the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Mile High Games


In my single days, I loved flying cross-country.  Long flights allowed me to read entire novels in one sitting.  My airplane-reading days ended once I started flying with Sophia.

1)  She is afraid of flying.  She actually grabs my hand as we take off and asks me to pray with her.  I usually play along until she gets pissed at me for ‘rolling my eyes.’

2)  She cannot sit still for five minutes.  She hates being trapped in an airplane, especially when the person in front of her leans his seat back, giving her exactly three inches to move about.   It’s not long before she’s cranky and telling me stories about how she USED to travel in FIRST CLASS with some old boyfriend.

Why does American Airlines book the worst possible movies?  The minute I take out a book to read, I hear Sophia:

“How about we play some cards?” or “How about we do the crossword?” or “How about we take out the American Airlines magazine and circle how many states we’ve visited?”

During our recent flight from NY to LA, Sophia overheard two female flight attendants having a brief exchange as they passed by our seats, preparing to sell us our lunch.

“Are you going to play in the game tonight?” said one.

“You bet!” replied the other.

Sophia turned to me, somewhat excited.

“Did you hear that?”


“They’re playing some game when they get into LA.  Maybe it’s Texas Hold-em?”

“So what?”

(Note:  If you’re new here, Sophia’s latest obsession is watching Texas Hold-em tournaments on TV)

“Maybe I can get into these games.” she said.

“You’ve got to be kidding?!”

She wasn’t.  She rang for one of the flight attendants.  Mindy, a brunette flight attendant from Orange County, came over.

“Can I help you?” asked Mindy.

“Excuse me, ” said Sophia.  “This may sound like a weird question.  But I overheard that you girls play in some game in LA?  Would it be Texas Hold-em?”

“The game?!  Oh no!” she laughed.   “It’s defintiely not poker.  It’s a game we play here right on the flight.”

“Really?”  Sophia asked, her eyes light up.  “What is it?”

Mindy kneeled down next to her.

“I really shouldn’t be telling you this…” said Mindy, glancing over at me, suspiciously. 

Sophia told me to look the other way and cover my ears.   I cheated and listened in as Mindy “spilled the beans.”

“The game is something we girls play on long flights.  We imagine that we are stranded on an deserted island and have to pick just one passenger from the plane to procreate with.”

“Wow,” announced Sophia.  “What a great game!”

After the seat belt sign went off, Sophia jumped up, released from the prison of her seat, and strolled up and down the aisles.  Eventually, she returned, all smiles.

“So, is it me?”  I asked cockily.

Sophia didn’t answer.  Mindy stopped by.

“17C” said Sophia.

“Exactly.” agreed Mindy.

I looked at my seat number.  It read 25D.


A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  Sophia vs. Lavalife


  1. Jules

    Ouch! I guess there won’t be any joining of the Mile High Club…Poor Neil 🙁

  2. Pearl

    Better luck next flight, Neil! 😉

  3. Paris Parfait

    As a woman, I had to laugh. Poor Neil, but you should be consoled that she went home with you!

  4. Think Frustrated

    My wife does the same stuff on long flights. Luckily, she usually falls asleep, and then I can read.

    I wonder if the male Stewards…erm…Flight Attendants also chose 17C, knowing male flight attendants.

  5. Margaret

    Did you get a look at 17C?

  6. Scarlet

    Haha hilarious! I want to play that game. So did you get a good look at the “winner”?

  7. Dustin

    Bullshit! Had the genders been reversed in this situation and someone overheard, the stewards probably would have been reprimanded if not fired. Bullshit I say.

  8. The Retropolitan

    That’s pretty harsh. I hope that you were at least in second place!

  9. Brooke

    17C is gay.

  10. Kevin

    Yeah, don’t worry. I’ll probably never be a 17C either.

  11. Leesa

    Cute 🙂 I’ll have to remember this next time I fly.

  12. Alissa

    Well, since she’s already had you, maybe she needed to fantasize about someone else? How many flight attendants were on your flight? I’m positive at least ONE of them chose you!

  13. Lou P.

    Be glad that you don’t get motion sick!

  14. Thérèse

    I gotta say, Neil. I like Sophia more, the more I read your blog. Female solidarity and all that. 😉

  15. girlgoyle

    Damn! And Mr. Penis strikes out again!!!

  16. ms. sizzle

    brooke is right.

  17. TWM

    Years ago I was in a law enforcement academy and my class of 48 had about 18 gals in it. The class was a wonderful socialogical experiment on group dynamics (18 gals and 30 guys – mostly single), but the point of my post is that the gals played a similar game when they were sunbathing at the beach on weekends.

    According to my source, they would list the guys in the class and each one would say whether they would sleep with them for a million dollars.

    I don’t know where I fell in this little game, but my guess is I was sitting in the same seat Neil was.

  18. Dating Dummy

    She’s dyslexic.

  19. Tara

    Just when I thought you couldn’t get any better, you had to go and write this post.

    I think there are 2 different kinds of people in this world – those who like to read and/or watch movies to relax and those who like to play games. I am a reader, my daughter is a game player (in more ways than one). I try really hard to indulge her but I don’t find games all that relaxing.

    When I was in college and worked at a coffee shop we used to play, “the next guy who walks in is your boyfriend” and it was hysterical. So, maybe there are some games I like to play after all.

  20. justrun

    You have just saved me for many more years of air travel. I have a new game.
    License plate Bingo just wasn’t working.

    By the way, I’m sure someone picked you at some point. Do they have a Top 10?

  21. 3rdtimesacharm( 3T )

    *giggling* I’ll have to remember that game for our next flight. 😉


  22. Blonde Vigilante

    I’m scared of flying too. The take off, the landing, the turbulence…ugh.

    You made me laugh right out loud with that one, Neil. 25C…that’s great.

  23. M.A.

    Thank you so much for making my day! I need to ask more questions like Sophia. (And I need a boyfriend who will fly me first class.)

  24. Danny

    Oh my God, this is great stuff! I don’t even want to know if it all happened exactly this way because it’s too good not to be true. I’d lay money on the fact that 17C was gay or a total asshole. Or is that just my defense mechanism at being a card-carrying member of the 25D club? Oy.

    Isn’t it funny that a whole generation has passed and we still can’t shake the un-PC terms of “steward” and “stewardess?” But then again, I still call my fridge an “ice box” at times and I’m 46, not 86!

  25. Jill

    I love that game! I play that on every bus and subway car! (And airplane.)

  26. Karl

    Wow, maybe next time you should get up in front of the entire cabin and make a little campaign speech at the beginning of the flight. And don’t let your Penis do the talking, either.

  27. Melissa

    No matter how hot 17C was, he was still in coach…

  28. Lynn

    I play this game with my friends at restaurants in New York. We discuss which one of the waitstaff we would get with and where in the room we would do it, after hours of course.

  29. elle

    Sophia rocks.

  30. j!ll

    But can he WRITE? That’s the question. Or speak intelligently? Does he have wit at all, this 17C? He’ll be old and ugly one day, and you will still be witty and brilliant, funny and good at distracting women from their fears. Much better DNA, for sure.

    P.S. Thanks for the upz. Kisses back at you. j

  31. question girl


    just remember – she goes home with you…

    & I LOVE melissa’s comment!

  32. schrodinger

    But you were close…17 is right next to 25. I guess that means you have to listen in when they ‘procreate’, so maybe that’s not as good as I thought.

  33. Neil

    Margaret — No, I didn’t see 17C, but Mindy told Sophia the best time to play the game is during a late night flight, when most hot actors fly.

    TWM — Women!

    Tara — Sophia is a reader AND a player.  She just can’t sit still for too long.  When she was little, her family called her “A hundred pins stuck in the tush.”  (I was told it sounds much better in Yiddish.)

    Danny — I still sometimes say stewardess. But “steward” just sounds creepy.

    Melissa — Both Sophia and Mindy agreed that there were “slim pickings” in business and first class.

    Schrodinger — Frankly, I was always curious how anyone could “do it” in a plane. There’s clearly no room in coach. And the bathrooms stink. Maybe in the luggage compartment?

  34. cruisin-mom

    Thanks Neil, now everytime I fly, and the male flight attendants pass by me, I’ll be wondering if I’m a 17c or 25d

  35. that girl

    i play that game.


  36. Akaky

    I take it you wont be visiting our happy little burg anytime soon then?

  37. Dave2

    If it’s any consolation, my psychic abilities tell me that 17C has a scorching case of herpes.

  38. Brian

    Guys would have a hard time playing that game. We’d have to see boobs first and it’s hard to get a plane-load of females to show their boobs. Believe me, I’ve tried.

  39. Painterbeachgirl

    I think I am on that same flight to LA in a few weeks, Amer Airlines. I’m packing my own lunch, I cant believe they make you pay now…I’m going to hunt down the airline ladies and get in on the game…

  40. Bre

    Did you go look to see 17c? Know thy enemy…

  41. Sandra

    Ooh! Good new game…

  42. kristen

    There’s another game that can be played at parties that I was recently privy to: you scour the party for the person to f*&#, the person to kill and there’s one more which I can’t remember. Personally I chose to make it easy and have the same person to screw and then kill. Oh and my next tattoo is a black widow.

  43. chantel

    I’m afraid to fly too. God Bless The Xanax Fairy.


  44. Neil

    Painterbeach –We packed our own lunch, too. And they now charge you to give in your luggage at the curb. It’s hard to believe that flying used to be something sophisticated and classy.

    Kristen — Can I assume the third one is “someone to marry,” which belongs somewhere in between those two other categories?

  45. treespotter

    i’d go for mindy. and to answer your question, well, the toilet is messy but doable.

  46. Wendy

    all the good comments are taken. thanks for the entertainment. sorry you weren’t 17c, but he probably isn’t nearly as witty as you are.

  47. molly

    Brilliant! Will remember next time we are flying cross country and husband fakes sleep to get out of pesky conversation with me. Will also hope to be flying with nice collegiate water polo team or the like.

  48. rach

    Bummer Neil, how would it be if a male steward picked your seat in their game?

  49. plain jane

    Shame on Sophia.

  50. Lynn

    Well, I think someone should have switched seats right then and there.

  51. Roberta

    Thank you That Girl; I thought I was alone.
    Seriously, I feel so naive about how so many women relate to the world. Maybe it’s because I’m single, maybe it’s because I’m me, but I am scoping every single room all the time. I would not have needed to walk the cabin, were I invited to play. I could have named 17C and three backups.
    And it’s not perpetual horniness. I am just plain boy-crazy.
    It’s only gotten worse since acquiring the part-time boyfriend.

  52. bella

    tough love, man.

  53. brando

    procreating on a desert island? childbirth with no anaesthetic but a smash to the back of the head with a coconut? laugh’s on them, my friend.

  54. ChickyBabe

    Well… she knows you talk to your penis, a lot… 😛

  55. Fitena

    lol! Procreating and in the desert? Who’d think of procreation in a desert? 🙂
    Did you see the 17C?


  56. V-Grrrl

    Having given birth twice, I would not be interested in procreating. Been there, done that. Here’s how I’d play this game–I’d be looking for the dude most likely to be able to cook over a campfire and construct a shelter. Give me an Eagle Scout baby! Give me a Marine! Give me a guy with a VASECTOMY! ; )

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