Flight into terror
As you may or may not know, I hate flying. Like really hate it. It's foul and horrifying.
I recently flew from Berlin to London which took 104 minutes, and it was the most terrifying 104 minutes of my life. In preparation for what I had assumed was to be my certain death, I decided to document my thoughts minute by minute from take off to landing. This is what happened, as it happened.
*Plane leaves the ground*
Good Jesus, this is utterly horrifying.
I am petrified.
I smell so bad.
I’m necking straight vodka that I bought in a kiosk yesterday. I can’t tell if it’s helping or making it worse.
Man, being at the back sucks balls. I’m squeezed in between a really angry old couple from Iraq. The man keeps standing up to complain about everything to every passing crew member. It is unsettling.
Ok, so I’m currently still alive. It’s smooth at the moment. The pilot says we may hit some turbulence… and I know from experience it will be hella worse at the back. But that’s cool, it’s just bumpier because I’m at the back. If it happens, it’s cool. It’s cool it’s cool it’s cool.
OMG the engines sound like they’re slowing down. What the fuck? Why why why? This is weird, why are they slowing down, slowing down is bad, no?
Ok calm the fuck down. How many times have you heard this exact same noise before, and how many times have you said, ‘OMG the engines sound different we’re all going to die’, and how many times have you not, in fact, died? Loads, that’s how many. So calm the fuck down, you crazy bitch.
I wonder when the air waiters will come with crisps and more vodka.
OMG the engines just made this unholy blast of noise. What in the name of all that is good and true was that? Why has NO ONE else on this plane noticed that this is genuinely terrifying? What is WRONG WITH PEOPLE? AM I THE ONLY PERSON ACKNOWLEDGING THAT WE ARE IN A METAL TUBE IN THE FUCKING SKY? This is so so wrong. This whole process is against nature. It’s against everything we were designed to do. Have you ever noticed how birds fly around in the sky, and how we walk around on the ground? No? Well that’s what happens, so why in God’s name have we decided to try and outsmart the birds? BIRDS = SKY, US = NOT SKY. Who the hell do we think we are? What have we done? We are all fucked.
Ok so we didn’t die that time. The engines are still making that fucking noise though so I’m not hedging my bets quite yet.
It’s bumpy again. I am digging my hips up into the seatbelt in a vague attempt to keep the plane up. I’m sure it will help.
I think my hips are bleeding. We’re still in the sky though so I must be doing a good job. Well done me.
I don’t think the Iraqi couple like me. The woman seems unhappy about my straight-from-the-bottle vodka drinking, and in fairness I am emitting some pretty horrific smells. I feel quite sorry for them actually.
Right, this turbulence thing. Like literally, STOP. It’s so horrible. Good lord.
It’s because I’m at the back. It’s because I’m at the back. It’s because I’m at the back. I bet those smug fuckers at the front aren’t feeling any of this.
56 minutes to go. That’s less than an hour. Good.
I am not drunk enough.
Apparently we are starting our descent in 30 minutes time. This is according to the first officer. He sounded so relaxed.
He must know something.
No one is that relaxed. That’s the way I speak when I’ve done something heinous and I’m trying to cover it up. I hate the first officer. He is a lying piece of shit.
So I just realised I was contemplating what I might be thinking when/if we land. That is a stupid fucking thing to do. Never pre-empt survival, that is a perfect way to make it not happen. Well done Alice, you have effectively just murdered about 150 people with your ridiculously presumptuous and ill-timed thought. I’m really sorry.
The booze cart is nearly at the back. Good Jesus that’s taken a long time. Another perk of being in the last fucking row. I am going to get vodka. And maybe Pringles.
How much vodka will they let you buy in one go?
I wonder if it’s like Pret, and they have to get rid of all the stuff they don’t sell on one flight? Now THAT would make being at the back worthwhile. “Oh sorry mate, have you not sold all that vodka? Ahh shame, well just fling it this way and I’ll share it with the first homeless person I see on my way home.”
(I won’t. It’s all for ME. Idiot)
Someone about 6 rows ahead of me is ordering something really complicated. Fuck. You. You are delaying the booze entering my blood stream, and my blood stream is unhappy about this.
Cabin crew are fucked up. Utterly deranged. Why oh why would you do this for a living? Why would you choose to put yourself in mortal danger several times a day, every day of the god damn year? I wonder what happened in their childhoods. Whatever it was it must have been awful to inspire this level of masochism. Poor bastards.
One of them just made an OK symbol at another one… does it mean he has enough ice?… Or does it mean that he’s had a heads up from the pilot that we’re going down, and they’re getting their secret parachutes ready so they can bail before we burst into flames? I think I know which one it is.
We are landing in 39 minutes. That is still a really long time away. And it’s bumpy again. Oh good. I wish I could do this every day.
Deranged merchant of sky booze is nearly here.
ENGINES JUST MADE WEIRD NOISE OH MY SWEET CHRIST WHAT IS THAT. MY EARS ARE POPPING. ARE WE DYING.
So everything that could ever have happened, just happened in the space of about 30 seconds. This is how it went down:
The Iraqi woman orders a can of coke. She gets her can of coke. I order a vodka. Insane air waiter asks if I would like coke or lemonade. No coke or lemonade, I say. Just vodka. Just vodka? he asks. YES. JUST VODKA. BE QUICKER. He seems to take forever. Ice? he asks. I WILL MAKE IT SIMPLER FOR YOU. ANYTHING THAT DELAYS THE ALCOHOL REACHING MY SYSTEM IS BAD. IF THERE WAS A METHOD BY WHICH YOU COULD HOOK IT STRAIGHT TO MY VEINS IN A DRIP, THAT WOULD BE MY PREFERENCE. I don’t say any of this of course, instead I politely refuse through chattering teeth and a white knuckled grip of the arm rest (I just got another whiff of myself, it's heinous, sorry). As the unhinged cloud caterer leans over to hand me the vodka, the Iraqi woman chooses this exact moment to open her coke can (sweet Jesus it’s bumpy right now, we better be descending or holy shit something is really wrong. We can’t be descending though, we’ve still got half an hour to go… Although I guess it does take a long time to get down from 11 fucking kilometres up in the sky) Anyway, the Iraqi woman chooses this moment to open the can. It explodes. Like, fucking erupts. It goes everywhere; all over her, all over the lunatic air butler, all over my stuff, and all over me. Her response? “Apologies, did I make you wet?”
Holy mother of God that was some of the worst turbulence I’ve ever felt. I have no idea why we are still alive. Maybe we died. Maybe this is hell - an eternal flight. All the punishment for all the wrong I have ever done is being heaped upon me. It sucks. I must have lived an utterly corrupt life. Again, I’m sorry.
13 minutes to go. What a fortuitous time to check my stopwatch.
I’m trying to think of all of the bad things I’ve done in my life to warrant this punishment. I don’t fully understand it, because I really don’t think I was that bad? What did I do…? I stole penny sweets from Woolworths but that’s so boringly obvious and middle class it’s not even worth mentioning. Fuck, what else? Oh yeah, I told my primary school teacher that I had friends who owned a shop in Brighton. I was nine. It wasn’t true.
Sweet Beetlejuice weird shit is going down. The noises are OBSCENE. What IS that? It’s my last moments on earth, that’s what it is. Goodbye cruel world, you were thoroughly underwhelming. Except my friends and family. You were all ace.
I have to fly to Florida next year. It takes 10 hours. That will be fun.
I know why I’m in hell. It’s because I lied about having done charity work in a job interview once. If I’d known it would result in this I never would have said it. In my defence though, I was utterly skint.
(Oh. We just landed. I’m fine. And really pissed).