Dead pilots, crazy terrorists, your chance for glory

Well then – nine years ago. I don’t know about you, what you were doing around “that day”, the day being…. uh, well, something or other, I forget. I remember waking up in a central African mud hut and hearing people bickering about chewing gum, canned food, and how hung over they were from palm wine from the night before. And then I looked at the tee-vee, and saw these two big shiny towers from way over in head-up-your-ass-town (also known as “Enn-Why-See”) and a bunch of people running around acting stupid. Like, really: It’s the morning after your night of drinking, chill out already.

I just wanted to see some beauty before all this damage was done. But if it’s too much to ask, well Hell, we’ll just get back to it then, now won’t we? You know, dragging your ass out of the bushes, out of the brothels, the bars, the bowling alleys, and emerging from a twentieth century slumber of communism, fascism, random stupidity, rock and roll, and getting in gear for a new century where you gotta have your picture taken on every street corner, where the security agent gets to feel you up and almost suck you off while he searches around for white gels that might explode…. dude, not with you. I go to Bangkok for that, when they’re not fighting and such.

But we’re still screaming, nine years later, after the Yankee-doodles thought the world was going to crash in on itself, when they realized that hey, this big ugly watery ball we live on is frickin’ huge and not everyone is totally keen on the ol’ rapin’ and pillagin’ of the stars and stripes. Apparently this appalled some Americans, as if we were in a popularity contest or something to begin with. I beg to differ, and the sooner those pussies get the hell outta that country and into the next, the better for America it’ll all be. We don’t need security cameras, bio-chipped passports, traceable credit cards, and the worst of all – bartenders that won’t let you drive home after 12 beers. This here is an insult to my freedom, damnit, and I’ll fight it tooth and nail until they drag me away in the rubber jacket. Again. For the third time. Actually I think it’s been more than that, but I lost count.

So you drag your sorry drunken malarial ass out of the jungle of some former French colony, doing your best to speak the only French you know and then saying “pardon my french”; though it usually doesn’t work quite well, people are more than happy to help eject you from the arse-hole of the continent. And you’re trying to get back to the good ol’ America of old, even though it’s changed irreparably because of crazy terrorists and all that – not to mention subsequent wars and fiscal disasters, but that comes later, and really you’re only concerned about the terror-factor of the whole white-knuckle flying experience.

Then again, flying’s never been safer, or so they tell you. Apparently it’s safer because of maintenance, or pilot training, than the olden days when they just checked your ticket and offered you a smoke once you got up the stairways to the waiting, really hot, flight attendants. You never see those birds anymore. Actually you do – the same chicks, forty years older, three divorces under their belt, tattoos all over their forearms, still serving you coffee, but now it’s with a scowl. Draw clear, boys, these post-menopausal demons are a bigger concern for your wellbeing than the apparent terrorizers.

So, finally, you get back on that western-world airline from probably somewhere in Yirrup and on over to the eastern coast of the You-Hess-Hay to check on your assets, and trying to figure out your next ditch dive location to crash for a few months. And of course you must do all of this quickly, as the feds aren’t as ridiculously slow at investigating as they were a decade ago, and they could catch up with you sooner than later. Naturally, in that American multi-culti style of easternism every culture and their dog (usually a dog) is on that plane, including a few folks from the desert sands with fancy bleached flippy-flopping clothing and weird keffiyah’s and headbands and turbans and other towels obfuscating their noggins. To hell with ’em – they won’t cause trouble.

What you gotta look out for are the swarthy types – the guys with the gooey hair, possibly Greek or Italian but maybe just maybe Aye-Rabb, but you can only really know after talking to ’em. I’m often a quiet drunk, so often I never get that far, but just listen in when they speak to the ticketing lady or while they’re on the phone. Any of it will work, any kind of heartfelt “goodbyes” will likely be spoken slowly, it should all be emotional like a bad episode of the Young and the Restless. Speaking of which, I gotta get the next few seasons – having been hung over in the jungle a few months, I lost track. That’s what sucks about hiding out from society, the lack of netflix. But I digress.

Once you’re on the plane, strapped in, alcohol’d up, and drifting into your own mental wonderland, it could undoubtedly happen. I think it happened to me once, maybe twice, on third-world airlines going from buttfuck nowhere to buttfuck further from nowhere: some crazy buddhists got up and started slashing people with their plastic knives, screaming ensued, then a few Danish special forces guys dropped them to the ground and kept them pinned. In fact, it turned out to be a good deal as the flighty was so ecstatic to be alive she handed out free booze! That vodka sure helped with the police reports too – but again, that’s another story.

What I mean to say is that in the event that the Danes aren’t around, which is sadly too often, you gotta do this shit yourself. They pull out their improvised weapons, yell various religious swearwords in your face, block off the bar cart – bastards! Then they’re kickin’ at the cockpit door, haven’t got the memo about the reinforced hinges, then threaten a flighty or two, and you just sit back with some popcorn and watch. But shit, then they kill the flighty and force their way into the cockpit, stab the pilots in the neck, and take control. Now it’s not just your average friday night brawl à-la Bangassou, suddenly you’re staring down a possible tower-crashing like the days of old. Hell, all that crap shoulda been behind us. They made a movie or three about those folks, and damned if they are going to sell me another half-baked patriotism DVD in this day and age.

Therefore, you must snap into your sober state and figure out a plan. Naturally if you’re like me you spend at least 20 hours a day totally drunk and/or high, you’ve learned to train yourself so you can “sober up” for minutes at a time for important things like border checks, flirting with a prostitute, or tying bedsheets together to sneak out of a fancy hotel. You remember all that martial arts training you had when you were eleven years old, down your last scotch and tonic, and quietly undo your seatbelt.

Now’s the time to make eye contact with any able-bodied male you can see. Try and get into a groove of making some facial gestures that can tip two or three of you off at the same time, to create chaos, especially if there’s guards around watching the passengers with their plastic economy-class eating knives. Then give him a wink, burst from your chair, and tackle them. Choke holds are good in closed spaces, be sure to knock them out, leave their future for those too wimpy to take action.

Then, onto the cockpit. Walla-whats-his-name is probably in there reciting shit from his Imam-from-Hell who said it was cool to crash planes into stuff, knock him off first. It’s tough to take on two folks at the same time, it helps to have a few able-bodied passengers help you out. But nonetheless, if you’re in this situation, be creative – pens, pans, bottles, smacking and whacking all the way. These are confined spaces, and fighting back when the majority of passengers are on your side can only go your way. Just watch out for your eyes. Gouged eyes hurt, take it from me.

So, you get to the cockpit with hopefully a broken wine bottle, or in the worst case you can split a beer can in half and slice into a few necks. Job’s done, you’ve lost a few thousand feet of altitude, just like bungee jumping in Kathmandu, but this time you’re sadly even more sober. Nonetheless with those dead pilots and dead terrorists, now you have a plunging plane and peanuts worth of time to get it back righted again.

Thus you simply remember the rule that pulling back on the stick makes the thing go up, pushing down makes it go down, just like that other “stick” you’re used to pulling on frequently, right? Pilots keep all sorts of manuals around in that tiny space of theirs, and once you get the plane level you just need to find the emergency frequency and yell that good ‘ol fashioned “MayDay” call – if you’ve done that as a prank too often in the past, then sorry, let someone who sounds more concerned do it.

After that, and with the terrorizers subdued, you just must be able to follow instructions from the radio, assuming someone’s heard you. How to fly, how to land, it’s a good chance to sober up for half an hour or so. If you’ve got the shakes like I do, use the intercom and ask if there’s an engineer or doctor on board, someone who’s done that book learning stuff, someone who can obey and follow instructions. Then head back to the first class lavatory and enjoy a smoke. Pass out the rest of your cigarettes to eager passengers, and if it’s a federal crime to kill terrorists and smoke on an airplane afterwards, then I don’t want to be right.

If there’s no answer to your mayday, then it’s best to check out those flight maps and see if there’s an abandoned tropical island somewhere around if you’re too stupid to figure out all those aircraft highways that should bring you at least close enough to a major airport to get some contact. I mean, you could do the whole-abandoned-island thing, but that show ended months ago and people were just right pissed off about the ending. Think about it – do you want to be that vain twit saying all those bad lines with people you don’t like for six years? I didn’t think so.

Fly the plane to the airport, and get the hell away once it lands. Make sure you leave a name and number in case of a subsequent lawsuit, though, those things can pay pretty good. Which buys you even more time getting wasted on palm wine in the jungle.

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