The adventures of Katie and the jacked-up whale


I was reminded this morning of a seriously funny thing that happened to me last year when I was travelling when I was chatting to a friend on the phone this morning. She mentioned she was on the travelator and I just started sniggering when I remembered this, so I thought that I’d share it with all of you because, well because I think you should hear it.

Last year I had to travel to Germany for work. I got permission to stay a few extra days and have a little holiday. I jolled in Berlin for a few days and then flew back through Dubai to go and spend some time with the lovely Dylan and Amy.

After an amazing holiday, it was time to head back to Jo’burg and I was so super happy when I sat down on my Emirates flight and it was empty, quiet and I had two seats to myself.

The guy sitting on the opposite side of the aisle to me was polite and said hello when he sat down. I didn’t really think anything of it until I noticed that he was definitely getting a little flirty with the air hostess, but of course she’s dealt with this 1 000 times before and she just brushed it off and kept filling his drink orders.

I started watching a movie and about halfway through looked over and saw that this guy, who was bulging out of his seat a little, had six of those dinky bottles of jack daniels, all empty on his tray table.

Now, I know my personal limit and I probably couldn’t even handle three straight shots of jack, but I was still slightly impressed at this point I guess.

After another six, I kid you not, I noticed that he was getting a little fumbly and fiddling with everything around him and trying to make conversation with the guy next to him. He had a kind of Mexican accent I think that had been masked a bit by the booze.

When the bulging man realised that nobody wanted to chat to him, he slapped on his headphones and began to treat our section to his rather rough rendition of Madonna’s like a virgin. Complete with drunken grunting noises and seizure-like dance moves.

Now the flight from Dubai is about eight hours, which isn’t exactly short. After about six hours, the hostess decided she was cutting him off and told him there was no jack daniels left on the plane. This wasn’t going to stop this idol who proceeded to get up and find his own whisky by rummaging through the cupboards while the air hostess had her back turned.

When we finally came in for landing, and his singing was no longer funny, he decided it was time for a nap. You know, when you’re supposed to have your ‘seat back in the upright position’. He managed to piss off the guy behind him, who I’m pretty sure would’ve punched him had he not been strapped in himself at this point. And then a fight ensued between the two grown men.

Fat drunk man: I….ussed to be a ploty’know!

Angry man (Now pushing the seat back into the upright position): Excuse me sir, what did you say?

FDM: I was a pilot! Dammit! Let me sleep!

AM: We’re about to land you drunken fool, stop acting like a child

I won’t bore you with the rest of the details, but this went on for about 30 minutes on descent.

When we finally got on the ground and started to disembark, everybody let the drunken man get off first. The same as how you drive slowly and cautiously behind a drunken driver, just in case they pull some sort of dangerous last-minute maneuver?

Anyway. Get off the plane and we’re parked at the FURTHEST gate at the airport, which means lots of walking and lots of travelators. By this point, I’m exhausted, I just want to sleep. Drunk man is moving too slowly so I start walking next to the moving floors because I want to get to bed.

I looked back for one last glimpse at this amazing human and as I do, I see him stumble over his own feet and land face down on the travelator. Still holding his wheelie bag, he doesn’t even bother to try and get up.

I watched in absolute awe as he got closer and closer to the grate at the end of it and could only think about how he’s passed out cold and he’s going to munch his face at the end.

But just before the second of impending doom, he lifted his head ever so slightly and literally managed to beach himself like a whale on the end of the travelator. STILL HOLDING HIS SUITCASE.

Amazing. Just amazing.

Travel & food blogger helping adventurous South Africans find their next escape.

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