I’ll try being nicer if you try being smarter!

Don’t try this at home!

I went to visit the boyfriend this weekend. I had a credit on account with WestJet, so I used that baby up and took a 50 minute flight instead of making a 5 hour drive each way.

Now, I hate flying. I am utterly helpless, in a big heavy tube that shouldn’t be able to float let alone fly, my life is in the hands of someone behind a door I’m not allowed to look behind and it is a long fucking way down. I have had several nightmares of crashing to my death in a plane, though luckily I always wake up before impact. It’s just not my idea of a good time.

I’ve popped several Gravol in a lame attempt to knock myself out. Did nothing. I’ve popped several Ativan in a lame attempt to knock myself out. Did nothing. I’ve stayed up full nights before a flight in a lame attempt to knock myself out. Did nothing. I’ve taken books, portable DVD players, knitting, crossword puzzles, sudoku, homework, magazines, anything I’ve been allowed to bring on a plane, I have tried to use as a distraction. None of them work.

I have a very strict set of rituals that I have to follow before I fly. I won’t go into them, but they are strict and must be followed. I have always followed them, and to this point, I have not crashed to my death, so they must work. Right.

The only thing I am allowed to change in my set of procedures is the way I try to calm myself down.

This time? I got drunk. Drunkity drunk drunk in the airport bar. I teetered my way onto the plane and took my seat. Contentedly grinning to my drunken self, I eavesdropped on the conversation my row-mate was having with some other person across the aisle.

I am a very personable, chatty, lovely drunk. When I’m drunk, I’m funny, you’re funny, that guy over there is funny. When I’m drunk, I don’t hate everybody…which is a big difference from my normal sober self.

I offered my 2 cents on what they were talking about, and that was that. From that point on, I had made myself a plane friend. He was an older guy, 60ish, and was nice to talk to. We talked about the upcoming election, agriculture, western Canada, the environment, university, this that and the other thing. We talked about doctors, traded scary doctor stories, about the french vs. the english in Canada….everything.

I completely forgot I was in a plane!! It was the craziest thing. Turns out the amazing powers of wine can extend to curing phobias as well.

We continued on with our lovely plane chat and after we talked about how I didn’t have a car cuz I live in downtown Toronto, and neither does the boyfriend, he asked how I was getting back to the boyfriends if he wasn’t picking me up. I shrugged and observed that I’d probably just grab a cab.

Now, this is where the title of this post comes in:




Folks, do NOT do as I do. It flashed through my mind that I wasn’t about to die in a plane as I had so often pictured, but I would instead die after landing safely in an ironic and awful twist. But as soon as the thought popped into my head, it was gone. There was just something….okay about him. No bells went off. No sirens, no red flags, no second thoughts.

The thing is, for anybody who knows me (and I care about), they would totally pick me as the person most likely to beat them to a pulp for doing what I did. Taking a ride from a stranger will qualify you immediately for the custom Talea Freak Out and Bitch Slap combo.

I got into his truck, at night, and allowed him to drive me to the boyfriend’s house, in a city that I know nothing about. He could have been driving me in the completely wrong direction, and I would have been none the wiser.

But he didn’t. He drove me right to the boyfriend’s house, wished me a good night and that was that. He wouldn’t even let me buy him a coffee for the ride.

I don’t know. I have no explanation, no excuse. It was possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, but in a small teeny tiny way, it restored my faith in people. He gave me a lift just because it was nice and because cabs are expensive. He wanted nothing for it, just some conversation.

Go ahead, yell at me. It was dumb. Downright unintelligent and showed total lack of self-preservation on my part. I may need to get my head examined. It’s 2008 and this isn’t fucking Mayberry. I repeat: DO NOT DO AS I DID.

But Terry, thank you so very much for the ride. I really appreciated it and also appreciated the $40 I saved on cab fare.

Oh, and flying while tipsy? Totally works. By the time I was able to register that there was turbulence and make sense of what I was trying to tell myself, we were through the turbulence. It was pretty sweet.


Comments on: "Don’t try this at home!" (23)

  1. Talea, what a lovely post! You conquered not one, but TWO phobias, with just a little alcohol, your usual verbosity and incisive wit, and some of that good old human faith and trust. Sure you could coulda been raped and serial-killed and dumped on a cold Toronto street, but that’s not what happened was it?

    Yeah, that WAS pretty sweet! πŸ™‚

    I’m not usually one for human faith and trust. It must have been the alcohol. I have no idea what possessed me to accept the ride, but it was interesting and enlightening.

  2. That’s great. Not everyone is psycho. It was cool that you were able to have a little faith and just get in the car. I am glad you didn’t end up sliced up in a ditch under a plastic tarp.

    I’m glad too. Probably a wee bit gladder than you even!

  3. Yikes! I guess you have to go with your intuition though – I mean going through life being too suspicious of everyone can’t be healthy either.

    I hear you on needing to calm down before flying. I have a hard time handling the fact that someone else is in control of my life and being crowded like a herd of sheep in a small pen, breathing the same air and all. Okay, I have to stop thinking about it now before I spaz out.

    I hope you had a good time with the boyfriend. πŸ™‚

    I normally am suspicious of everybody, even people I know. I don’t know why I did it, but I shouldn’t have and I won’t in the future, but I’m sort of glad I did. It’s nice to know that real people without homicidal tendencies do exist.

  4. I will not Fly!

    You are a smart gal, Kaylee.

  5. whoa! i can’t believe you took a ride from a plane-stranger. i think i’d rather fly on a cessna (latin for crash and burn) than take a ride from a stranger. glad you lived to tell. πŸ™‚

    See? That’s what I should be saying! I would normally be saying that! I don’t know where I went for that ride, but it was nice.

  6. haha. Well, I have a semi-related story. Our Firestone tires (later recalled) blew up on the highway and my mum had to catch a ride to the nearest town with a family. That was fine, but then she came back to the van later with some totally random dude that she met at the tire shop. I said, “Mum, what the hell were you doing hitchhiking with that guy? he could have been anybody – he could have killed you!”
    She says (in Indian accent, you really must imagine the Indian accent), “Don’t be silly. He wouldn’t have done anything, Janani. He had a voicebox.”
    Hitchhiking with a person and thinking it’s safe b/c he has a disability seems waaay stupider than hitchhiking with some nice 60-year-old you’ve been chatting with in an airplane. So, there you go. Sorry for the long comment.

    I remember your mom! Vaguely… Her line of thinking was probably that if he tried anything, his throat would be an easy target. I bet a punch in a throat that was already weakened due to alteration would hurt like a bitch, thereby allowing your mom a hasty escape.
    Thanks for commenting, Janani!

  7. Great post. Glad you lived to tell the tale. I get ya; this sounds exactly like me.

    I got a phonecall once from some German friends of another German friend (those crazy Europeans) who needed a place to stay for a few days while they bummed across the US, and I said, ‘Sure come on over.” All was fine but I really had no clue who they were and if they really knew my other friend or not. My fiance (we lived in diff states at the time) was livid that I was ‘so stupid’. But it all worked out.

    I was pretty shocked that the boyfriend didn’t call me stupid for it actually. He thought it was cool. I love that German story! I love how as long as someone knows your friend, you’ll automatically assume they won’t kill you. Hehe. Glad yours worked out too!

  8. Good for you on getting toasted! That’s the way to handle it!

    As for the stranger giving a ride thing, I do agree that that is very unlike you, and not very safe at all. But then, I once accepted an invitation from some random guy I met at 2am while waiting for pizza in Kensington to just go chill at his friends place next door that he was taking care of for a few weeks. I could have been murdered eighteen ways from Sunday, but he turned out to be a cool temp-friend with some awesome Siamese cats.

    Anyways, point being, it’s good to once in a while restore your faith in humanity. Keep the impending agoraphobia at bay πŸ˜‰

    One, thank you. I enjoyed my toastedness. Two, I remember that story, so you aren’t allowed to yell at me. Three, I’m not the one with an impending case of agoraphobia. Four, Siamese cats are very cute. But sometimes too loud.

  9. never been in a plane but if the getting drunk first would help it’s something I might consider. I used to be a happy drunk too. The whole bar was my friend “back in the day”. I don’t drink very often anymore and I’ve limited myself to home or some swanky party I get drug into…and I have a designated driver. (ok I tend to ramble)
    There are places I would love to go but they haven’t built bridges there yet..and the only way to go is in a fancy goodyear blimp wannabe plane. I’ve tried to figure it out in my head how something that big should be able to stay in the air and without the help of some leafy substance I also no longer partake in..I can’t rationalize it out. Therefore I let myself be thrown into risk everyday in a piece of metal that can wrap itself around a telephone pole if it so desires.
    Go figure! I’m missing out on a lot of life because I won’t board one of those overgrown beasts. But now I have your secret. GDF! Ok..making notes. If the budget ever allows me to take one of those trips…I’m getting toasted first.

    I’m a super happy drunk. I love everybody when intoxicated. It’s like this completely opposite person emerges from me. I suddenly have a tolerance for other life forms.
    Yes, if you fly, drink. Cuz it stops you from overthinking the fact that you should be crashing into the ground.

  10. How long do you have to know someone before he/she is no longer a stranger anyway? I know you didn’t know him for long, but it sounds as if you probably talked to him more during that ride than I have talked with anyone I work with in the whole seven months I’ve been there. Course, that’s not saying much cause I don’t talk much. Not since I quit drinking anyway. πŸ˜‰

    I still agree with you that it was not a wise choice to accept a ride with him, but since it turned out well, I’m glad you did because we SHOULD be able to trust people like that. In a perfect world…

    Good question….but I think nearly every answer would be ‘more than an hour and a half’. I think he definitely fell into the stranger category.
    I don’t talk much either, which is what made the whole thing even weirder.
    I don’t know if even WANT to be that trusting. I think I was just thinking, ‘Hey, saving $40 is good!’

  11. gosh, I just think of those after school specials or Degrassi episodes where the young boy gets into the car and the driver touches his thigh like 5 minutes into the drive….yikes!!! Glad you were spared from psycho-ville!…or next time you could just hit up a greyhound and find yoruself getting stabbed about halfway through the ride (did you hear about that seocnd stabbing story???)…anyway enjoy being alive! πŸ˜‰

    Thanks Romi! Sometimes I do forget to enjoy being alive, but now I’ll try to be more vigilant with that.
    I loved Degrassi. But it didn’t turn out like one of those cheesy yet fascinating episodes.

  12. WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING! DON’T YOU EVER, EVER, EVER DO THIS AGAIN, GOT ME? OMG, my mouth is dropped, I’m in shock. I hope your boyfriend really really really told you that this was not something that you could ever do again…..

    I’m so glad you are ok. Things are different these days. Be careful and watch out for the most important thing, yourself! Maybe try, try, try to imagine one of your best friends, a sister, your mother, or some woman you are close to getting into a car with a stranger and handle things that way.

    I’m mad at you now!

    Now, THERE is the response I was expecting! And though you’re mad, I’m glad your mad, for it means you love me. Tee hee.
    I know, things are different. Trust me, I live in a huge city and watch the horribleness from my front window. Like I said….I don’t condone what I did. And strangely, the boyfriend was totally unphased by it.

  13. Leave it to MotherHenJavaQueen (and I do mean that affectionately!) to deliver your scolding.

    and I love Romi’s concern “Happy Being Alive Today!”

    I have a friend who was the best happy loving drunk in college. She would just have the best smile and hug everyone. great memories.

    (seems I’m quite chatty today – could it be my spiked coffee?)

    Ah, spiked coffee. Always makes me think of Christmas morning actually.
    I’m a very happy drunk. But I wasn’t drunk when I got in this guy’s truck. Just happy with buzz.

  14. That freak out bitch slap combo sounds strangely erotic… maybe it’s just me. Anyhoo, glad to see your still alive, in one piece and full of blogging material.

    Ha, now that you point it out…. Yes, it at least made for a good blog post.

  15. If you hadn’t accepted the ride you wouldn’t have had anything to blog about. End of story.

    Ha. Honestly…yikes. Whilst vacationing in Ft. Lauderdale back in the day a few friends and I accepted a ride from a scary, I’m-gonna-get-you-in-the-back-of-my-car-and *BLEEP*-you looking stranger (hey, we had arm loads of groceries and didn’t feel like walking a mile in the sun). Fortunately, we made it to our destination. I’m pretty sure we could have ‘taken him on’ – in a bodily-harm kinda way, but, sheesh, I would never, ever do that again…and neither should you!

    Cheers! to the toastedness. That’s the only way to fly (well, that and a Xanax usually does the trick for me). Glad you’re okay and lived to tell the tale!

    Always safety in numbers, so I think you were alright.
    I won’t do it again. I kind of promise…

  16. I dunno if it’s a result of the nefarious times we live in, but this story made me really happy. I can’t even watch the news anymore because it’s so freaky and disturbing, and to hear that you had a good experience with a stranger who was just nice and gave you a lift, well, it’s wonderful. Good story.

    Oh, and I’m with 2lazydogs about the Xanax. Have you tried that?

    I’m really quite fascinated with most people’s reaction to this post. I expected them all to be screaming lectures about how stupid I was. But it seems that people really liked it, and were inspired by it to believe for a microsecond in the kindness of strangers again.
    Wow, I’m warming the hearts of the world, one blog post at a time. Wow. Sometimes I even amaze myself.
    And no, I’ve not tried Xanax. I found that Ativan did sweet fuck all, and gave up on the drugs after that.

  17. OMFG! If someone told me you accepted a ride from a stranger, I would not ever have believed them! I watch waaaay too much Cold Case Files and City Confidential these days to believe in humanity. Humanity chops you up.

    However, you made it through the sitch unscathed. Woot!

    You are a wonderfully fun drunk, true story. πŸ™‚

    I know, I know! It’s NOT ME on pretty much every level there is. Humanity’s a bitch most of the time, but once in a while, there’s an exception to the rule.
    Aw, thanks!

  18. Hahaha! Humanity chops you up! God May is HILARIOUS. That’s going to be my new reply if anyone ever calls me on my ridiculous occasional fraidy-cat-ness.

    Oh god, I’m gonna hear that out of you every hour on the hour now. Dammit May!

  19. I keep accepting rides from strangers in the hopes that one of them will think I’m hot and force some strange on me. Apparently I’m not hot enough. I’m trying hunting and fishing now. I’ve even been practicing my pig squeal in the off chance that I run into one of those hotties from Deliverance.

  20. Everyone’s got a related story..so here’s mine.

    When I was 18 (aka young and naive) I had an engine blow out in North GA. I took a ride from a stranger to a nearby town, waited with him for a tow, and then let him drive me 4 more hours closer to my desination because he SAID it was very close to where he was going anyway. We had good conversation, stopped to eat, he was very polite. When I was picked up by family at the final stop, we went inside the gas station and when we came out, the stranger man was gone! Disappeared before we could thank him or offer money or gas. The next day I googled where he said he was going.. it was HOURS out of his way to take me. I’ve always thought of him as a guardian angel of sorts πŸ˜‰ Not sure I’d do it again!! but a great story nonetheless..

  21. I’m ok with flying, but not so much with rides from strangers. *shakes finger disapprovingly* One the other hand I’ve been the stranger that gave a ride, and I didn’t even feel totally ok with that. πŸ˜• Just as bad I suppose. Nice post. πŸ˜‰ So… how did the trip back go?

  22. Hey, I just discovered your blog, and like it a lot. I found it becuase I searched on “Green is the Colour“ because I was uploading a video I took at the Riders game last Friday.
    Looks like I have some good reading to do to get through some of this…. love it!

  23. Hey dude, I hope you’re feeling better, and we be missin’ your blog posts, I’m just sayin’ (and yes, the atrocious grammar was intended πŸ˜‰ …)

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