I CONSIDER myself blessed with a relatively strong constitution when it comes to the flotsam and jetsam of life. Yet, there is something about hurtling through the skies crammed into a sausage-shaped, pressurised container with several hundred other human beings that brings me out in a cold sweat.

As summer holiday season looms with it comes a flurry of unsettling tales about the mind-boggling (read: anti-social, inconsiderate and downright repugnant) things that people do on planes.

Already we are out of the traps with a story about a woman who, on a recent flight from the US, lounged nonchalantly with bare feet resting atop the seat in front, never mind that there was a person sitting there who perhaps didn't want to wear her toes as a hat.

The woman placed a grey fedora over her shoeless and sock-free feet, one presumes to keep the bare tootsies warm/hide the heinous behaviour from passing flight attendants. Either way, this is likely not quite what the Wright brothers envisaged when they pioneered aviation.

A photograph taken by a fellow passenger was posted to the Instagram account @passengershaming last week (a word to the wise: don't go down this rabbit hole if you are easily queasy, there are some things that can't be unseen).

Regular travellers will be able to relate to the passenger shaming "bingo card" with horrors that include galley yoga, armrest theft, unflushed toilets, feet on the tray tables, nails being clipped and chewed gum inside the safety demo card.

The latter is a particular gripe of mine. Years ago, I got chatting to a flight attendant after she kindly offered to help remove a lump of chewing gum from my hair (stuck not to the safety demo card, but alas a corner of the headrest cover which I didn't notice until too late).

It turns out I wasn't her first mid-air, chewing gum-related emergency. Nor was this even close to the worst scenario she had to deal with on a daily basis.

She breezily listed some of the less palatable items that passengers regularly left behind in the aircraft seat pockets: dirty nappies, half-eaten prawn sandwiches, used dental floss, crusty plasters and the occasional bag of urine to name but a few.

If you are prone to this type of thoughtless act, here's my advice: don't travel. Stay at home. The rest of us thank you in advance.

What's in a name?

THOSE who have been watching Game of Thrones will know that it's all been kicking off in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros (if you haven't yet seen series eight, episode five yet, then look away now).

The TV show, adapted from George RR Martin's series of fantasy novels, has inspired a raft of offspring called Sansa, Tyrion, Jon, Dany (short for Daenerys) and Aria/Arya since it first aired in 2011.

Naming kids after TV characters is a perilous business. There came a rude awakening for those who have called their daughters Khaleesi in homage to Game of Thrones dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen, a character revered for her strong-willed, kickass style.

The name Khaleesi – which means queen – was given to 560 girls in the US last year alone (more still if you include variations on the spelling) with some 3,500 in total over recent years. In Scotland, there have been 18 babies to bear the moniker since 2012.

A noble name is Khaleesi. Until last week, when she became a mass-murdering, city-razing villain. Well, that escalated quickly. I would hazard that more than a few parents who had previously felt cool and edgy by giving their child the name, suddenly felt a tad sheepish.

Let's make a pact going forward. If you must name anything after a TV character, make it something inanimate like a car. Or a favourite pen.

Pets are fair game within reason. By this I mean a budgie or fish. A guinea pig, ferret or hamster at a push. But not cats or dogs. Roaring "Khaleesi!" from the back step or across a crowded park as you seek to locate an errant moggy or misbehaving pooch is not a good look.

Take that from someone who, during the 1980s, owned a feline duo called Smokey and Bandit.

Eco-friendly viewing

SPEAKING of telly, Bafta has called for more TV drama plots to focus on climate change. An analysis of words used in non-news programmes found "dogs", "sex" and "Brexit" used thousands of times more than those related to environmental issues.

Bafta analysed 128,719 shows across the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky between September 2017 and September 2018. It revealed that the phrase "climate change" was used 3,125 times – comparable to "zombie", "bikini" and "goldfish".

However, "dogs" received 105,245 mentions, "Brexit" 68,816 and "sex" 56,307. Of the 25 environmental words tracked by Bafta, "solar power" was used just 193 times, "wind power" 180 times and "clean energy" a mere 136 times.

When it comes to tackling this, I reckon there's plenty of material to work with. You could have Ken Barlow on Coronation Street pondering solar panels and Sharon Mitchell on EastEnders sorting plastics from cardboard and glass before putting out the recycling.

Charlie Fairhead, the stalwart of the A&E department on Casualty, could pause thoughtfully while making a cuppa, only half-filling the kettle to save energy.

There could be a wind farm plan unveiled in Emmerdale and Lenny Murdoch on River City could convert his taxi firm Amber Cabs to a fleet of electric vehicles. Large swathes of Hollyoaks could be swept away in a cataclysmic climate change-related weather event.

To be fair, though, there is probably a greater chance of a wedding between a zombie and a goldfish wearing a bikini. Or, far more likely, a dog being embroiled in a Brexit sex scandal.