There are two points I would like to make before we begin:
1. This is a true story. It is not based on true events; it actually happened.
2. This is not a story that I am proud of.
Okay, I take that back. I guess in a weird way I am sort of proud of it, mainly because I’m still here to tell it. This is a story that will most likely stay with me for the rest of my life, occasionally punching me in the back of the brain, but there’s nothing I can do about that so I may as well share it with the world!
This particularly series of events is deeply ingrained in my subconscious, even though I was only conscious for about half of it. If I don’t have your attention now, well, you probably have better things to do. Just in case you don’t, please feel free to read about one of the longest, most ridiculous, and ultimately the worst day of my life.
I was home for t-giving (as the youths call it) and being the broke graduate student I was, I scheduled my flight back to Los Angeles from Austin for 5:15 am Sunday morning because it was the absolute cheapest flight available. Nay did I consider the consequences.
During my stay in Austin, friends, family, and good times were in the air. Much rejoicing was had.
On the Saturday night before my flight, before going out ‘one last time’, I made plans to be home in time for my mom to drive me to the airport. Why my mom? To be honest, I don’t know. Maybe because she was the only person I trusted to get me to the airport on time. It was agreed upon that I wouldn’t sleep, but instead catch some z’s on the three and a half hour plane ride back to LA. I took this as direction to go out and get as hammered as possible.
Hour -6: Boozing & Shuffleboard
It started out as a normal enough night, drinking with friends at a bar on 6th street, but things would soon descend to chaos. We began by playing some friendly games of shuffleboard, although if one was acquainted with me and my friends, you would know that there is no such thing as a friendly game of anything.
Death threats are exchanged, mothers are sworn, and girlfriends are borderline sexually assaulted, but all in all a good time is had. I may or may not have promised to eat my friend’s first unborn as I bathed in his mother’s blood, but that’s all blood, er water under the bridge now.
Shuffleboard brings out the worst in people
Now what happens next requires a bit of back-story. I’ll make this quick, for posterity. Basically I used to work at a few different bars in downtown Austin, and every time I come in to visit and head downtown it’s nothing short of a full-blown shit-show. It had been close to a year since I was last in town, so needless to say celebrations were in order. We left shuffleboard, all body parts in tact, and proceeded to go bar hopping.
Zero Hour: The Journey Begins
The next thing I remember is eating a cheese quesadilla on the floor of my friend’s apartment at 4 am. Suddenly it strikes me that my plane leaves in one hour and I’m supposed to go home first.
Hours 1-3: First Flight
I had my mom’s car, so I had my buddy drive it while his girlfriend followed us. We made it (somehow) to my house in 20 minutes. Upon arriving, my mom, recognizing my level of inebriation, rolls her eyes and sighs. I can’t really blame her.
She rushes me to the airport like a speeding soccer mom late for her nine year old daughters first utterly meaningless playoff game of which she will likely have no memory of. We make it with about 10 minutes to spare.
I waddle/jog/fall to the gate and board the plane just in time. Things are a bit spotty, but I remember getting up whilst the plane is taxiing down the runway, approaching the stewardess, and informing her that I have a stomach ache and need Ginger Ale, like, right now.
Hour 3-5: DFW
The next thing I remember the plane is landing and I am holding a full glass of ginger ale with half melted ice. I fell asleep with it in my hand.
By this point my contacts have fully dried on my eyes, and to no small surprise I have left my contact solution at my parent’s house. This combined with the still blurry vision I am experiencing from being utterly sauced is making it quite difficult to function. By some miracle I make it off the plane without rolling down the runway, and it occurs to me that I have forgotten something. Well, not just something, everything. All of my luggage is still on the plane.
I turn around and start walking back down the jetway. On my way I run into the flight crew, who seem to be enjoying themselves. Unsure if they are rejoicing having landed the plane while drunk (I’m assuming everyone is like me, though I can assure you this is a gross misinterpretation of airline travelers), I give a shy grin and ask if I can retrieve my luggage. This only makes them laugh harder. Now I know I’m no comedian, even though I may think I am, I wasn’t even trying there. Then I see it. They are carrying my luggage.
Before I make my connecting flight in less than an hour I have two things to do: score copious amounts of water and get some contact solution. First things first, locate my gate.
After some painful squinting and walking with my eyes half-closed, I arrive at my gate. Now that that’s taken care of, the search for some eye/throat relief begins. I go into one of those newsstands and begin aimlessly rummaging through their wears like a zombie with incontinence.
Finally, I locate the miracle eye juice. I stumble to the cash register, fumble around for my money, and hand her some blurry-ass bills which I only hope to be the right ones. She does some cash register things and hands me back more bills, which I also assume to be the right ones. I take the magic eyeball liquid, walk three steps out of the store, and squeeze that shit in my eye like a fire hose.
Revitalized to the max (or as max as I’m going to get at this point), I walk back to my gate, find an empty spot on the ground, and pass-the-fuck-out. Some time later, of which I have no idea because I have lost all concept of time, I am awakened by the gate lady announcing the immediate boarding of my flight.
I douse my eyes with some more eye juice and proceed to the gate.
Upon boarding, I find myself seated next to a charming couple from Orange County, flying home after visiting family in South Carolina. Don’t ask me how I remember that detail, I just do. Little do they know what they are about to experience. After a slightly unsettling taxi and take-off, I pass out again.
Hour 6-7: The Incident
I wake up about thirty minutes to an hour later feeling somewhat…better. By this time I have taken my contacts out, so I no longer have to deal with that nonsense, but some fresh new hell is brewing. I am beginning to sober up, and it’s now sometime in the late morning. I’ve been wrestling with a bit of a stomach ache all day, but now it is really coming on. I mean this thing is building momentum.
The drink lady is coming around so I order another ginger ale, but before she can bring it to me, shit gets REAL.
The sad part is I knew it was going to happen sooner or later, and I could have prevented all of the following by just going to the bathroom and getting it over with like a normal, well adjusted drunk. But no, I had to try and hold it in, like a man? So of course I’m not prepared for the chaos that ensues, and VOMIT COMES SHOOTING OUT OF MY MOUTH.
Much like a fireman’s hose, but instead filled with vomit and possibly just as effective against a fire, though I can’t imagine them arming firemen with vomit instead of water. Anyway…I am trying to find the puke bag, which is really hard to do when you are IN THE MIDDLE OF THROWING UP, so it’s just going everywhere: my hands, the seat in front of me, my own seat, my legs, the floor of the plane…everywhere. The girl next to me hands me a paper bag. It goes through the paper bag.
Toward the end of the vomit session, the flight attendant makes her way over. She is mildly concerned about my condition, more so concerned about the girl next to me, who is DEMANDING to be moved away from me. I guess I can’t really blame her, since I did throw up on literally everything around her. At this time, a second flight attendant comes over to help. We now have the whole crew here!
This flight attendant is even more unimpressed than his female counterpart. He advises me to go the bathroom. Fearing the wrath of the under appreciated male flight attendant, I proceed to the aft of the plane. Feeling better, there is a bit of pep in my step as I make my way to the lavatory. Inside the tiny bathroom I wash up then return to my seat. He stops me on the way out and asks if I have been drinking. I tell him that I’ve been sick all week. He may have rolled his eyes. I go back to my seat and pass out for another hour or so.
Hour 8-9: The Aftermath
I wake up when the plane is about to land to find disgruntled flight attendant man looming over me. He tells me that he needs to file a “health report” because of the projectile V, and that I need to give the full details of my illness. I guess his use of wording and the fact that I didn’t want everyone around me to think that I just gave them some deadly virus, I admit to being drunk. This is EXACTLY what he wanted to hear. He proceeds to give me a speech which I have no doubt he has given before, thus informing me that he is going to file a “federal report”, and that I am to be perma-banned from United Airlines.
He is from the ‘dick’ level of Hell
Hour 10: The Beginning of the End
We FINALLY land. I collect my luggage from the overhead bin, fully aware that everyone around me knows that I vomited all over the place, then make the walk of shame out of the plane. If only this was the end.
I am immediately overwhelmed by the bustling Los Angeles airport. I ask the information booth lady where my car is, and she semi-politely informs me that I have fuck-long distance to walk. I begin the trek:
LAX, easily confused with the Maze of Death
I make it to my car. It’s now early afternoon. It’s hot.
My battery is dead. Of course it is. I look around for some help. This is long-term parking (I was gone for a week), so there is no one in sight. Good thing I have AAA. I’ll just call them real quick…
Hour 10-12: AAA to the Rescue
At this point I literally can’t believe how unlucky I am. Most likely if I wasn’t still a bit drunk I would be knee deep in a nervous breakdown. LUCKILY, my car has some loose change and there is a pay phone nearby. For probably the third time in my entire life, I use a pay phone. I call AAA and they tell me someone will be there in 30-45 minutes to give me a jump. I go throw up in the parking lot trash can.
ONE AND A HALF hours later, the tow truck arrives. Apparently he couldn’t find me and my phone was dead so there was no way for me to give him directions. We have a short conversation about god knows what while he jumps my battery. It starts, and of course I had left an inside light on.
I drive up to the exit gate of the parking structure and stick my little ticket in the machine.
Never have I paid so much for parking in my entire life ($120 for 6 days). Not giving any fucks at this point, and not even sure I can afford it, I pay it. On my way home I am actually hungry. I decide to roll through a Burger King (big mistake).
I order my food and start rounding the drive-through. As I’m coming around I realize I’m feeling sick again. Before I make it to the window I open the door and throw up neon green vomit all over the side of their restaurant. I collect my burgers anyway.
Hour 13: Survival of the Fittest
I pull up to my house. It’s now somewhere around five or six o’clock, thirteen hours after my journey began. I enter my room, thrown down all my shit, puke one more time, and then pass…the…fuck…out. I proceed to sleep for 15 hours straight.
And that folks, was the Worst Day of My Life. Thank you for reading. I hope you learned something. I know I did, or didn’t, whatever. Who’s up for drinks?