There was a smug grin on my face as I took my seat on the plane. My shopping trip to New York was going to be fabulous. A great end to a week which had thus far proved to be as enjoyable as eating your own shit.
Talking of shit, that was precisely why I was feeling so smug.
Not because I had just taken one but because I was sure that I wouldn’t have to. I was flying with Virgin Atlantic, which had to be a good thing. My friend had not been so lucky just a few weeks earlier. His last minute decision to travel had resulted in him flying with Air India. Following three curries and a distinctly dodgy samosa he was in serious shit, literally, by the time he reached the terminal at JFK.
Suffering a nightmare episode of Delhi belly, he was apprehended by customs officers at the airport because they thought he might have swallowed cocaine. His ordeal was soon over when it became obvious what had happened.
So there I was feeling suitably self-satisfied when an enormous fat fucker boarded and tried to sit next to me. The man was so vast that he couldn’t squeeze his unsightly arse into the seat. He planted his blubber onto the arm rests and I had his disgusting butt cheeks encroaching into my personal space.
The flight attendant’s visionary solution to the problem was to raise the arm rest between my seat and his. Stupid bitch. The wide bodied aircraft simply wasn’t wide enough. I spent 7 hours rammed into half a seat surrounded by a fugue of rancid body odour. What the fuck?
I know all about travelling at short notice, but surely people have time to wash.
At one point the attendant returned to ask if I needed anything. As it appeared that my neighbour’s flab hadn’t affected his hearing I couldn’t request a clothes peg for my nose. I was tempted to ask if the on board services included liposuction but I was fairly sure that this would only be available in first class. I also considered enquiring about a defibrillator as this guy was a heart attack waiting to happen. Then I realised that I didn’t care if he died as long as that meant he wouldn’t be sitting next to me. So I kept my mouth shut.
The fat twat even had the temerity to complain because he hadn’t been upgraded!
The plane eventually landed at JFK, a miracle up there with the second coming of Christ given the weight it had been carrying. My clothes now stunk like a refuse tip in Sao Paolo and there was an unpleasant damp patch on my trousers. For one ghastly moment I thought that I might have shit myself after all but it was just Mr Blobby’s stinky sweat.
When the plane’s door opened I charged off in the direction of immigration and was determined to put as much distance between myself and the great unwashed as I could. I needn’t have bothered because he was miles back dragging himself along like a beached walrus.
The environment in the terminal provided temporary relief. I stank like a skunk and so most people steered cleared of me. I was enjoying my new found freedom until the guy in front of me in the queue unleashed a massive fart. How I wished I’d asked for that clothes peg.
After what seemed like an eternity I finally had my feet on the magic yellow line and would be next to be called forward for the obligatory interrogation. The immigration officers at JFK must do their training at Guantanamo. I wondered whether I was in for waterboarding, sexual assault or a mock execution. All this to drop a few quid on Fifth Avenue!
Just as I was about to step forward, every immigration official suddenly stood up and left. Christ, I thought, how bad do I smell? It turned out that I wasn’t the problem – the selfish fucks were on a work to rule. I was fed some bullshit about their working conditions and pay. Like I cared! It was the end of their shift so they just left without waiting for their replacements. Never mind that I had travelled for 7 hours, had been queuing for 90 minutes and smelt like a bag lady.
I had an explosive event. No shit involved just a lot of expletives and the proffering of several uncharitable thoughts about New York. At about the moment that I said fuck for the eleventh time I was escorted to an official, had my passport stamped and was allowed to leave. Well when I say allowed, I mean dragged to the door and virtually thrown through it.
All I had to do now was take a taxi to my hotel. The taxi ride is always the crowning glory of any visit to New York. Most of the cab drivers don’t have the least idea where they’re going and on this occasion my driver’s arrival in the country had clearly only just preceded mine. Evidently the Holiday Inn was not, in fact, in New York, it was somewhere in New Jersey. At least that was where I was by the time I got out of the cab in disgust. How could I possibly be in Hackensack? Fuck me! New York? You can stuff it up your arse. Next time it’s Lakeside.