John Curley’s epic battle for room on an airplane armrest

Jan 3, 2020, 2:18 PM

The competition for real estate in America is cutthroat, and nowhere is that more pronounced than on an airplane armrest, where elbows and forearms jaw at each other for entire flights.

On a recent flight, John Curley found himself in such a battle.

“The guy next to me had the middle seat. So now I’m fighting the guy for the armrest,” he said. “I didn’t realize this, but later on someone said, ‘Oh, you’re so used to flying first class. Whoever has the middle seat gets both arms.”

This was news to Curley, but Tom agrees with this middle seat armrest etiquette.

“I think that’s only fair, because you’ve got your one big armrest, the other guy has the window, so the guy in the middle seat, he’s the poor, unfortunate soul,” Tom said.

John Curley’s adventures falling off the stage at an auction

Curley’s fight for the armrest continued, with neither person gaining any ground for the four-hour flight.

“I am fighting this guy like, ‘Okay, So you want to go the front? You want middle of the armrest, I’ll go in front of you,” he said. “So what I would do is I would quickly slide my arm up the armrest, knocking his arm off of the armrest, causing his face and head to drop.”

Watch: John Curley’s play-by-play of a car prowl

Curley found himself with very little options, and opted to bring out the big guns.

“You know how bad I am at this? I’m 57. I’m trying to be a better person in 2020, but it wasn’t 2020 yet. So I couldn’t move his arms. You know what I ended up doing?”

“Farting. As much as I could. I just thought, ‘I’m going to make life uncomfortable for him in a whole different way.'”

“And everybody else on the plane,” Tom added.

Listen to the Tom and Curley Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Tom and Curley on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 3pm for The Tom and Curley Show.

Tom and Curley Show

Tom and Curley

Last Duel...
Tom Tangney

Poor Marguerite’s story saves ‘The Last Duel’

Tom Tangney says, ultimately, The Last Duel is a proto-feminist take on the Middle Ages with Marguerite's take that brings the film into focus.
8 days ago
James Bond...
Tom Tangney

Daniel Craig’s final James Bond movie comes full-circle

The 25th installment in the James Bond movie franchise may be titled "No Time to Die," but "Too Much Time to Die" may be more fitting.
16 days ago
Tom and Curley Show

Kraken CEO: Climate Pledge Arena is the ‘most beautiful arena in the world’

Tod Leiweke, CEO of the Kraken, told KIRO Radio's Tom & Curley Show about what fans can expect for the upcoming season and at the new arena.
17 days ago
segregation, homeless affordable housing, apartments, housing...
Tom and Curley Show

Rep for landlords says Seattle needs to focus on ‘real solutions’ to fix housing crisis

Brett Waller, director of government affairs for the Washington Multifamily Housing Association, explains the recent housing bills in Seattle.
25 days ago
Tom and Curley Show

Tom & Curley Show interrupted by a squirrel

In the middle of reading letters from listeners on Monday, John Curley was interrupted by his dogs bringing a squirrel inside his cabin.
1 month ago
Jay Inslee, pause, reopening, vaccine order...
Tom and Curley Show

Not much point in suing over Inslee’s vaccine order, says former state Attorney General

The vaccine order from Gov. Inslee for state workers stands on pretty firm legal ground, according to former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
John Curley’s epic battle for room on an airplane armrest