A Guide To Modern Travel: The New Way To Fly
You may no longer serve us, but I WILL be drinking on this flight.
“Chewing tobacco, smoking and consuming personal alcohol is prohibited on this flight.”
Screw you! That’s too many rules. For starters, I’ve always wanted to see someone dipping on a flight. It would make my week to see somebody whip out a bag of Red Man, paw out a huge chunk of tobacco goodness, and start filling up a spittoon. Doing so takes brass balls, which I admit I don’t have.
As for the smoking, I’ve been flying international since the 80’s. Not only did the seats have ashtrays back then but the planes had designated smoking areas. Each plane would have about 5 middle rows draped off as the smoking area – a hotbox in a hotbox in the sky. If you wanted your nicotine fix coupled with an indelible stank of cigs for the next four weeks – just step inside those drapes.
You can strip us of our cigarettes, you can even strip us of Skoal and Timberwolf, but the working man will never, ever tolerate a dry flight. As soon as that flight hits cruising altitude, I reach into my backpack and grab two miniatures. One for me and one for my neighbor. This benevolent gesture is usually met with one of three responses:
1) Immense and profound gratitude. Congrats, you have just made a drinking buddy for life. Your seat-mate will tell tales of your generosity and rebellious ways for years to come.
2) A big smile coupled with a polite rejection. This person is not interested in drinking warm gin with you but they find you entertaining. This is the optimal seat-mate cause you don’t have to share your stash.
3) Confusion and visible disapproval. Typically, this comes from some Karen who probably needs that miniature more than most but is too stuck up to accept it. Nonetheless, your generous offer is critical because it keeps her from reporting you to the flight attendant. Remember, the dorks and geeks in middle school typically wouldn’t tattle tale if you attempted to include them in your illicit scheme. They never wanted any part of what you were up to (due to their innate cowardice and brown-nosing instincts), but they felt “cool” and better about themselves that you even approached them. Lucky for your, society at all ages still largely abides by Junior High rules
What authorities never seem to understand is that putting rules in place doesn’t actually put an end to the activities in question; it just drives them underground and makes them sketchier and more dangerous. Back when they served alcohol, the flight attendant could monitor your intake and cut you off. “Sir, you’ve had 7 glasses of wine in two hours, I can’t give you anymore.”…….. Now, between my sunglasses and facemask, you can’t even tell that I’ve had 10 miniatures. Also, Mr. Steward, that dude in the hoodie who goes to the bathroom every 20 minutes and them stumbles out with progressively redder eyes… that dude is high as a kite. Did you not notice that he always forgets where his seat is? Perhaps you could have picked up on the fact that he’s asked you for three extra pretzel packets.
Next time you walk to the bathroom take a close look at your fellow passengers; half these people are trashed.
I have a buddy that works for Ryan Air as a flight attendant and mans many of the flights into and out of Ibiza. The airline paid to train him in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu. Apparently, the flight from Ibiza to Stansted is the most dangerous one; a ticking time bomb of dudes who are still rolling on something, piss drunk, and cranky at the prospect of heading back to real life. He is also a trained EMT since many of these cats suffer overdoses on the plane. You don’t often equate “Airline Steward” with “Badass” but I think anyone who can rear-naked choke hold you and then bring you back to life immediately afterwards is worthy of significant respect.
Yet the shenanigans on Ryan Air are mere child’s play compared to what happens on Spirit and Frontier. Every flight on those airlines sports a 50% chance of a fist fight and a 40% chance of an-all out melee at the gate if the flight gets delayed. If you fly these airlines with any frequency, I urge you to bring a mouthguard and smelling salts. Whether you’re recovering from a stiff left hook to the jaw or the obligatory 8 miniatures needed to make these flights bearable (or both), the concentrated burst of 100 menthol cigarettes in one will come in quite handy.
A few years ago on a Frontier flight, the guy in front of me kept trying to recline his seat and was getting progressively more pissed when he couldn’t do it. In a fit of rage, he turned around and yelled at me: “Fuck you, man!”. I thought about inviting him to the back of the plane where we’d have more room to fight but then I realized I had forgotten my mouthguard so I opted for a polite explanation of the fact that it wasn’t me somehow jamming his seat but rather that the seat doesn’t recline at all.
Adapt or die. No way around it. If you’re some old school traveler who expects to be treated with respect and have a comfortable, enjoyable flight…. You’re in for a rude awakening and very likely a straight-up ass kicking. Today’s airplane isn’t the Richard Branson style lounge bar in the sky. Far from it, this is a wild west saloon – a seedy one at that. Gone are the good old days where we only worried about turbulence and Arab terrorists. Nowadays, if you get to your destination with all of your documents and teeth intact, that’s a win. I recommend you celebrate at a local chiropractor’s office. You may think that the lack of sensation in the left part of your body is a result of the 12 miniatures and/or adrenaline from all the fistfights, but unfortunately that’s actually a herniated disk.
If only you could have reclined your seat a bit………..