To Scotland, now, and Glasgow, where possibly the most Scottish thing ever has happened, the fact that this story has happened in Scotland somehow making it a thousand times better, a billion times better, here it is from the BBC, the only way to process this is with a straight face:
Two pilots have been arrested at Glasgow Airport in relation to being allegedly impaired through alcohol.
The BBC understands the men were a captain and first officer of the Canadian airline, Air Transat.
The Airbus A330 was due to fly from Glasgow to Toronto on Monday afternoon with 345 passengers and nine crew on board.
The pilots, aged 39 and 37, were arrested under the Railways and Transport Safety Act.
— BBC News, today, the Year of Our Lord 2016, July 19th, O Blessed Day, O Blessed Blessed Day
I mean this is brilliant for a number of reasons so let's break it down with a list, we need to list these, we need to list this:
i. It's great that the process of flying – the joy of flight tempered by all of the queuing, the checking, the administration, the airless, joyless cabins, how anodyne it is, they only give you tiny sealed cups of water in case you go bananas and spill it everywhere, flying is a small stress situation turned to a high stress one by the fact that you are not allowed cutlery for adults, you are given children's cutlery, in case you do a terrorism – and that all of this was delayed by two madlads getting slightly too On The Shandies;
ii. At what point did someone notice that the pilots were too pissed to fly, and who was it who grassed? I like to imagine the pilots – pissed, like essentially too pissed to walk, little pilot hats slightly askew on their little pilot heads – sliding into their little cabin, giggling, then doing the classic drunk-driving tropes only with a big massive plane: juddering the engine until it reluctantly starts, screeching down the runway in a lazy S shape, honking the horn really loud (do planes have horns?), going the wrong way up another runway and causing a Boeing to veer into a terminal, getting on the cabin radio and naughtily shouting "fuck off" to all the passengers, trying to do a wheelie, doing a piss in an old Evian bottle and throwing it out the window at speed, and then some full-face member of the cabin crew had to come in and tell them off and take their keys off them and have them arrested by the police;
iii. This definitely happened because it was sunny. This definitely happened because it was sunny. Pilot #1 clearly beheld that rare treasure, a sunny day in Scotland, and looked over to Pilot #2, both of them twiddling their thumbs and waiting hours to fly to Canada, and went: "Beer?" And so they went to the off license and got some bottles in (in sunny weather bottles are preferable to tins, this is a fact), and they found a small patch of grass somewhere, and went taps aff and got on it. And then they realised they'd decked eight Desperados between them and a can of warm cider too, and neither one of them could walk straight, let alone fly a multi-million pound airliner with the lives of a hundred passengers in their highly trained hands, and they looked at each other, pissed, blurred, and went: "Let's just get in the cabin and hope no one notices." That Pilot #1 went: "I think we can get away with this."
iv. Consider how many times they have actually gotten away with this.
I think there is something very noble in people who are pissed – like, out of control pissed, yelling and shouting, falling over their own shoes – still thinking they are capable of doing their jobs. This is common amongst writers, and they are all wrong: Hunter S. Thompson is dead now, and nobody else can do it half as good as him, but I like to think there are other career paths where the people doing them are confident three pints and two shots does little to impair their ability: paramedics, dentists, builders, tap dancers, Ray Parlour, alcohol dependency professionals, bungee jump resort operators, lifeguards, anyone who has ever operated a fryer or a large drill, Frank Sinatra. Maybe we should declare this day a national holiday: that future generations, every July 19th, will celebrate Go To Work Drunk Day with Bailey's on their cereal and a little corner shop bottle of gin on the bus, and they will look back on this fateful day when two pilots were too pissed to go to Canada and say, 'thank you, Pilot #1 and Pilot #2 for showing us the way'. What a wonderful world that would be.
More stuff that has happened on planes: