I haven’t been on an airplane since 2008. It’s crazy, because I used to fly plenty: on account of my job and (get this!) actual disposable income. Nowadays? I just drive back and forth to the heroin capital of the northeast every day, sporting a perma-scowl and hoping they won’t be serving stuffed shells in the cafeteria tonight. God, how I hate the stuffed shells… Yes, this is what my life has become.
Anyway, I thought I’d offer the opportunity to you guys today to share your horror stories, as it pertains to flying, airports, etc. I have a couple of quickies, and you can take it from there. Let’s get started, shall we?
My worst flight ever was from Los Angeles to Atlanta, in early 1997. We were coming back to the east coast for the first time after moving to California, to visit my parents and our beloved Atlanta. It was an absolute disaster.
The older boy was a baby then, so young we didn’t even buy him a ticket. Toney or I held him on our laps the whole time. And, with impeccable timing, he came down with some kind of sickness as the flight was preparing to leave: a type of sickness that makes a baby shit, and shit, and shit.
He was fussy as we boarded the plane, and everybody was shooting us dirty looks. But this was during the five year or so period of my life when I expected everyone to just suck it up: “They’re babies, you… self-centered so-and-sos! Wow. It’s truly sad, what’s become of our culture.” Needless to say, I long ago returned to my default setting: “Those people REALLY need to make that little brat shut its goddamn Goldfish hole. I’m about to lose my fucking mind.”
I think we were at cruising altitude when his ass went off the first time. It sounded like somebody took a squeeze bottle of mustard, laid it sideways on the ground, and jumped on it with both feet. The funk was nothing short of terrific, and rolled like the Indiana Jones boulder down the aisle. People were shouting, and burying their faces in their neighbors’ shoulders.
And as soon as Toney got him cleaned up, there was another tan and powerful blast: liquid and aromatic. This just kept repeating, over and over, for what seemed like hours. We were mortified, and kept apologizing to everyone. Some were understanding, and many were not. It was awful.
Exhausted and defeated, we rented a room at a Red Roof Inn on North Druid Hills in Atlanta, which was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen. Half the square footage was taken up by a big box, through which the elevator traveled. So, we had no space… and every time someone used the elevator it sounded like a train was coming through there. ‘Round the clock…
The next morning, Toney woke up sick. And by the time we arrived at my parents’ house (in Charlotte back then), I was also feeling not-so-great. Believe it or not, both my parents were also in the grip of some sort of pukey disorder, so it was a fantastic trip. One for the ages.
Another story that leaps to mind happened a long time ago, before we had kids. Toney and I were at the Atlanta airport, preparing to jet off to God knows where. We were in one of the gift shops, killing time, and I noticed a rack of Playboy and Penthouse, and that sort of thing.
I checked, and Toney was way across the store. So… I thought I’d take a quick peek. And the moment I lifted a magazine off the rack, the entire thing collapsed. The shelf itself came loose, for reasons unknown, and made a super-loud crashing noise.
Every head turned my way, and I think the Muzak stopped playing. I was standing there, surrounded by piles of porn, with a copy of Hustler in my hand. The expression on my face must’ve been memorable, because half the people instantly busted out laughing. Including Toney. She laughed the hardest, and couldn’t stop for a long time. Sheesh.
I also had several harrowing flights involving extreme turbulence, once on a shuddering and creaking puddle-jumper, coming out of Cincinnati. Scary!
But what about you? Do you have any airplane horror stories? If so, please share.
And I’ll see you guys again soon, real soon.
Have a great day!
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