The Planeride of Death

Chandy Clemens

What do you get when you have a screaming, projectile vomiting baby, two very awkward guys as your seat-mates, and one stewardess who would secretly love to pour steaming coffee on your lap for her pure sadistic pleasure? The worst plane ride ever! Funny, right?

The plane was congested with passengers, and I held the fleeting notion that quite possibly one of these people may have the Swine Flu. I walked down the aisle until reaching my pre-assigned seat. It was row 27, seat B, middle. Now I faced the task of having to make conversation with these complete strangers sitting on either side of me, especially since the trip was three and a half hours and the in-flight movie was “Hotel for Dogs,” another cutesy Hollywood film chalk full of stupid talking dogs and nauseating cliches.

The man on my left wearing a pink shirt, did not represent the motto “Tough guys wear Pink.” He was just your average middle-aged, hair-line residing Joe, trying to counter his fears of old age by attempting to dress “hip.” Then there was the guy to my right, militant, mid-20s, and looked straight out of boot-camp. No thank you, I will be remaining quiet this whole trip, even with the sheer boredom I was facing.

As time dragged on, the stewardesses were coming down the aisle with their drink cart. Should I or shouldn’t I get something to drink? Should I risk having to pee and make this jar-head next to me angry by making him move? Whatever, if I made him angry, me and the Flamingo guy could take him. I asked nicely for a Pepsi from the intimidating stewardess, the mole on her upper lip wincing at me and her cold Medusa eyes burning holes in my retinas. Any longer, I would have turned to stone.

“Hotel for Dogs” came on, an especially sad sight to witness when you see the respectable Don Cheadle having lowered himself for a role he probably only took for the money. However, watching “Hotel for Dogs” and turning up the volume to maximum level seemed a good idea when the baby in the opposite aisle started wailing uncontrollably. This baby was inescapable. When it’s mother tried to comfort it, the baby only raised an octave like a hyena howling for food.

Thankfully, the mother picked it up and took it to the back, those cries sounding like death rattles. Once the baby quieted down, the mother brought him or her back to the seat, but before actually sitting, the baby decided to surprise everyone in our section with a little gift. A 1, a 2, and a…BLEHHGGGHHHH!!!! This child upchucked not only on the peoples’ seat in front of them, but all over the aisle and narrowly missed the Call-of-Duty warrior next to me who would have chucked the baby down a football field if its pink, slimy vomit had landed on him.

Thank God we were about 20 minutes to landing or I would have turned Rambo.

Finally, the plane touched down on the LAX runway, which meant a release from the constrictions on this flight from hell. I jumped onto the gangway and basked in the 90 degree sunshine hitting my face, not caring if I rudely jumped in front of the baby freak out or its mother or the man sitting left of me whose time dancing in a Miami conga line I was probably interrupting.