It's 6 a.m. on a mother fucking Saturday and I, Jasper Whitlock, have to go on a business trip. I'm usually not out of bed until at least 11 on a Saturday. I step out of the Towne car that was sent by the company to escort me to the airport. I tell them time after time that I'm perfectly capable of getting myself to the airport, but I think they're afraid I'm going to run off. It's been another crazy work week ending with, yet another, business trip. Why can't they just fire me so I can collect unemployment? God knows I'd much rather enjoy sitting at home in my underwear, eating Cheetos, and playing X-Box, but I know my conscience would get the best of me because of my Southern, blue-collar upbringing. Damn Southern Hospitality.
I walk up to the check-in desk and hand over my ID before receiving my boarding pass. "Have a great flight, Mr. Whitlock." I nod and give…Amanda…the best grin I can muster. I wink before walking away. I sigh as I make my way to security. I wait 20 minutes before it's finally my turn to get checked. And of course, I "randomly" get picked for a pat-down. Because, you know, the radiation filled x-ray machines aren't invasive enough.
I finally manage to get to the gate itself, which by the way, was 3 terminals and 2 trains away. By the time I get situated in the waiting area, I only have 3 hours to waste. My mind starts to wander a bit and then I realize, God I fucking hate flying… it's the worst. I never look forward to it. First,you get gate raped going through security. Seriously, is it really necessary to cup balls to check for explosives? I mean, sure, explosions happen down there, but not the kind they're thinking of. After the security check, you have to wait another fucking hour at your gate for your flight to be called to board. And why do they always call it, "getting on" the plane? I don't know about you, but I'm getting IN the plane. YOU get on the plane tell me how well that goes for you. Then, half the time your flight is delayed for some fucking windstorm in North Carolina that has NOTHING to do with you or your flight. That's the airplane industry for ya'. It'll get you every time.
Luckily, I've come up with a method for making air travel more enjoyable; booze, and a lot of it. I find by packing booze in 3 ounce shampoo containers, in my gallon-size Ziplock baggie, usually does the trick. You can fit about 10 in there. And if you're lucky, it'll hold you over till you get on the plane.
I look at my watch, Oh, it's just about time for shampoo bottle number one…I reach in and grab the small bottle filled with Jameson; liquid candy, I tell you. I thank the country of Ireland every time I reach for the hunter green bottle. I suck it down in one shot. Too bad I have to have at least three bottles to really get a good buzz going; the best part being it's only eight o'clock in the morning. I reach into my bag and grab my lucky iPod to help me relax a bit before the flight. After shuffling through my playlist, and getting comfy in my chair, two girls an aisle over catch my eye. Bombshell brunettes, I swear. One is denim mini, pink sparkly tank top, and flip flops. She has the cutest dimples this side of the Atlantic. No, scratch that, make that the PACIFIC! The other is wearing a cardigan, skinny jeans, and flats. I figur they have to be from Buffalo with the Buffalo Sabres trucker hats they are sporting. They're laughing at a joke I can't hear as the one in pink grabs her glasses. I don't get the joke until I see them on her face. Black fay-bans with clear lenses, decorated completely with rhinestones...Emmett would kill for those glasses. I chuckle at the thought of my brother rocking those out.
I make eye contact with the one in the Cardigan; she winks and nudges her friend beside her. They both wave. I smile my best grin and give them a nod as I settle back into my relaxed state. The loud speaker comes on announcing my flight, "Flight 69 to Chicago now boarding in gate 10." I check my boarding pass and chuckle to myself at the revelation that I was on flight 69. How I never noticed that before is a mystery. That's the ten year old boy in me, I swear. I grab my bags and head towards the gate. I ponder who I would be sitting next to. It would probably be a screaming baby or an obese family that would hog all the arm rests. I hate my life. I notice that the two brunettes are in line behind me. Maybe this flight won't be so bad after all.
I pass by the team of stewardesses as I make my way through the tunnel. Why are they always super cheerful? It was annoying as hell, like Smurfs on uppers. I have only one thing to say to that, "Smurf you too, lady". They always act so high and mighty, and then run you over with the beverage cart.
I make my way down the rows of passengers, luggage, stewardesses, beverage carts and a partridge in a pear tree, until I find my seat… right next to the two brunettes from the gate. Score! We exchange names and small talk. I learn their names are Katie and Meagan and they are on their way to Chicago from Buffalo to see a hockey game. They seem nice enough and maybe if I play my cards right, I'll be joining the mile high club. So far so good, this flight is going pretty well. I got a seat by the window next to two extremely beautiful girls, I have no chance of being run over by the beverage cart and there is no baby in sight. I recline my seat, turn my iPod back on, and close my eyes.
I wake up to the sound of frantic screaming. Everyone is buckled into seats looking terrified. The brunette besties are holding hands. That's when I hear it, the captain came on the radio, " Oh my God, the wing's on fire! Ladies and gentlemen please remain calm. We are going to make an emergency landing. Please make sure you are buckled in." I swear I even heard the co-pilot scream, "This sucker's gonna hit the ground! We're going down!" My eyes bug out of my head. Where is the stewardess when you need her? I'm going to need a drink. I'm out of shampoo bottles.
I frantically look around the cabin. Only the aisle lights are illuminated. The stupid yellow duck masks (try saying THAT 5 times fast…"duck masks, duck masks…" See? You can't) are hanging from the overhead compartment. It was in this moment that I realized, I shouldn't have fallen asleep during the demo. I look around quickly and see there are no children so I put my mask on first. Maybe it is my libido speaking, but I look over to see if the two girls need help with their masks. Obviously I'm not getting laid at a time like this.
As I desperately try to inhale the lack of oxygen (why isn't the fucking bag inflating?) I look out the window. It's a little cloudy, with a chance of meatballs, but there could be smoke too. That's when I see it. The little magenta gremlin standing on the burning wing, smirking and holding a lighter. I blink, he waves. I blink again and the little bastard must have jumped off because he isn't anywhere to be seen. I turn to the girls next to me to see if that had seen it, too. They're too busy texting their loved ones, "goodbye" to notice. Never in my life have I felt so much like William Shatner. Dude's a legend.
I start to think about my certain, and likely, death. Really, what else am I supposed to do? My life flashes before my eyes. Especially all of my conquests. I recall the last, of what I hoped would be many more, and think back to Alice. Yeah, sure, she was a good lay. She was also one crazy ass bitch. Psycho thought she could see the future. She even told me, once, that she had foreseen my death. Supposedly I'm supposed to die in a fire, and NOT a plane. Ha! Bitch was wrong…wait a second? Fuck.
Just then, the captain comes on the radio. "We're going down! Smoke 'em if you got 'em. If you got 'em go and smoke 'em now." Great job, genius. How do you expect me to smoke with the duck mask still firmly in place? …AFLACK.
I never thought I'd die so cold and lonely. I glance at the two brunettes next to me. I wonder if they could make a good Jasper Sandwich. If we weren't about to die, I'd be sandwiched between them in the bathroom right now. FML. Fucking gremlin.
That's when I feel it. The bow of the plane slowly tipping downward. Out the window, I see the ground getting closer. The captain comes on one last time, "Prepare for impact!" My body tenses in unwelcomed anticipation as I assume the position, and lean forward reaching around for that stupid floatation device. Gravity is picking up and feel my body lurch forward. I reach over to the girl next to me, Katie's her name I think, and grab her hand to brace for impact. The last thing I hear before we hit the ground is, "Katie! This is all your fault!" Apparently her friend isn't too happy.
I jolt as I hit the back of the seat in front of me. I pop back up, taking in my surroundings.
"Uh, Meagan…why is this guy holding my hand? Let's switch seats…" I hear being whispered beside me. I quickly release her hand and smile apologetically.
I quickly glance out the window, and don't find what I'm searching for. I relax back into my seat noting the lack of flames and magenta gremlin on the wing of the plane. It had all been a dream. A few moments later, the captain comes on.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Flight 69 is now approaching take-off. Enjoy your flight."