DONíT ALWAYS SAY
NO TO DRUGS
IĎm a big believer in
that old adage I first heard from my sisterís mother-in-law as she
haughtily boarded a plane before everyone else, including her son: "If
I donít fly first class, my children will."
So when my wife and
I bought our tickets for the 15 hour flight we took to Hong Kong last week,
I naturally called the airline and told them I wanted to upgrade to first
Since I didnít
have nearly enough miles saved up, I would have to pay cash. And I was
politely told that each $900 round trip ticket I bought would only cost
another $5000 each to upgrade, and that was only to business class. I didnít
bother to ask what it would cost for first class.
joining our fellow pilgrims and flying coach," I announced to my wife,
who didnít take the news well. "We wouldnít want to sit with all
those snobs up in first class, anyway."
Iíve never seen
her react so snobbily. She whined and moaned so much about the prospect of
15 hours crammed into a middle seat that I almost bought her an upgrade. In
considered offering her some of my drugs. I started taking Xanax, which is
an anti-anxiety drug, a few years ago to help with my fear of flying.
Needless to say, it worked. A 15 hour flight was not a big deal when youíre
in a drug-induced stupor.
"I donít want
your stupid drugs," she replied. "It turns you into a
Ah, yes, it does. I
only take it when I fly, and suddenly, after decades of dreading getting on
a plane, I now LOVE to fly.
Of course, there are
consequences. For instance, the last time I flew across the country, I was
by myself, and I had a middle seat next to (and Iím not exaggerating) a
300 pound woman. But since I had taken my Xanax exactly 45 minutes before
takeoff, I wasnít concerned. I would be asleep momentarily.
Sure enough, I was
sound asleep when the flight attendant woke me up to tell me there was a
vacant aisle seat in the last row where I might be more comfortable. How
gracious, I thought. I felt embarrassed for the large woman, but I moved,
It wasnít until
the next day that I realized you donít wake someone up so theyíd be more
comfortable. I must have been snoring so loudly that everyone around me
begged the flight attendant to move me. Thatís probably why the teenager
who was also in the back row wasnít there when I woke up about an hour
before landing. I donít know where he went, but Iíve never had more room
on a crowded airplane.
So a 15 hour flight
didnít scare me. If I snored, which isnít always the case, my wife would
be there to elbow me in the ribs. Unless, of course, I convinced her to take
Xanax, which would mean she could match my obliviousness.
I had mixed
feelings. I wanted her to enjoy the flight, like me, but I didnít want to
risk upsetting everyone around us by having two zombies blissfully unaware
of their surroundings.
In the end, I
decided to go it alone. She could beg and plead for my drugs, but I wasnít
going to share. There would be no deals made at the water cooler, or
anywhere else. She was going drug-free and I was going where I needed to go.
45 minutes before the
scheduled departure, I popped my required dose. We walked onto the plane,
settled into our cramped, economy seats with our common people, and within
ten minutes I was out.
It was the best 15
hour flight Iíve ever had. I woke up for meals, some light reading, and a
few bathroom breaks. And then back to sleep. I arrived in Hong Kong fresh as
a daisy, ready for fun and adventure.
wife was an absolute mess. I probably should have given her the aisle seat,
since I was asleep 70% of the time, but she never asked. Or maybe she did.
How would I know?
The good news is she got
plenty of exercise climbing over me.