Learning To Fly – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Close my eyes. Time to sleep through this flight. Eyes shut for a minute. Mambo number five in the aisle bounces off my head. Wakes me up. See something white on my pants as I open my eyes. Oh God. What was I dreaming about? No, this is a small thing. Pick it up. A mint. More to the point, a wet mint. By the looks of it, just fell out of someone’s mouth and onto my lap. Nelly to my right sneezes again. Plane hits a pocket of turbulence. Mambo bounces off me again. See now that it is her ass hitting off me. Feels slightly moist as it bounces off the side of my face. Wet, like the mint. Maybe sweat? Who knows, who cares?
And so began my wonderful flight home to Ireland. For some reason I am unsure of now, I did not get a direct flight from LAX to London. Nay nay, first stop, Toronto. Wahey. Small enough plane for a five hour flight. Full to the brim. Ticket desk inform me that the flight is overbooked, looking for people to give up their seats, ‘Are you interested?’. No I am funking not. Why would you oversell the flight, clowns?
Grimaced smile in my direction. Seat assigned. 42 c. Thank you for giving me dirty looks for using the ticket I bought. Board on. Row 42? Keep on looking. Walking past some screaming Russian guy. Warm. Stuffy. Crying babies. Keep walking. Last row of the plane. Delightful. Nice small seats. Really tight. C appears to be the one in by the window. The one that is oddly a third smaller than the other seats because of the weird angle of the wall behind it. Time to dodge that. Especially as I see screaming Russian guy and his waddling sidekick Nelly coming in my direction. 42 compadres! Herd them both in to the window and middle seats before they can figure out one of them is meant to be on the outside seat. Say nothing. Aisle on. Clever me!
Hmm. Up we go. Plane rattles. Wind shakes us around. Baby on the aisle seat next to me starts wailing. Russian man starts muttering angrily. Nelly starts pouring out some weird smell. Seatbelt sign flash off. Time to sleep away this fun flight- Nope. Actually. Time for people to start using the bathroom. Which, I realise, is conveniently located just behind my head. Meaning time for me to get bumped.
Pretty sure people were just filling their bladders as much as humanly possible prior to taking off. Non-stop stream of people for the bathroom. Notice it is a particularly heavy flight, as in, the folk are quite jolly. Russian Nelly next to me has one part of her arm on the arm rest, one part covering my left leg and the other part by her elbow conveniently resting on my crotch. That’s a pretty big arm where I’m from. She appears to be the average body size on the flight too. Obeasts!
Fun fact about sitting next to the bathroom: Each bathroom goer will constantly bump and walk into you. Herds of elephants. Bumping. Hitting. Staring me down when I try to give a dirty look. Dimbo. Bimbo. Humbo. Eroding away your knee as they crash into it one after another. Dumbo. Jumbo. Jimbo. Body bumping like you’re not even there. Added to this constant rocking, Nelly next to me starts sneezing open mouth style. Wiping her nose/mouth with her right arm. Placing it back on my crotch once she’s done. Give her a look ‘No more crotch rest, please?’. No dice.
Never ending queue to the bathroom. Stuck in my seat. No where to run. No place to hide. Mambo goes into the bathroom. Rumbo behind her steps forward. Allows the toilet leaver go by. Makes room by grabbing the overhead compartment over my head. Mission Impossible style. Close my eyes so I don’t have to look at his hairy belly in my face. Plane. Pocket. Turbulence. Rocks the boat. Mumbo’s hairy belly slaps off my ear. Twice. Bare belly. Hands up on the overhead lifts his already stretched coke stained jumper way up. Audible slaps too. Well, audible to me, seeing as it was bouncing off my ear. So that was nice.
My sighing, tuting and passive aggressive clearing of my throat had no joy deterring these obeasts either. Gave up asking people to stop bumping into me after the fourth Lumbo bounced into me. Added to this fun, their smells start accumulating around me too. Ur. Sh. The works. Ine. Ting. Now I notice it, gets worse every second. No escaping. Some stink of dead rats. Others wild cats. Pissed in hats. Rabid bats. One or two oddly smelt of mass. All sharing a common theme: They truly stink of ass.
At this point we’re three hours into the flight. Now I need the bathroom. Queue is going down the aisle for rows and rows. Bathroom right behind my head. Plus, I’ve suffered. I’m sure people have seen this. I’ll just ask Numbo next to me if I could squeeze in ahead of him if he wouldn’t mind- Oh he minds. As does Nimbo behind him. Tut. Down fifteen rows I go. Start queuing. See that my vacated seat right next to the bathroom is now being used as the waiting room for the person at the top of the queue. Ah that’s nice. Work away, Numbo. Stink up that chair!!!
Bathroom. Dominated. Devastated. Destroyed. In and out as quick as I can. Toilet paper, gone. Hand towels, gone. Sink, clogged. Plane does a dip. Right while I’m mid-stream. Soak myself. That’s delightful altogether. Particularly as it’s quite clear to see. Head back to my seat. Struggle to communicate to Dimbo that the seat he’s waiting in is actually my seat. Out he goes. Down I sit. Some woman’s fanny pack fats rubs against my face. Dimbo’s crotch rocks against my ear. Hoping it’s his belt buckle I felt graze me as he left too. Please God. Nubbin off.
Seatbelt signs flash back on. Thank funk. It’s over. Everyone goes back to their seats. Plane is all over the shop. Ridiculously windy. Rocking. Reeking. Dipping. Screams. Flashes. Prayers. Lady in front of me wailing. Baby beside me joins in. Debate should I just give up and wail along? And then crotch girl Nelly to my left starts puking in her handbag. Looking up at me between pukes. Weakly trying to smile it off. I tap her big arm. You’ll be all right. Russian guy one seat over does not take kindly to me sympathetically tapping her arm. This flight is full of might!
Can’t really complain though. Flying karma for the recent private jet trip to the Caribbean. Plus, we landed safely. Wuu huu. Although the connecting flight was missed due to that first flight being delayed. So that was a nice long layover. But eventually I got home. Back to Ireland. And that was mighty. Fly. Funking. On!!!
Fly Away – Lenny Kravitz