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Woman Survives Harrowing Airplane Journey Next to Doll

Writer Sara Nović was taking a red eye Friday morning. Seated beside her was a doll, serving as a companion to a lone man. In terms of horrible seat companions on a flight, this rates between a drunk couple fighting and someone who has shit their pants. But creepier.


Nović started tweeting about the doll, which apparently had its own seat ticket and unpleasant interaction with the TSA. An adult man buying a plane ticket for a doll escalates this situation from “quirky foible” to “it puts the lotion on its skin.”


Nović was definitely more freaked than I’d be about sitting next to a silent object, but she at least enjoyed rounding out a portrait of her neighbors:


No word on what he fed the doll.


Some of the people following her saga suggested the doll might be a Luk Thep, or a supernatural doll imbued with the soul of a child. Apparently, at least one Thai airline allows customers to buy seats for dolls, as carrying a Luk Thep is enough of a common practice for that to have come up. There’s no evidence to prove Barbara is or isn’t a Luk Thep, though it is also in no way comforting to imagine that she has a child’s soul trapped inside her.

Regardless, it’s clear the doll’s owner/father/travel partner needs some kind of support that Barbara is dutifully providing.


Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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My sister’s MIL at one point never failed to show up unless in the company of Michael- a large, homemade African American Cabbage Patch-style doll who dated from when my BIL was a tot. Michael would travel, strapped in, in the front seat of the car, wearing clothes that my MIL would then put on my nephews. She would yell at my nephews if they were too rough with Michael. Until one day the nephews were EXTREMELY rough with Michael. My sister hasn’t shared the full details, but apparently he barely survived. Michael stays at home now, plotting.