SURREAL ADVENTURES FROM THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Russian roulette

I don’t drink normally. Except when I fly.

To me, flying is like playing Russian roulette. You may crash or you may not. I know the statistics say flying is the safest way to travel; but the more you fly, the higher your chances are of crashing. This is how I see it. Thinking rationally about acceptable risks… just a stroke of bad luck and... boom! You’re gone.

Yet I need to fly quite often. And, believe it or not, I even have a frequent flyer card.

So what do I do when I take a long distance flight? I can’t help getting more paranoid than normal; I start thinking I'm putting my life at risk; I drink until I get sloshed and pretend I’m an educated flyer until I drop dead. Two drinks are enough to raise my blood alcohol level up to moderate intoxication phase: enough to keep me totally out of it for several hours. Then, the procedure needs to be repeated a few times, if necessary, upon arrival. ’Cos if I’m supposed to crash… I don’t really need to know in advance.

This is what I decided after a horrific bumpy flight from Chicago, Illinois, to Appleton, Minnesota, when the plane entered the ‘mother of all storms’ and the trip turned into a scary roller coaster.

The reason why all this is brought here is that some days ago I received an invitation to a wedding in Orsinia: Max and Lilly were getting married. So I asked for some days off at work and bought a round-trip plane ticket to Orsinia.

It was D-Day, H-Hour, and before the plane took off, I got up to open the overhead compartment, where my iPod was: inside my hand baggage most hidden pocket. Once I succeeded to find it, I stuck the earplugs in my lobes and resigned myself to wait until the electronic devices could be switched on again; I would need some chill-out music to help my two alcopops work better. Suddenly, I spotted Bob sitting five rows behind me. I could say with certainty that he had been invited to the wedding too by his ex.

I quickly slid down my seat, expecting he hadn’t seen me; fastened my safety belt; breathed deep and focussed on relaxing. As soon as the plane took off, I ordered my two drinks and gulped them down. But my evasive manoeuvres were completely useless: he had seen me and he was approaching me.

- Oh my gawd, I see things… and I think I've seen a ghost! –he said, covering his face with his hands-
- Hello dickhead.
- Don’t hide, dummy, I spotted you as soon as you entered the plane. I suppose you’re going to the wedding too.

I nodded.

- I’ve been calling you, twat!!! –I shouted at him-.
- I love you too, baby, and I know you called.
- And why didn’t you answer my calls? I haven’t heard from you for two weeks! What a crappy boyfriend you are! You will never have me again! And I see things, but I’m not nuts!
- Not so sure about that, Len.
-he said, calmly-
- I’ve been waiting at your door every single day! - I said, in tears-
- Don’t ever do that again! It makes me feel real bad.
- It’s intended to make you feel real bad! -I cried even louder-.
- You're wasted. Now finish your rant and sleep it off!


I was seriously considering the possibility of punching his nose real hard when I heard another familiar voice near me.

- Hiya Leni… and company. -said Ed Davies-
- Ed, this is... -I started introducing them to each other-
- Bob Gausman. Her boyfriend.
–he interrupted me, very unfriendly-
- Ed Davies. Her editor. -he replied abruptly-

They shook hands with hostility.

- You’re okay, Leni? -asked Ed-
- I’m fine, thanks. And what a nice coincidence, by the way. -I smiled, already tipsy

- I have some business to attend to in Orsinia.
- We’re going to a wedding in New Calexico. My ex is marrying his ex.
-I said, poiting at Bob-

-Fascinating. Sounds like a B-movie title with a happy ending.


I had enough sharpness and sarcasm and concluded I'd better move before one of them would fly across the floor with his feet over his head.

- I need too pee. Desperately. Urgently. I need to go. Seeya guys! -I said-

I got up immediately, as if I had been spring-propelled. Ed stepped back and left some room for me to reach the corridor. I went to the bathroom and then quickly staggered back towards my seat. I was already under the first effects of my therapy against fear of flying, when Ed sat on the empty seat next to mine.

- Hey, Leni, are you sure you’re okay? You don’t seem too comfortable.
- I don’t like planes.
- You’d better try to relax, baby. We still have a long way to go.


He tried another conversation subject, probably to distract me and help me chill out.

- So you’re going to a wedding. -he said-
- Yeah, strange how people still do these things in 2008, eh?
- What things?
- Getting married.
- Yeah, some people still do. What would you say if a guy asked you to marry him? Sorry for the strange question, but you're pissed and you're supposedly telling the truth.

He surprised me a bit, but I was able to give him a quick answer:

- I’d say ‘go to hell’.
- You’re such a sweet girl.
–he laughed-
- Are you married, Ed?
- Hrm. Twice divorced.
- Gosh, not only married but divorced, remarried and divorced again… this is beyond my understanding.
- To be honest, when I got married I thought it was for life.
- That’s just crazy. Nothing is for life.
- Right, but it was late for me when I realised that. -he said, serious-

A sour-faced stewardess pushed angrily her trolley beside me.

- Excuse me… could I have two Glenlivets, please? Double, if possible. -I asked-

She nodded.

- I don’t drink Glenlivet, Leni. –said Ed-
- They’re both for me.
- You’re already pissed.
- So what?


That sounded like a good reason to stop pestering me.

- Ok. Let’s talk about something more interesting then. Like… last time we met, you didn’t tell me what you do for a living. Is this a good moment to ask? - he said-

I sighed.

- I was hired four years ago as a chief of staff by Dumbass Industries plc’s Big Cheese. -I answered-
- Wow! It sounds very cool.
- I know, but before you start asking for favours, let me tell you that I have no personal or positional power of my own. I only act on BC's behalf and with his authority. Out of this context, I'm a nobody.
- But you must have some privileges coming from your position. Dumbass is a big corporation.
- Oh, yes I'm right in the first place when Big Cheese is mad and gives everybody hell; but I have my own parking place, company laptop, free internet, e-mail and intranet remote access and also a Blackberry to be available at anytime, if that’s what you mean.
- And how do you like the company?
- Dumbass Industries is full of old stick-in-the-muds who passed their competitive examinations forty years ago and therefore think the whole company is their own damned business. Any attempt to change their inefficient fucking system, as shitty as a thousand years in the making, is doomed to fail.

- Oh bureaucracy and inefficiency. They're good at it.
- They have massive amounts of papers, most of them useless. They still use floppy disks, supposing they're able to use a computer. They use stuff like typewritters and liquid tipp-ex…
- So they’re reluctant to change or innovate…
- Sure. And I must be the youngest person there among all these fossildicks!
- Oh, are they?
–he laughed-
- Yeah. They enter my office forty times every morning with one little paper each time, instead of seeing me once with the forty bloody things.
- Don’t blame it on them, baby Leni, You’re a sexy fox. You sure keep them rock hard all day.
–he laughed, sipping from my glass of Glenlivet-
- Heeeey! Don’t you drink from my glass!!!I protested-.
- Why? Is that just for Bob? Like calling you Len?

That was real nasty.

- That's none of your business. It's my glass, and I don't want your drool inside it. You said you didn’t drink Glenlivet! -I complained-
- You’re too young to drink that much
–he said, taking no notice of what I said and drinking the rest of the Glenlivet.
- So nowadays… to enter the job market and find yourself a good job, you normally have to finish your college studies; go on Erasmus; do a master course; probably Phd too; speak ten languages fluently; and be young and gorgeous.

- Yeah, and I would add you must pass the competitive exam every day. At least this is how it goes with Big Cheese. But you don't need all that if your dad is the CEO.
- I’m not surprised you hit the bottle.
- Man, I'm not a drunkard! I told you I only drink when I fly!
- Good for you, then.

I gazed into his deep blue eyes with an evil smile.

- My turn to ask now.
- Ok.
- How old are you?
- Is that all you want to ask me?
- For the moment, yes.
- Ok. After a few acid trips… not as old as your fossildicks, but I'm too weird to live and too rare to die.
- Acid trips?
–I stared at him-
- I’ve been twisted on drugs, but I’m clean now.

He stared back.

- Obviously, there’s a mini-generation gap between us.
- How old are you? -I insisted-
- Old enough to want you, babe.

He left me dumbfounded but I tried to act as if nothing happened, which was quite hard being drunk as a skunk.

- Ok... tell me more about your acid trips.

- I was a rebel in school. So naturally, when they told me to get my hair cut, I grew it.
–he said, laughing-. I slotted into the strong subculture of these days. It was a magical time. But now it’s over. The shit’s still going on.
- So this is basically the reason why you let your beautiful black hair grow long.
–I said, stroking gently his shiny long jet black hair-.
- There’s some pleasure in age and wisdom. I definitely would have shagged more women. Oh, but of course baby, we both know that’s not what life is about. –he laughed-
- But you haven't answered me yet... how old are you?
- Listen, Leni. I’m a bit shy about my things. I'm 45. Old enough to want you badly. Now finish your Scotch and sleep it off. I’ll wake you up before we land.

(To be continued)





“Russian roulette” (Jesse Malin)

10 comments:

max said...

Hey Leni,

Take it easy when flying! Planes are safe! You don’t want to be addicted to moonshine or get the hangover from hell, righ? LOL.

Things don’t seem to be getting better with your bf . I repeat myself, but Leni: Give him the finger, flip him the bird, tell him ‘hasta la vista, baby’.

Take a chance with the editor. He sounds nicer and will publish your books if you’re good to him. He’s already eating out of your hand. But take care: he has an inclination to get married, hahaha!

Dumbass Industries sounds like Jurassic Park. I honestly think you should find yourself another job.

Have a nice day!

s said...

I understand your fear of flying, eventhough it is rather save. When your car breaks down on the highway, you can just pullover. Ever seen a plane hovering in the sky waiting for a mechanic to fix a broken fuelline? :P

Bobs last name is Gausman? haha thats cool.

Its good to hear that Maxi and Lilly are getting married, seems like that part of the plan worked perfectly.
Im not really sure about the rest of the plan...

Whats up with Ed? Isnt it a strange 'coincidence' that he bumps into you all the time? I think you have yourself a stalker. And why in hell is he shy about his age?? I dont like it, he could be trouble. Let me rephrase that, i bet he he will be trouble.

Im looking forward to read about the wedding, and i really do hope you and Bob will be cool again.

PS stay away from Ed (or did i already mention that haha)

PS 2, i like your attitude when you have been drinking, makes me smile :)

Leni Qinan said...

Max,

Don’t believe in everything they tellya: planes are safe, say on a 99% basis. But what happens if you happen to fly the remaining 1%? Tough shit!

I’m not getting addicted to spirits. I think I should take a crash course on ‘How not to be afraid of flying’. It would make my life much easier.

My bf: You hate him, right Maxi? Well, I should too, but there’s a fatal attraction there I can’t explain and it’s killing me. I like him too much, so wtf can I do?

The editor is a very nice guy, but I’d like to be publish without having to shag him, if that’s what you mean. But I never mix pleasure and business. Anyway, one never knows.

And you’re right: Dumbass Industries is shit for many other reasons, apart from the ones explained here. But I’m not looking for another job. I have been working with Big Cheese for almost ten years now and, believe it or not, I feel quite attached to him. The balance is good.

Professionally speaking, of course (not that... eek!). LOL.

Big kiss.

Leni Qinan said...

Hey Mocky!

Eindelijk! Someone who understands me getting pissed when I fly!
As you brilliantly pointed out: What happens when an engine breaks? If there’s a fire? Storm? Troublesome passenger? (–I had that one once in London and it was scary-) Drunk teenagers pestering the crew? (also had that one). You can’t say ‘ok, goodbye folks, I’m leaving’

Bob’s last name is Gausman, yes, it couldn’t be any other way, LOL.

Maxi and Lilly are getting married and we'll have the wedding here too –Hellgirl’s plans always work as expected, not like my plans!-.

About Ed: It’s strange indeed to have him around me all the time; my guess is that Hellgirl has something to do here –she wants her book and prolly commanded him to follow me closely-. And I suppose he’s shy about his age because he’s a few years older than me –he had his days of glory back in the 80s prolly as a punk-skinhead-new goth-techno-heavy-, yet he has some expectations about me and thinks I see him as an old guy –which is not true, 45 and on is an excellent age for a guy in my opinion; in the prime of life-.

PS1- Stay away from Ed?
PS2- Mocky, when I’m sober I’m basically cheeky and naughty. You should see me when I’m drunk. Good to hear it made you smile, hahaha. Take care.;

Len.

Grass said...

Afraid of flying sis? Maybe you should take that course indeed though from what I've heard, it is not as effective as most expect it to be. It's overrated. Getting drunk or sleeping the whole flight off seems like a better option although the former makes you cheekier and naughtier. Maybe you have to make sure your seatmate doesn't take advantage of you first so he doesn't get into trouble.. LOL

I agree with Mocky, you seem to bump with Ed rather often. Either you got yourself a stalker or Hellgirl did send him to press you into finishing a book. :) If it's the former, you'd better watch out. If it's the latter, watch out still as he might plagiarize your work and tell Hellgirl you haven't done your assignment!!

Tell us about the wedding next time sis! Wow, Max is getting married! And to Tigerlily too! I hope he doesn't regret the move.. LOL She did sound like Paris Hilton (and the like) the last time you wrote about her.

xxx

Leni Qinan said...

Hey sis!

You’re right: I should do something about it or I’ll become a heavy drinker real soon! I’ve also heard these courses are overrated –to be afraid of flying is a very rational phobia, and as such, it’s hard to fight-.

Drinking makes me cheekier and naughtier, lol, Bob knows and Ed knows too. And they don’t (and won’t) miss a chance to take advantage of me. Isn’t it what the majority of guys do in these circumstances? LOL.

About Ed: Ed has some dark about him and that makes him look very mysterious, which is always fascinating.

I think both possibilities could be the case: He surely has been commanded by Hellgirl to check how the book is progressing, BUT I think there’s a lot more. You’re a clever girl, you must have spotted that too. I think it could be interesting to see what Bob does there, if he reacts and becomes a bit more proactive. Don’t you think? They don’t seem to like each other…

There will be a very nice wedding in Orsinia very soon, and it will be posted here too. Maxi likes a lot this kind of girls –big boobs, small brains- and I’m sure they will be happy ever after. She’s more the Scarlet Johanson type –but as stupid as Paris Hilton-.

One lil’ secret, sis: Hellgirl will be reappearing soon and –surprise!- also Percy, the one-man band (you know, burps, farts, and all that lovely body music, hahaha!).

Big kiss and big big hug.

Grass said...

Guys who take advantage of you in your vulnerable moments are pigs! LOL Where are the gentlemen these days? LOL But I'm sure you can just easily brush off those you dislike. You've done this once before when a street bloke robbed your bike!

OOhh, two guys fighting over a girl in the manner of wolves. Who will be the alpha male? That's worth watching out for! LOL I bet it will still be Bob. He does seem to have a stronger personality than Ed who seemed weak (if he's not pretending).

Can't wait to see the whole gang! It must be one heck of a reunion..LOL

big big hugs and kisses

Leni Qinan said...

Grassy. You should learn this: CHIVALRY HAS DIED. Gentlemen. There is no such thing.

Of course i can get rid of those i don't like -I just have to beat'em off with my umbrella!-

Lol, i see you're still in the Bob team, hahaha. Just like Mocky ;)

Ed is the softy type, but you know I have a soft spot for the bad ones, and I can't resist BOb, lol.

More coming soon. :))

Sedi said...

auauaua thanks for the tip but in few days I am going to take a long flight and read this stories are not nice at all jejejejej kidding !!!! at least once in live statistics are in my favour because there are not so many flight accidents... ejjeejje gooooood

Any how I can see that things go faster in your stories since Max is going to be married uauaua this is something......... I should read more of your fantastics strories....sorry for that

Well hope Leni you dont take more than 2 dricnks in the fly because these two guys can be dangerous close to you in a close flight jejejejej be careful my friend !!!

Well once more a nice story.

Hugs

Leni Qinan said...

OOOOOOh my good old Sedi!

Nice to see you're back!
Sorry for that, I know you're flying to Orsinia very soon, but pay no notice to what I'm saying. I get real paranoid when I fly!

Yeah, my beautiful life runs fast here: Max is marrying the Orsinian girl -it was love at first sight, with a little help from a pair of Orsinian boxers, lol-.

I'll try not to drink too much when I'm near these two -they're dangerous even when I don't drink, hahahah-.

Take care Sedi, nice to have you here and have a lot of fun on holidays. :))

XXX.