The World’s Scariest Travel Stories: A Real Scream, #7 in a Series — Don’t Drink and Fly

I’m on a red-eye flight from Washington D.C. to Charlotte, North Carolina. “Can the seats be any closer together?�? I think to myself. Then, once settled in and slightly comfortable, the large sweaty man sitting next to me begins ordering vodka tonics as if the flight was his last.

One by one, I watched as the Flight Attendant placed the tiny little bottles onto the man’s tray table. He twisted off the caps and began flinging them into the air as his inhibitions flew in circles around his head. I noticed that what was usually a short time in the air had morphed into lingering agony and then he turned to me.

“Are you flying on bussssss….ness?�? He slurred.

I tried not to crinkle my nose as it took in the sour, foul smelling breath of my new acquaintance. “Just coming back from a conference, and you?�? Oh rats! That was it. I screwed up and let my conversational etiquette solicit a response.

“No – I’m just-a-visitin’ my sister in Charlotte. Ever been to Charlotte?�?

All I could think of was how much I loved the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory shop in the Charlotte airport terminal but I couldn’t dare tell him that. The plane’s air conditioning had been cutting in and out and his forehead began to bead up and drip with sweat. I just forced a smile as he continued to spit and slur everything there was to know about his life until I saw the skirt of a Flight Attendant approaching. Aha! There was my opportunity so I leaned over and gave it a polite tug.

Practically hanging out of my seat, I begged her for some headphones — an empty seat in the back –- anything that would get me away from my obnoxious neighbor. She had nothing. The man leaned over onto my shoulder and looked up at the Flight Attendant, “Awe, don’t worry, the little lady musht be a bit nervous about the flight. I’m kee…eeepin’ her company! (hiccup)�?

So there I was. Trapped in the air with this slurpy, stinky, sweaty monster.

I wished I could fly out the window and ride the rest of the way on the wing.

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