Flying has got to be my least favourite activity. I mean I enjoy travel and the holiday at the end. But the actual flying part, nah. I'm hanging out for the day when we just teleport everywhere.
Today was my worst flying experience ever. Even worse than when our plane got struck by lightning in Southern Angola during the civil war and we had to make an emergency landing in rebel territory. Even worse than flying into a typhoon over Hong Kong sitting next to a morbidly obese man who poured himself into half of my seat and suffered from the nastiest flatulence that ever ventured past my nostrils. Even worse than the pressure valve going and us having to return to the airport wearing oxygen masks. Even worse than the pilot coming in too fast, over-shooting the runway so he had to yank the plane upwards quickly before we crashed into the national road on the other side of the fence.
I'm sure you realise by now it was pretty bad.
I can't believe I survived.
Actually, the bad part only lasted for ten minutes of a two hour flight. We flew into a storm that was so severe, it threw our plane around the sky rather like a pigeon on crack. One that over-indulged on the crumbs of the xmas cake that had been soaked in a mixture of rum, brandy and whiskey. The pilot had no control as first the plane dropped and then took off sideways, bouncing its way through the storm clouds. My ears couldn't decide what they were supposed to do, popping like champagne corks at a wedding. People were screaming. Ten minutes of being blown around the sky, but the dropping parts were the worst. The poached eggs I'd had for breakfast this morning scrambled themselves and made their way into my lungs. Last night's fat-free ice-cream curdled inside me and entered my brain through some internal pipe or other. The terror must have been frozen on my face, rather like when a crazy boyfriend takes you for a motorbike ride down a steep hill at speed. Maybe the pilot was on speed. I wish I was on speed. It might have dulled the fear. I thought I wasn't afraid of dying. I was wrong. Did you hear that? I'm admitting I'm wrong. That doesn't happen too often. I told you my brain has become curdled fat-free ice-cream.
Ten minutes of the worst rollercoaster ride in the world. I also happen to hate rollercoasters. It felt like it lasted several lifetimes. There are definitely more grey hairs on my head. They probably come in fifty shades of grey. In fact, it's aged me so much I think it has brought on menopause as it caused my ovaries to seize. Gripping the chair so tightly, sitting so ramrod-stiff, caused my back and my left leg to cramp. Now, several hours later, my back feels as if I built the pyramids all on my own, carrying each block by myself, struggling to walk under its weight in the thick desert sands.
Above the screams you could hear a group at the back of the plane laughing raucously at each drop. What were they trying to prove laughing while the rest of us were screaming? Maybe all the free wine they consumed on the plane had taken away all their fear. Drunken skunks. Savages. I hate them for laughing.
Did I ever mention I hate flying?
Cindy Vine is the author of Not Telling, Defective and C U @ 8.