to exiting the plane and is pretty much guaranteed to have to spend 15 minutes more than anyone else.
The bright side of this position is its psychology. Moving past the sophistos in first-class drinking their martinis and past the people sitting in the emergency row with a football field's worth of leg space, I slid into 49 E and was overwhelmed by a huge sense of calm. I realized I had a huge advantage over everyone else on the plane. While they may get a little jittery in some turbulence, I would be unfazed.
There is peace in knowing that if the door less than five feet away from me opens mid-flight, I would be able to see it happen and would probably be the first to fly out. Having this absolute certainty makes it danger bearable.
It is also relieving to know for sure that if there was a fire on the plane before we took off, I would have no chance of getting out.
The people in front of me have some degree of doubt about whether they would survive a midair catastrophe. They think that because they're in the center of the plane, if the doors opened, they might have a chance if they buckle the seat belts tight enough.
The person in 49E doesn't have these thoughts. I didn't even buckle my seat belt. Why delay the inevitable?
Instead of pamphlets outlining safety procedure, the airline should just hang a big sign for the person in 49E that says "If something goes wrong, you will die."
Or better yet, they should just provide the person in the very back seat with a special set of safety directions. If the cabin de-pressurizes, don't worry about putting on your oxygen mask. It might even say that 49E is so far back that they didn't even bother putting in an oxygen mask. And why would they waste a perfectly good floatation device on this seat either.
Another real plus about being in the very back seat is that you have first shot on the drink and snack cart.
Justin Boron is the government and politics reporter for the News Daily. His column appears Mondays. He can be reached at 770-478-5753 x281 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .