Thought you guys might get a kick out of this.
I recently took a 2.5-hour flight on a United CRJ - I'm an average size so I don't normally mind the regional jets.
Unfortunately when I got to my seat (right behind the exit row), I found that my seatmate was a large fellow who had taken the initiative to raise the middle armrest...not sure he could have lowered it anyway. In the interest of decorum I consigned myself to a couple of hours of self-imposed scoliosis by leaning my torso into the aisle as much as practicable.
When it came time for the 'exit row safety brief', the nice young lady said something to the effect that each person in that row had to answer a verbal "Yes" to each of her questions...simple enough, right?
Well, the first question was "Are you aware that you are in an exit row?"...three "Yes" answers except for the gentleman in front of me. She asked again with no response from him...apparently he didn't speak the vernacular or didn't feel like playing along, so I got up and said "You're moving back a row, chum" and he did as he was told.
I'm generally not the assertive type, but after a long month away from home doing the King's business I figured what the hell did I have to lose?
Those exit rows are relatively fantastic...I highly recommend it. Just be ready to say "Yes"...