Dir: Mike Adriano
There are people who are cursed with incurable diseases, missing limbs, small penises… I feel no pity for them because my curse is far worse than anything found in a medical encyclopedia. My curse is that I'm never seated next to a beautiful woman on an aeroplane. I have been a frequent flyer my entire life, and in more recent years I've found myself on four to six planes a month. Only on one occasion, in the 1990s, have I been seated next to a pretty lady, but at the time I was too insecure and awkward to take advantage of the situation.
I am an aisle seat. You know what's on the other side of me? The middle seat. You know who buys middle seats? The cheapest on the plane. Peasants. It's a small step up from sitting on the toilet for the duration of the flight. Beautiful people don't choose middle. They choose aisle for a quick escape from those in the middle, or they choose window to gaze upon the grandeur below. Middles are just happy to be there, thankful for their free Coca-Cola and one-ounce bag of peanuts. My middle neighbours have been the fat, the old, the ugly, the incessant talkers, the bratty, crying, puking micromonsters of piss-poor parents. Once I got a sharp-dressed Japanese businessman flying from Tokyo who spoke no English. I challenged him to a ten-hour drinking contest; it was rather entertaining.
For the most part, I'm unlucky when it comes to whom I'm seated next to. Or at least I was. On my last flight, from Newark to LA, I happened to be seated next to the MILF in the above photo. You may not think much of her, but like Springsteen said, "You ain't a beauty, but hey you're all right / Oh and that's all right with me" – because she's the best I've ever been seated next to.
For all the travelling I do, I am still terrified of flying. I won't get into the details of the emergency landing I experienced in Cincinnati in 1999, or when the plane I was on started going down over the Atlantic en route to Portugal in 2001, or even last week when we had to make an emergency landing in Connecticut because my plane from Berlin ran out of gas. I'll just say I have my reasons for not being a fan of flight, and I eagerly await the invention of teleportation.
In typical form, I started white-knuckle-clutching the armrest at the first sign of turbulence. My middle-MILF neighbour saw my fear and slid her hand onto mine, telling me everything was going to be fine, like my wife normally would. Her kindness distracted me from thoughts of dying just long enough for the drinks cart to arrive. I ordered four whiskies for myself. I asked her if she cared to join me. She refused, but I ordered her four of the same regardless; I would drink them if she didn't.
She told me she had been sober for three years.
I told her that, a decade ago, AA and NA were my two favourite places to pick up women, luring them back to my apartment with booze and drugs.
A half hour later she had finished her first whisky.
I then offered her some of my flying medicine. She again refused. Within the hour, she was looking for the steward to order another round and asking me if she could have just one more pill. Her suddenly loose lips began to divulge secrets from a past life of even looser lips. She told me how she used to be a high-paid escort in Australia in the 90s and how she'd been in every manner of tryst, from three-ways with couples to full-blown orgies. I stopped her mid-sentence and told her we should go somewhere more private, like the lavatory, to discuss this further. Thrice she refused me, saying she was now a born-again Christian – a reformed sex addict who had been celibate for six years.
I pulled out the bottle of pills, shook it in her face and ordered more drinks in an attempt to cure her of her celibacy. My wife would understand, I told myself. This was something that had to be done in the name of journalism.
Before long, she was painting me graphic pictures of her naughtiest fantasies at such a drunken high volume I'm sure the pilot could hear. "Do you know what I really like?" she asked.
Before I could respond, the small human seated in the window seat (who I had failed to notice for the previous three hours) popped out from behind my new girl's arm and asked, "Mummy? What are you talking about?"
Just as shock seized my face, the two elderly folks in front of us turned around and shot us evil looks and reiterated her daughter's question: "Yes, dear? What is it you're talking about?"
We were surrounded by her entire born-again-Christian family, and they had heard it all.
Previously - One-Night Stands