I was in Oakland for a conference this weekend which I wasn't so excited about -- and therefore went better than expected. One of the good things about it was that the conference site happened to be a block and a half away from Chinatown, so I got some very yummy dim sum while I was there.
On the plane ride back, I was grading papers and, with the middle seat free and me in the aisle, I had set up my computer to look at the scenes from Jezebel that I was looking up to check against assignments. The person in the seat in front, however, then leaned his seat back... and smooshed my screen slightly so that it was stuck between the top of the pull-down tray cache and the tray itself. I tapped the person on the shoulder. "Excuse me, sir, can you pull your chair back forward just a moment?"
He looked at me, made a motion that he couldn't hear.
I spoke louder: "I'm sorry, sir, but would you mind moving your seat forward for a moment? The movement back crushed my computer screen and it's stuck. I just need you to move forward for a second to get it out."
He smiled broadly at me. "No English," he said. "Spanish." He gave me a look which said I don't really care to understand you, so fuck off and nestled himself back down.
So I tapped him again. He turned back, annoyed.
And as sweetly as I possibly could, with a very kind smile, I said: "Disculpame, señor, pero su asiento atracó a mi computadora. ¿Se puede mover su asiento por delante por un ratito para que yo pueda sacarla?"
As he slowly turned back to move his seat forward, I laughed. On the inside. Naturalmente.