One of my favorite songs is “Stuck In The Middle With You” from Scottish band Stealers Wheel. My favorite line is ‘Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you (people hogging the armrest!). That lyric sums up SO many experiences I’ve had with cherished travel companions and is also a humorous way to look at being stuck in the middle seat of an airplane, hence today’s post title, which is filed under “what will they think of next?”.
It is well known that the amount of space you get in the main cabin of an airplane is minuscule. Rubbing thighs with your row mate or battling for the armrest, coach seats force you to interact with strangers, which for some of us is akin to Malebolge! It is also well known that the poor slob stuck in the middle seat is screwed. He/she doesn’t have the quick escape afforded by the aisle seat nor the joy of watching geographic landmarks pass by from the window seat. This poor person is relegated to sardining* between two people, keeping his/her eyes front and manuevering with all the reach of a T-Rex.
Now, it is a fact among those who travel frequently that passenger etiquette dictates the armrests belong to this beleaguered soul who didn’t wisely choose a seat or was at the mercy of someone else doing the booking (I’m looking at you, Brenda!). The practice of giving the armrest to the middle seat passenger is the right thing to do but not everyone does it. If the makers of this latest gadget have their way, millions of smushed passengers may be able to fly without the literal experience of rubbing elbows with random people.
Introducing Soaragami! This little invention is billed as ‘the armrest problem solver’ and is a folding device that doubles the area of an armrest, clipping onto a seat (such as airplanes, buses, movie theaters, etc.) to give users on either side their own space. According to the website, this device can be used anywhere there is a shared armrest. Now, the makers don’t claim that the Soaragami will turn your seat mate into Prince (or Princess) Charming, just that it will give you BOTH the opportunity to rest your weary arms.
The Soaragami ships in September, and given the number of awards this little guy has won, I suspect supplies will sell out pretty quickly. I have not tried this so I cannot vouch for the quality of construction or ease of use. I do think the idea is good and even if it doesn’t provide a ton of extra room, I love the idea of it sending a message to ‘stay on YOUR side’. In fact, I can totally see this being used to separate siblings of any age where an armrest is in play.
What do you think? Will you buy a Soaragami? Do you think there is a need for this device? Let me know in the comments and thanks for stopping by!
*I am making up a new word. Sardining (sahr-deen-eng): verb – Forced to exist in a trapped state, between the aisle and window seats on an airplane, as though packed with other lower life forms in a metal can and opened with or without a can key.