I was lucky enough to fly on an aeroplane recently which I think is one of life’s little treats. It is otherwise very difficult to get up that high, in fact I would argue virtually impossible. If you aren’t flying, you aren’t 45,000 feet in the air, that’s what I’ve always said.
I like to take my own water bottle onto the plane. I could pretend this is an ethical stance because bottled water is terrible for the environment and while that is part of how it started it is hardly the case. My girlfriend bought me the bottle and the bottle keeps the water cold – it is a thermos but the clever marketing team realised only campers and mothers are brave enough to buy a thermos so they gave it a new name. A lot of the time I wind up buying a bottle of carbonated water and pouring it into my water bottle which isn’t just counter-intuitive but an aggressive and bizarre waste of time. If I saw someone doing that in an airport I would report the suspicious activity to the Aviation Authorities and deliberately miss my flight.
I digress (deliberately for comic effect). I had a very good time on the flight, I watched the Martian which seems to be available on every flight provided by every airline and having seen the film I can understand why. SPOILER ALERT: It is a good film! I thought it was funny and very engaging and when Matt Damon gets back on the space ship at the end I cried about nine tears. The toll of crying on my body was such that soon after I found myself fast asleep. I am ordinarily a very good sleeper but something about aeroplanes brings out the best in me. It is a strength. Can you sleep on a plane? If the answer is no I am sorry for bringing it up. This is is not a good topic of conversation for us because I am very good at sleeping on a plane. You could try telling me about how you can’t sleep on planes but if the conversation is taking place on a plane, their is a very high chance I will never get to hear what you are talking about because I will be asleep.
As it happens, I wound up in a sleeping position I call ‘man on hands’ which is a position where I sit on both of my hands (the clue is in the title). Uncomfortable, unorthodox and ungainly are all words that could accurately describe the ‘man on hands’ sleeping phenomenon. I use the word ‘could’ here because as yet, the ‘man on hands’ technique is by no metric a phenomenon. I am the only person to have tried it and for good reason. After waking up from my Slumber at AltitudeTM the only sensation I could feel was thirst. An arid thirst that would befit a man who has been sleeping on his hands for three hours. Lucky for me (see above), I always plan for dehydration when flying and I could see my trusty water bottle in the seat pocket in front of me. I went to move my right hand towards it. The right hand remained motionless on my lap. I tried to grab with the left. The left hand remained motionless on my lap. I swivelled my neck to see if anyone had noticed my behaviour. The man next to me hadn’t just noticed, he was leaning in with a keen interest. My brow was beading up, panic setting in, if I can’t grab this water bottle the man will know I’m vulnerable. Vulnerable to a robbery, a terrorist attack, or any number of other unimaginable things. Maybe he will ask what I do for a living in the hopes that I will then ask him what HE does for a living and then I will have to pretend to be interested in whatever he does for a living!
One of my favourite things to do as a boy would be accidentally falling asleep with my arm under my pillow, before waking up in a fearful frenzy that my arm was preparing to separate from the rest of my body. My only means of maintaining the status quo was exerting what little control I still had over the unwieldy limb and swinging it, full force, into the wall against my bed. I credit this fast thinking approach as a big part of the reason why I still have two arms on my person to this day.
I cocked an eyebrow before swivelling my neck back to the water bottle and centring all of my energy in my right hand. The hand lifted from the leg and made it all the way to the water bottle! The fingers curl around the bottle! The hand moves up! The water bottle remains still! The fingers lower once more! I am, by all accounts, stroking my water bottle! The fingers tighten! The water bottle is moving! The water bottle is out of the seat pocket! The water bottle is inching its way towards my lap! The water bottle is resting in my lap! Under the watchful eye of my traveling companion all I had to do now was open the bottle, lift it to my lips and relieve my thirst. I stabilised the bottle with my left hand, put my right hand atop the large nozzle and braced myself. Nothing happened. With all of my might I tried to turn the bottle in two directions using my two hands but I instead looked like a man having a tug of war with himself. I turned my traveling companion to say something re-assuring “Don’t worry, I just have two dead hands”. What came out instead was a cloud of dust followed by a string of vowels intermittently punctuated with a d sound.
Aaaaaaanyway, I did get to drink the sweet nectar of the water bottle because as you well know, dead hands fade, chicks dig scars, glory lasts forever. What an important and valuable dispatch. Tune in next week to hear about my difficulties with staying awake on a submarine.