Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane (And I'm Slightly Intoxicated!)

       My self-diagnosed IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is not well coupled with travelling via airplane. I avoid this endeavour at all costs but unfortunately this was unavoidable a few days ago when I had to travel on business to California. I had known for quite some time that I would be boarding an aircraft, so this gave me ample time to calm myself down enough to behave appropriately once aboard. I prayed several days beforehand consecutively in hopes that Jesus, Muhammad, and Buddha would hear my call. I avoided eating solid foods for 24 hours before the trip to evade any possibility of bowel movements. Thirdly, and most importantly, I cleverly disguised my alcohol consumption pre-boarding by filling what was formerly a glass jar used for Ragu with a plethora of Cabernet Sauvignon (boxed of course). The morning of the flight I woke up bright and early to make sure my apartment was clean, all my things were packed and in order, and primarily to make sure I had a healthy amount of time to get my alcohol buzz started. I normally do not advocate drinking before Noon but this was a classy exception. I was boarding an aircraft at 11:40 and I needed to be able to black out the horrible experience.

        Whenever you have a major issue in your life that prevents you from being functional in society it's important to look back into your history rather than forward into the problem to find a solution to your predicament. I'm not exactly sure what has caused me to so fearful of flying. Airplane travel used to be a breeze for me. My Mother told me that when I was 4 I went on my first plane. She said I got so excited that I briskly and undetectably got out of my seat and ran frantically up and down the aisle and knocked over two flight attendants. I have no memory of this. I may have been slightly tipsy at the time. Perhaps that was the experience that started my phobia. I do recall, however, one time when I was 12 being on an airplane and consuming what was referred to as "chicken" (I use this term loosely). Several minutes later I was throwing up violently in my seat. Thank Jesus, Mary, and Joseph for the fact I was able to find the plastic bag located in the seat in front of me in time. I had very good aim. I made sure there was no spillage. My sister was sitting next to me at the time. She couldn't stop laughing. She thought it was the funniest thing. I'm not sure what was so entertaining about watching your Brother cough up a lung next to you but somehow she found the humor in the situation. I guess the apple doesn't fall to far from the bi-racial tree.

         In any case, at the age of 24, my tolerance for flights is out of control, just like my IBS. But I was prepared this time. I had done everything I could to make myself as relaxed as possible. On my way to the airport I sat in the back seat of a friend's car carefully sipping from the glass jar slowly becoming inebriated. I kept telling myself positive thoughts and filled my mind with visions of rainbows and tampon commercials (they're very soothing when you think about them). We arrived at the DFW airport with plenty of time to spare. I gingerly placed my empty glass bottle in the garbage and made my way straight to security. I had already checked in and printed my ticket online from home! I love it! It's just like e-giving in church. I was desperately trying to keep my eye on the silver lining. My focus on positivity however was immediately crushed once I reached the security line. There is no way that this "process" doesn't bring stress to absolutely everyone who must tolerate it. First of all I don't appreciate having to dismantle my entire wardrobe and insult the designers who created it by smushing them into Tupperware bins. It's disgraceful is what it is. The first disposable bin had my wallet, cell phone, keys, and belt. The second had my trench coat, shoes and "personal item". The third had my cowboy hat (a must for all Texas airports). And behind that was my carry-on hot pink suitcase. I wore purple pants at the time so I was really giving a rainbow coalition in my ensemble. So there I was wearing nothing but purple pants that were held up with nothing but hope, a tank top, and un-matched socks waiting for the walk of shame. I'm not exactly sure what chemical explosion I was exposed to as a child but clearly there is some metal radio-activity happening in my bloodstream because I am yet to not set off the damn alarm. I stared disappointingly before even going through the metal detector straight at the poor lady who's job it was to humiliate others. She gestured for me to come through. I held my breath as I stepped underneath the detector and sure enough the alarm went off like I'm some sort of terrorist. The "police officer" (again, I use this term loosely) proceeded to wave her metal detector wand all over my body lingering for a few extra moments in my genital region as though I was carrying a hand grenade in my imaginary vagina. (For the record, I wasn't). I suppose it makes sense because many criminals keep their drugs in their bum. I couldn't ever be a drug dealer on account of my self diagnosed IBS getting in the way. So I forgave her. I dread the day that I get a full pat down or worse, a flashlight in the tuckus. I'm pretty sure FOX news did a special report one time on airport security putting flashlights in people's tuckus's. It was riveting. I could be mistaken, I was drinking Goldschlager at the time. You can never be too trusting of one's memory having taken Goldschlager. I learned the hard way.

        The embarrassment and annoyance felt undergoing the experience of potentially being probed by a flashlight is only matched by the experience of having to reclaim the items that you have so trustingly inserted into the X-Ray machine (which I'm pretty sure is from the Devil). Without fail, I always get something confiscated. This time it was my toothpaste AND my shaving cream. I was so pissed. The man told me I could check them underneath the aircraft if I wanted to. Yes, I would absolutely LOVE to pay $35 so I can have my toiletries for the 2 days we're in California. Lord knows they don't sell toothpaste or shaving cream in Los Angeles, they're only available in the Black market. I decided that he may discard them. After that ordeal was underway, I made my way through the terminal to find my gate and toilet just in case the IBS kicked in. Up until then I had done a pretty substantial job of keeping my diarrhea at bay. It shouldn't of been too difficult to do so on account of not having eaten anything solid for the past 24 hours, but with me you never know. In search of the gate I came across one of the most wonderful and titillating contraptions ever invented by Jesus; the electronic runway! I still don't understand why anyone would need anything so ridiculous nor do I understand why I find it so incredibly delightful. What I do know is that I will consistently get on the silly invention and ride my way along as though I had been born with no legs. It's like a ride in the middle of the airport. I'm pretty sure the intention is that you are supposed to walk along so that you may move quickly and with ease along with your suitcase but I always ignorantly decide to stand still in order to get the most out of the ride. I really needed a break at that point anyway. The stripping and re-dressing really did a number on my cardio.

          I found my gate along with the rest of the people in my company. I sat down and tried to make light of the situation even though I knew it was very possible I was approaching death like "I Know What You Did Last Summer" except on an airplane. My cowboy hat ended up being a great conversation piece. I didn't realize that something on my own head would bring such delight to people's lives. I suppose this may have something to do with the fact that my cowboy hat is the size of a Japanese toddler. My alcohol buzz was at its highest at this point so things were looking up. Not all had been lost. I tried just to focus on my conversation to avoid thinking about the impending doom of being suspended 2000 ft in the air only moments away. I'm still not convinced with the idea that something larger than Rosie O'Donnell can float for 5 hours. A little skepticism is healthy. I'm pretty sure that's in the Bible somewhere. Speaking of which, I didn't have my Bible on me at the time. I figured they usually have them in the hotel room (which by the way someone explained to me that they are actually NOT complimentary). However, I felt disappointed in the fact that it was at that very moment when they called my row of seats for boarding that I really needed Jesus...and a toilet.

       It starts with perspiring, than heavy breathing, followed by the full onset of diarrhea. I was at step #1, 5 minutes after sitting down. I had placed my carry-on bag in someone else's overhead  bin, mine had already been taken by someone else and thus starts the evil domino effect of stealing overhead compartments. It's a slippery slope, just like R.Kelly hanging around Kindergarden playgrounds; it all seems so innocent at first. And this is only to be blamed on the airlines for charging for checked luggage. Now, no one takes any checked luggage if it can be at all accommodated. So now we're all fighting like Mary Kate and Ashley trying to shove all of our belongings for our 5 week trip to Bermuda underneath the seat in front of us. This world is a scary place. In my effort to pretend I didn't hear the bickering behind me about "Who's pink suitcase is in my spot?" I focused on meditation. Deep breaths, in and out. But before I knew it, the horror began. The shaking, the trembling, we were moving! I forgot to buckle up my seat belt so I frantically clipped it together. I had no idea where to put my cowboy hat. I felt rude keeping it on because the person behind me would not be able to see the instructional video of how to put on the air mask in case we become submerged. By the way, listening to such instructions is not exactly a calming experience for any flyer! With my luck, I would be the one person on a full flight who's air mask wouldn't drop! I'm just saying... With my cowboy hat in lap, we began moving faster and faster. I purposely chose an aisle seat when checking in online as to not be put face to face with death outside the window. I looked straight ahead and grabbed the hand of the person who was seated next to me. It turned out to be another company member but at that point I didn't care who it was. If Osama Bin Laden had been seated in 22G he would've been hand and hand with a bi-racial blogger for the entire trip to California. (Please don't write letters......that's my job!)

             What follows the increase in velocity is the most dreadful part of the ordeal of flying that I could  possibly experience. The take off! It begins with a slight tilting of the plane, which tends to feel more than slight! It feels like you are about to be catapulted like a Negro in the circus (I'm not sure if they actually shoot Black people out of canons but I do live in Texas and I wouldn't be surprised after what I saw at the Rodeo!). After the suggestion of catapultion you feel the plane leave the ground. At this point you feel like not only have you left the ground behind but you are pretty sure at this point that your intestines have stayed there with it! Usually this is where the crying begins. I squeezed tighter on my poor co-workers hand. She'll be fine, she can get worker's comp. As the tears rolled down my face and as my diarrhea was on the brink I knew there was only one thing left I could do. I had to sing a song in my head that would bring me to a place of Zen, my happy place! "Girl you look good, won't you BACK DAT ASS UP!". These of course are the lovely and soothing words written by the wonderful songbird and lyricist Juvenile who I believe at this point is fat and incarcerated (in that order). I closed my eyes and kept repeating the chorus over and over again until I opened my eyes and the plane had leveled out. I took a sigh of relief. I made sure not to relax too much, I needed to find a toilet to do that.

         Once the seat belt sign came off which seemed to take an inordinate amount of time, I jumped out of my seat and scurried over the "restroom" (again I use this term VERY loosely). I believe the appropriate term for this mere suggestion of a bathroom is "commode" (also a creation of Lucifer). Once I had sufficiently scrubbed the seat with Purel and placed several layers of Bounty Quicker Picker Upper all over the seat I gingerly lowered my tuckus onto the bowl. A few minutes later I stood up, lowered the seat. (The order of the next events is very important, you should take notes, it could save your life). In order, to evade the most frightening part of the commode I first zipped up my pants and buttoned my belt. I grabbed my bag (you must ALWAYS travel to the commode with your purse so someone doesn't steal the bitch!) and unlocked the door. I placed my hand on the door knob ready to burst out and placed myself in a deep lunge to get a running start. With my right foot I gracefully lifted it up behind me and delicately placed it on the flush button, The very moment I felt the button pressed I jumped like a cat and exploded out of the commode! I'm not sure if you've ever stayed in the commode long  enough to listen to the noise that the flusher makes on an aircraft but the sound is so evil you would swear it comes straight from the belly of Adolf Hitler.

          Once back in my seat, I took a few moments to catch my breath and calm myself down. This is usually somewhat of a difficult task. Being suspended thousands of feet in the air trapped inside of a floating piece of metal with diarrhea and a buzz that is quickly fading is not exactly a day at the spa. I felt uneasy and winded, like Oprah after a light jog. I'm sure this had something to do with the 40 yard dash I made from the restroom and perhaps the lack of nutrients I had consumed recently with red wine in a glass bottle being the only exception. I had a flashback 12 years ago to the day I vomited next to my Sister on an aircraft. I nervously rummaged through the back of the seat in front of me for the token white paper bag. Before I could find it I came across a spectacle. A beacon of hope. It was a book that seemed to emit a golden glow, like Jesus. But this wasn't the Bible. It was far better, it was an online mile-high magazine. Ladies and gentleman, I introduce to you, SKY MALL!

           The days of flying, just like church, are forever changing thanks to technology. Nowadays, we can order tampons from EBay, we can find abusive soul mates on Craigslist, we can even post pictures of our tuckus on a website all without leaving the privacy of our own home. I am neverendingly surprised by what this world has come to be; flying is no exception. As I picked up the Sky Mall magazine I couldn't believe it was real. Could people seriously consider shopping during the horrific experience of being aboard an aircraft? Apparently so. However, I was still convinced that you would have to be slightly insane to do so.  This assumption was confirmed when I opened up this beacon of delight known as Sky Mall Magazine. The products in here are so deliciously hysterical, I couldn't have written it better myself. So I won't. I will simply and accurately describe exactly the types of products you can buy whilst being airborne (complete with the actual pictures that SkyMall advertises with).

Head Spa Massager

Just like the title suggests, you wear this contraption on your head (apparently so does your dog). The ads simply says "Relax away migraines and more, without drugs!" Really? Does nobody drink anymore? Apparently looking like Judy Jetson is a better option. Yours for $49.95

"The Peeing Boy of Brussels" Statue and Fountain

You can also purchase a piped version which includes recirculating pump. Dear God, what has this world come to? Talk about the worst Valentine's Day gift ever! Only $198

Luxury Pet Residence
"Masterfully assembled from fine mahogany-finished hardwood". Okay stop right there! Since when is the dog able to appreciate mahogany? How can it, when it's busy licking its own balls!? The ad continues, "this furniture-quality residence satisfies your pet's need for comfort and privacy". PRIVACY? Really? Yes, that's one thing the dog doesn't get enough time! Your dog can bask in its own solitude for a mere $299!

The Slanket
 It hurts my eyes! Make it stop! I'm really trying hard to wrap my head around this one. Not since Crocs have I seen something so hideous. I stopped reading at "Put your arms in 13'' wide sleeves...". I immediately needed to grab the puke bag.


"The Hand-e-holder is a device for the back of your iPad that reduces awkwardness providing a comfortable way to hold your iPad with one hand while leaving the other free to type". I didn't realize there was an epidemic of people being born without laps. Yours for the bargain of $39.99

Helpy Carry-on Harness

A picture says a thousand words. Most of the ones that come to mind are obscenities. People put harnesses on their children so I suppose this in comparison is not as ridiculous. What cracks me up is at the bottom of the ad the product is categorized as "Unisex". Thanks for letting me know! All yours for $29.99.

Pet Ramp

Your dog has NO reason to be on your bed, especially if you ever expect to engage in sexual activity with a spouse or one night stand. You're just asking for a divorce! $199.95 is the price you pay for your bed sheets to have the fresh scent of kanine!

The Always Cool Pillow

Apparently people have very warm faces in America. I know nothing of this because I come from the North where our heads are noticeably colder. Supposedly the problem of over-heated faces is a very big issue in this country and thus has been rectified by the ingenious invention of a pillow with a self-regulated temperature. I don't like abbreviations but may I say, WTF! $89.95 and it's yours!

Ceramic Pet Fountain

Necessary, is the first word that comes to mind. $79.95 (Replacement filter $11.95)

Relax 'N Nap

Looks like someone had a few too many margaritas. Bargain price of $99.95

Indoor Dog Restroom

"The mat and tray system gives dogs a place to relieve themselves when they get outside. Ideal for high-rise dwelling dogs". How about ideal for perverts! This is absolutely revolting! Exactly where and how are you suppose to clean this atrocious piece poop covered AstroTurf? Yours for the bargain price of $99.95 (Replacement mat $49.95)

The Genuine Turkish Bathrobe

It is impossible to achieve true happiness without draping yourself in overpriced cotton. $119.95 (This is not a typo)

The Canine Genealogy Kit

No explanation needed. ($59.95)


Meet BOB! This stands for "Body Opponent Bag" who curiously looks like my Eighth Grade Science teacher. It's very important when working out that you punch something that has eyebrows and parted hair. All yours for $299.99 plus S&H!


"Get your confidence back" is the slogan for a new device that grows back your hair in weeks! Ladies, if you ever come home to your man sitting in bed wearing this ridiculous contraption, you are required by law to openly make fun of him! Yours for only $499.99! (I suppose this is cheaper than 10 weaves per year)


        Needless to say, my once nervous temperament quickly calmed down with the delight that was bestowed upon me from SkyMall magazine. With each page new found joy entered my heart. Ultimately, I learned a lot from online/airplane shopping. I learned that people are as insane as they are lazy. Who needs a Velcro glove for the iPad? What kind of dog needs its own wheelchair ramp for the owner's bed? Since when was carrying roll-on luggage an issue needed to be rectified by bungee cords? Clearly America has lost its mind! And I'm enjoying every minute of it. Thankfully this insanity brought me to a place of comedy in my fearful mindset of flying. So I am very fortunate to have been blessed with such a ridiculous book filled with hilarity! It's very much like the Bible, except in paperback.

       Before I knew it, the plane had landed. It was so nice to be safe and sound back on land. There are very few moments in my life that I enjoy being sober but this was one of them. The buzz does have to wear off at some point and like hell I'm going to pay the absurd price of 10 dollars for a tiny plastic bottle of Merlot on the airplane! I was classy enough to drink mine in the car on my way to the airport out of a real glass bottle! That's some sophisticated shit! We actually arrived in Los Angeles early due to "wind systems" as the pilot put it. Wait a minute? Are you telling me the wind actually blew us to California? Now, I've really heard everything. The most important thing is that I was alive unlike the poor White folk of "Final Destination". I even made it back alive here to Dallas! Jesus must really love me to have saved my life twice on an aircraft. But as I've said before, big J certainly has an odd sense of humor. So of course only I would have to experience the horror of last week all over again tomorrow! That's right, we have another business trip out to San Jose this time at 7:30 in the morning. I have my glass jar ready! This time it will be filled with Svedka Vodka and 7 up with 2 lime twists. I can't wait to read the next edition of SkyMall! Maybe they sell diamond encrusted flasks?

1 comment:

  1. Is it safe to say you will never consider taking a job in europe....let alone asia? Takes more than a magazine to brave those flights!