The problem with trying to blog regularly is that you need things to blog about. I don’t do interesting things. This weekend, I went to a concert, which I’ll have to write about separately, but it’s one of those ones where I don’t really have much to say. Beyond that, I played some Pokémon Go, I went to yoga, I watched some wrestling, I read most of a book. I had a cat sleep on me for much of the book time and wrestling time. None of it is of interest to you probably.

Instead, let’s go back to last winter when I flew home from BC. My memory isn’t that great; I just told this story to Dave (of Ol’ Shitty Dick fame) at the time, and I never empty out my sent mail. I remember wanting to post it here but it seems I never did.

Looking back at this now, it’s interesting how certain constraints shape your writing. A higher-up at my work likes excessive commas, so I find them slipping into my personal writing too. Meanwhile, the phrase “likes excessive commas” would result in an email to Dave not being delivered because his work has an overzealous email filter and that phrase has the letters s-e-x in that order so the filter thinks it’s spam or porn or something. Similarly, emailing him has resulted in me often avoiding contractions because “but it is” works fine, but “but it’s” has t-i-t-s (with a space, punctuation, and a complete lack of prurient context, but still).

Anyway. I was in BC. My flight home was three hops. Victoria to Vancouver, fine. Vancouver to Calgary, fine. Calgary to Regina… I’m sitting in my window seat. This girl comes down the aisle, having trouble figuring out where she should be. It’s next to me. She doesn’t sit down so much as she falls ass-first into the seat, bodychecking me against the wall.

“I’m sssssssssooooooorrry,” she says. “Thass my fault.”

At this point, I realize she’s completely hammered, and there are no open seats on the plane, so there’s no avoiding this. I can either hate my life or try to find the comedy in this.

“You and me, we’re gonna have a discussion right away. ‘Cause we’re gonna get reeeeeeeeeal close.”

She continues along this line for a while. Tells me that she got the very last seat on this plane and that means God meant for us to be sitting together and that I’m her patron. I think she means “patron saint” but do not correct her. I mean, it wouldn’t really be correct either way. She goes for a handshake. I awkwardly reach across myself to shake her hand. She asks if she can kiss my hand. And does so.

I’m a big dude and plane seats are small, so I try to keep myself as compact as possible. She notices this. Tells me I need to let it all out. And demonstrates by grunting and slumping down in her seat and sticking one leg in the aisle, one onto my side. The visual is funny, at least.

I have, to this point, said very little to her beyond “okay,” “I’m good,” and “it’s all good” about a dozen times each.

I text Mika about my situation. Mika’s advice? “Don’t engage.” I was not given this option. My new friend has already suggested she might fall asleep on me. As that might be the best outcome for everyone involved, I said I was okay with this. She is delighted and calls me her big teddy bear.

My new friend looks up and down the aisle at all the passengers. “Man. So many stories in this fuckin’ tube,” she says. This attracts the attention of a flight attendant, who advises her to watch her language. She says she will. The flight attendant turns to leave.

“What the fuck was that about?”

The flight attendant turns back. Another warning.

When the flight attendant makes her next pass, my new friend tries to buy earbuds. But it is a tiny plane with no in-flight entertainment, so there are none for sale. This is a tragedy. I offer to loan mine but she won’t take them. I need them. Wouldn’t be fair.

Now the flight attendant returns. Two of them, actually. They ask if we are travelling together. I assure them we are not.

One of the flight attendants crouches down, and the entire plane goes stone silent. Everyone wants to hear this.

“We need you to know that we’re aware that you’re a little intoxicated,” she says. I almost laughed because there’s nothing little about this.

“Normally, we wouldn’t let you board,” she continues, “but-”

My new friend is quietly weeping. “You’re going to ruin my LIFE!”

“No, we’re not, we just need to know there won’t be-”

“You’ve got my life in your hands.”

“Okay, you need to not interrupt me. We need to know there won’t be an incident.”

“There won’t be, there wasn’t anything since the last time you talked to me.”

This goes on for a few minutes. We’re still at the gate, I should mention. Then we have to taxi over to the de-icer. And finally, takeoff.

My new friend is still crying softly to herself, muttering about how she’s dumb, so dumb, she’s not a drunk, she’s just a bad flyer and she had some shhhhhhhhhhhhhots and everyone on the plane is judging her. She alternates that with being angry about her treatment, saying “I paid $700 for this flight, I should be treated with some respect like the Queen, it’s not like I fucked the President.”

I don’t know how I was thinking “it’s not like I __________” would end, but it wasn’t that. Nearly lost it.

She switches back and forth between sad shame and indignation for a while. She mentions that this is the third time this month she’s had to make a last-minute trip to Regina. I ask why. She says that she had a car accident here 4 years ago and is contesting it. I’m not inclined to believe she wasn’t at fault but I might not be seeing her at her best.

Eventually, I offer up my earbuds again, and she borrows them. Watches a Netflix show. Most of the flight is uneventful. I collect my earbuds and we land.

Unrelated to anything else, the second we touch down, the guy across from us stands up to retrieve his bag, resulting in a flight attendant running over, yelling NO. NO. YOU SIT DOWN NOW. It was great.

They let us turn cellular back on and my new friend makes a call. Her phone was never actually in airplane mode, but whatever. Her ride is not at the airport yet but is on her way and they should meet “at the doors.” She gets off the phone. This is unacceptable. “Meet me at THE DOORS?! What the fuck, does Regina Airport only have one door?!”

I mean, technically no, but basically, yeah.

She then goes to unbuckle her seatbelt and discovers she was never buckled in.

“This wassssn’t my fault! They INTERRUPTED ME. I’m HONEST about this. I thought it was done. And it’s their fault. I paid $700 for this flight, and you see how they treat me, but when it comes to my SAFETY, does anybody care? Noooooooooooooooobody cares. And fuckin’ Air Canada, man, they WANT you to drink, they have all these places, they want your money, but then you see how they treated me.”

She’s not wrong about the number of places to drink at an airport, to be fair.

Anyway, she gets up and apologizes to me for being stuck with her, earning one last “it’s all good” in the process, and off she goes. Inside the airport, she heads straight for the doors. I guess she found them.

I meet up with Mika. “I have so much to tell you when we get to the car.”

As we’re paying for parking, I point out my new friend waiting outside. Another guy from my flight sees me doing this and has the biggest grin. He knows exactly who I’m pointing out and why.

We leave, and she doesn’t see me, but we can hear her yelling into her phone about her $700 flight.

One Response to “”

  1. jprobichaud Says:

    Sounds like a great time.

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