Digital ravings of an analog girl

         Shoes and the meaning of life.

July 29, 2009

The secret handshake for the mile high club

Filed under: Uncategorized @ 7:37 pm
Is this man getting a bit of afternoon delight?

Is this man getting a bit of afternoon delight?

A couple of weeks ago, right after I had strained my muscles and my dignity trying pole dancing, I met my friend John* for dinner.  John was visiting from Perth, and I had not seen him for a good 10 years, so we had a lot of catching up to do.

Over a wine or seven we traversed each other’s lives.  Then, just as the big purple pole dancing bruise began to flourish on my right thigh, John leaned forward and whispered “Do you know about the foot nudge thing on planes?”  The conversation went something like this:

John: Do you know about the foot nudge thing on planes?

Me: Err… no.  What’s that?

J: You know, when the person next to you nudges your foot.

M: Nope. What thing?

J: Well, when someone nudges your foot on a plane, if you nudge back, it’s all on.

Me: (Trying to appear urbane and well travelled) What’s all on?

J: You know, you’re on for some groping under the blankets…

M: Oh shut up! You are not!

J: No really!  Happens all the time!

 Anyway, more incredulous exclamations ensued (blah, blah).  The upshot of it is that this has happenned to John several times.  In a row. Lately.

So, how does it work?

Well, a woman, usually aged 35 – 55 finds herself sitting next to John (or presumably any well-dressed handsome man of mid-to-late 40s) on a long-haul flight.  They exchange introductory pleasantries that make it clear there will not be constant chatter during the several hours of the flight.

Sometime after the meal is served, the two parties involved settle in with their respective blankets and try to nod off.  Once the man’s eyes are closed, he will feel a light nudge from the woman’s foot – light enough that it could have been an accident.  Up until this point, it all seems fairly familiar to me.  Here’s where it gets weird… and dirty…

Instead of moving his foot away from the accidental nudge, the man leaves it where it is and maybe even nudges back.  Then one or all of the following ensues. 

  • Woman’s foot begins to rub up and down man’s foot and ankle. 
  • Man reciprocates.
  • Woman casually turns on her side so that her breast rubs against man’s arm.
  • Woman’s hand steals under the man’s blanket and strokes his thigh/cups his balls/plays with the family jewels.
  • Man reciprocates. May also fondle breasts, pinch thighs, whatever…

The ettiquette of this encounter…

As with any social interactions, there is ettiquette.  So, here are the rules according to John:

  • Fly economy.  All you lucky sods that fly business or first class won’t get to experience this.  It’s just too hard to reach across the divide.  I’m sure you’ll be inconsolable…
  • Under no circumstances should you open your eyes, move or make any noise during the encounter.  It is imperative that you pretend this is not happenning.
  • Afterwards, pretend it didn’t happen.
  • Don’t be put off if your mile-high handshake partner is with their spouse.  John tells me that he once did this with a woman who’s husband was sitting on her other side. The chance that his wandering hand may have encountered the husband’s hand on the woman’s thigh only added to the dirtyness and excitement.
  • This encounter does not have to lead to what is usually the natural conclusion of this act.  In fact, according to John, it usually doesn’t.  However, I can’t imagine trying to get off a plane doubled over with blue balls.  I wonder if that would set off the heat sensors that detect swine flu?  John?

 I am both amused and miffed about this. 

Firstly I’m amused as I think this is the kind of thing that the readers of Penthouse write in letters to the editor (or in reality, the editor writes in letters to the editor).  Has this really been going on all this time?

Secondly, I’m miffed, because I once flew from Hong Kong to Brisbane sitting next to the cutest German chef who could not keep his feet to his side of the barrier.  I kept moving my feet out of the way (he had really big feet, so I figured he needed the room).  Damn!

Anyone else heard of this?

*John is a handy generic name to disguise my friend’s identity.  Shame it’s also his real name…


  1.   john — July 30, 2009 @ 3:08 pm    

    Ritsa – a very incisive appraisal of the sport. Certainly foot action is more common than you might think. It’s safe, uncomplicated and cheap. Here’s another good thing, footing lasts a lot longer than conventional intercourse. Recently, i was entertained all the way from Singapore to Perth – that’s a good four hours.

  2.   technebish — July 30, 2009 @ 6:18 pm    

    Thanks for your comment John. We just spent the better part of my Marketing Leaders meeting discussing ‘footing’ and it emerged that everyone had heard of a naughty act on a plane story. The connecting factor… Perth. I will of course be booking my flights shortly. :)

  3.   Rachael — July 31, 2009 @ 2:32 pm    

    Ok…I have canvassed ‘footing’ with several people now – one of them is even an ex trolley dolly – and none of them have even heard of it, let alone taken part. I am beginning to think that it may be just ‘John’…and is he sure it’s a two-way thing?!

  4.   john — July 31, 2009 @ 2:50 pm    

    No doubt there are many things beyond the experience of your average trolley dolly. Anonymous in-flight foot feeling being just be one of them. There is of course a reason for this. They normally sit in the dickie seat next to the kitchen.

  5.   Cavium — July 31, 2009 @ 7:58 pm    

    Ritsa, it happens more often in a pub…but it also happened to me in a flight to South America. The problem was that the other person, was going further -to Angola! and wanted to do the extra mile…will leave details for readers imagination, but it was a lot of beer involved too

  6.   john — August 3, 2009 @ 2:20 pm    

    Ritsa – Thank you Cavium. I feel vindicated.

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