Drinks on the plane

Drinking and airplanes go together like discount gin and regrettable sex partners. But even the seemingly-happiest of marriages ends in divorce sometimes—just as once in a while, those adorable little bottles of booze will turn on you. Not on me, personally—quite the contrary. Airplanes and airports are definitely in my top ten list of favorite places to get wasted. I mean, as someone who’s spent the majority of her post-21/fake ID having years in major metropolitan areas only, the airport is the only location in my life where Chilli’s TOO is considered a totally awesome bar (I cannot vouch for rural/super suburban and/or Midwest living, so if the TOO is your fav local haunt, my bad, man—and no disrespect). By the way: Shout out to the Chilli’s TOOs at OAK and SEA and wherever else you’re plying away pre-plane jitters with your gateside full bar. Your extremely gigantic margaritas really enhance my flying experience.

But even though it’s never happened to me, I have seen the plane drunken-ness rear it’s hideous head.

First off, the good news: I would like to nominate Alaska as the official airline of the Alcohol Enthusiast. Sure, they don’t have fancy on-command cocktails like Virgin America, but they show us the real love and don’t even expect it to be requited. Alaska airlines—at least on flights between OAK and PDX—serves (gasp) free wine and beer. “Wine and beer barely have any booze content to them!” You Enthusiasts might be shouting drunkenly from your cubicles as you read this. “Sure, booze is booze and it’s all delicious—but to name them the official airline?!?! You’re crazy. Fuck you guys. Oh wait, oh wait, I’m really sorry. I love you. You’re like totally my best friends and I was like kidding, hahaha….<swigs from desk whiskey>. I’m sooooo sorry!!!!” While I desk-toast to your point, fellow Enthusiast, I must advise you to pour the rest of that Jack into a coffee mug so you don’t get “fired” from your “job” (do you even still really work there or are you just crashing the party, bro?) and also, I must disrespectfully disagree. Because, friends: the wine and beer is free, and oh, do they keep it coming. On last weekend’s flight to Portland to party (more on that in a later post) I couldn’t even have beat the refills of free red away with an inflatable neck pillow nor vomit bag if I tried (which I didn’t).

Speaking of vomit bags: Back to my original point about how sometimes those cute mini bottles can rear their ugly, tiny caps and take one (inexperienced Enthusiast) down. A couple of years ago on a flight back from Portland (really, it’s a city built for Enthusiasts and if you haven’t drank there, let’s go) I was seated on the aisle next to a youngish couple about the same age as me. But let’s rewind a little further first: While waiting for the plane, I witnessed this young man and this young woman meet and become fast, new friends amongst the hard-backed chairs and digital departure boards. They shared headphones. It was gross to me but cute, objectively speaking. As we filed on board, the new buddies were so loathe to separate that dude traded with another dude for the middle seat next to his new ladyfriend. From the moment they sat down, I noticed an odor of alcohol, emanating—and for the first time in a while, I wasn’t just smelling myself. It was coming from the woman at the window seat. Once airborne, my enthusiastic seatmate proceeded to pull a bottle of Jim Beam from her bag and start swigging (this was during the glory days where one was allowed larger amounts of liquids through security). She shared with her new manfriend somewhat, and the two got slowly more gropey and whispery and I, slowly drunker myself off the copious free wine, tried to drown out their PDAs with the blissful feeling of my own intoxication.

Then shit got weird. Window seat woman’s (WSW) head flops into middle seat man’s (MSM) lap. Oh, fucking of course (I thought): the mile high blow-job, and here I am to witness it. But much to MSM’s assured dismay, she did not proceed to zip and/or unbutton his fly nor caress said-junk through pant. Instead, she requested he provide her the vomit bag. Oh. Shit. Fuck. This. Crap. I thought. Sitting next to wasted Enthusiasts is a party—but here I was, seated beside a puking poser who was dealing, most likely, with the karma of not sharing her spoils (I mean the booze, not the dude). Anyways, I’ll spare you the gory details because I know you can imagine them. And once the bag was full <gag>, WSW and MSM stumbled to the bathroom for either copulation or more puking. Or maybe both.

The moral of the story? Beware of getting wasted with strange people on airplanes, even if they seem cute and/or easy and/or they have an iPod to share and you forgot to bring anything to listen to and/or read, and no matter how badly you want the sweet, sweet taste of whatever’s in their bottle (double entendre time!)—lest you end up taking care of them when they get sick from all the booze they couldn’t actually handle. Best just to drink most of it yourself so they don’t have the chance to puke in your lap if you’re unsure of their prowess. Unless vomit-soaked mile high club sex really gets your motor running. In which case, more power to you, my friend. And there’s probably another blog out there more suited to your specific needs.