Scary Stat of the Day: Feet Outnumber Brains 2 to 1

In this second installment of Judgment Week on ThreadTripping, allow me to state categorically that if you have a foot fetish then you have two things – a foot fetish and a problem.

Feet are nasty. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong, plain and simple.

And feet poking through the opening between my seat and the seat next to me on an airplane are the nastiest of all. I don’t care if those are Heidi Klum’s dogs, they gots to be put back in their cage or put down.

Of course, the brazen flaunting of their disgusting feet isn’t the only nasty habit some passengers exhibit while in flight, as evidenced by the passengershaming Instragram feed.

Over on the City-Data forums travelers discuss some of the worst things they have seen humans do while traveling – hygiene-wise. And at least one offers what is either a half-hearted defense of the baring of feet in-flight, or a very subtle joke – it’s difficult to be sure which:

If you’re not supposed to take your shoes off, why do they give you socks? ~WildColonialGirl

Needless to say, most disagree strongly with this defense:

Every single carpeted TSA checkpoint in the eastern US smells like a mixture of mold and sweaty feet, kind of like a carpeted locker room. Every one.


People really need to mind their hygiene a little bit too. I was going through security the other day and kept getting this eye-watering smell of chopped onions, but it was like onion plus deodorant. As it turned out, it was the woman right behind me. Her pits smelled like raw, chopped onions left in a container in the refrigerator. For a week. At least I hope it was her armpits and not something else. ~43north87west

Honestly, flying is probably my least favorite thing to do. The security is a joke and a hassle, the prices are obscene, the service is horrendous, there is utterly no comfort if you’re not flying first class, the food is terrible…but the worst part is being exposed to the classless and oblivious people. Just go to any terminal and look around at how people are disgusting, how some show up unwashed and with dirty clothes, how some act as if they aren’t in public at all, how some people let their kids run wild, how some people act as if they are the only person in the airport as they scream on their phone, etc. And this isn’t to mention the people who are obviously sick but do nothing to keep from spreading their germs to everyone else. ~HedgeYourInvestments

Smells make me want to heave sometimes. BO is just disgusting and to me, there is NO excuse. If you can afford to fly, you can afford the water and hot water heater to run a shower. … Before anyone jumps in and blames BO on a medical problem, then they should bring along a wash cloth and wash their pits (or where ever is the cause of an odor) a few times on a long flight, then USE deodorant. ~gouligann

Don’t even get me started on those who go barefoot into the lav. WHY would you ever do that? Aircraft lav floors are coated with urine and even traces of feces – I feel gross even with shoes on. ~arctic_gardener

This post by Tallybalt, however, offered what seems to be a pretty reasonable explanation as to why some passengers might board in a pungent state:

I have been guilty, once. We had an eight hour layover in Kuala Lumpur that followed a 22 hour flight including a prior layover in Dubai. We’d had no showers in nearly 24 hours and went out to explore the city. Six hours walking outdoors in very humid weather = soaking wet with sweat by the time we returned to the airport. I’m sure we stunk to high heaven even though we tried to discreetly wash up as much as possible in the restroom. I spent the next leg of our flight quietly praying that no one could smell us.

Fair enough. I mean, I can’t count the number of threads I have come across along the lines of, “8-hour layover in XYZ – Enough time to see the city?”. And the replies almost always suggest a whirlwind tour of the locale’s hotspots – followed immediately by another long flight.

Read the thread that inspired this judgmental rant in its entirety: Totally Gross and Disgusting Air Passengers

Image: “warning:” by Rob!. CC BY 2.0

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