"Sir, the FAA requires it."
"Give me a seat," I said reluctantly."
"Fine. One seat. Now will that be a window seat, an aisle seat, or one of the five pencil-thin narrow seats between them?"
"An aisle seat would be nice," I said.
"$50 said the agent."
"You charge for a seat and another charge for an aisle seat? I asked incredulous.
"It's a lot cheaper than a window seat."
"Why is it less than a window seat?"
"Everyone knows that in a window seat you can look out at absolutely nothing but clouds, but get the joy of inconveniencing the other passengers as much as you want when you have to go to the bathroom."
"I suppose there's a charge for the bathroom," I said sarcastically.
"$5 a visit," she said matter-of-factly. "Now, would you like lunch on your flight?"
"It's $10, and you get a choice of a day-old chicken salad sandwich or a recently unfrozen cheese sandwich, each with five potato chips." I selected the ebola chicken salad. "Something to wash it down? We have a wide variety of almost-cold drinks. "$3 for soda, $5 for any micro-mini liquor. But if you buy three or more, you get one free bathroom pass."
"Can I just pass on the drinks right now and decide once I'm in the air?"
"Not a problem," she said just as sweetly, "but there's a surcharge for last-minute decisions. We have to add a buck to each drink. And we take only cash. Clean, unmarked, crisp bills in the exact amount." I bought two sodas. "Diet or regular?"