Armrest etiquette

This is a recurring problem which has likely been ongoing for centuries, yet it seems that there is still no proper, agreed upon, well-known rules on this. I am talking, of course, about that one middle armrest between two chairs you find most often on airplanes, in movie theatres, and sports stadiums. Who owns this middle armrest? Is ownership supposed to be split evenly down the middle? Front and back of armrest? Is ownership rotated - like the left seat gets to use it for five minutes, then the right seat gets it for five? Perhaps, even among strangers, it is expected that our arms will be interlocked upon this armrest in a show of unity. Maybe no one is supposed to use it - is it just there for show, perhaps?

More often than not, however, it seems to be a case of survival of either the fittest or the fattest. No one wants to be sitting next to that fat smelly dude on a long distance flight, but I find it almost as annoying when you get some asshole or bitch who thinks he/she has full ownership of the middle armrest!

In particular, this Bitch is for the dude who decided the middle armrest was his for my entire six hour flight to Europe. Naturally, I was not going to allow this to happen, and we were constantly bumping elbows, exchanging fake smiles and sorries while the battle for the coveted and comfy middle armrest continued. Perhaps we're supposed to agree upon an "Armrest Sharing and Usage Program" before the flight commences? Along with their important safety announcements, should flight attendants also be outlining in detail how passengers are supposed to share this middle armrest? —Mr. Elbows

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