If you’re above the age of 25 and genuinely care about your well being, then you know all about the red-eye out of Vegas. For those who don’t know, it’s pretty simple: You arrive before noon on Friday, and you get the hell out of there between midnight and two early Sunday morning. If you’re thinking, “lame!” I’m not necessarily going to disagree with you. On its face, this move is antithetical to the entire Vegas experience, and it is, in fact, lame. It’s lame in the same way that laying up instead of hitting a 2-iron over water is lame. It’s the right move. You’re only sacrificing a few hours in Vegas, and nothing good was going to happen in those few hours.
It’s the right move 99.9 percent of the time. But there’s always a chance it’s the wrong move, like this previous weekend when my buddy wet the plane.
There were 20 of us on a bachelor party, and half booked red-eye flights that required us to be at lovely McCarran International just before midnight. We drank all day Saturday. Nothing shocking about that. If you saw a group of guys with badass dad bodies at the Venetian pool throwing down Miami Vices, that was us. You may have noticed one guy that was just a little more obnoxious than everyone else. We’ll call him “Bill.”
Bill doesn’t get out much, but when he does, he gives it hell. By hell, I mean he passes out standing up, often. It’s really something. Most of us have that one friend who just can’t handle the party anymore, but nobody has the heart to tell him. That’s Bill. He managed to earn the nickname “The Liability” by age 24, which is really something if you think about it. Most guys don’t lose their fastball until 27 at the earliest, but I’ll be dammed — Bill was falling asleep at bars two years after college. Impressive stuff.
After shutting down the pool, and by that I mean the waitress pretended her shift was ending in a clever ploy to make us close our tab, we showered up for a nice, low key dinner. Our host made the mistake of sitting a group of 20 sunburned, belligerent guys who probably peaked in college next to a nice young couple. They moved shortly thereafter. We took it relatively easy and made the switch to wine in a desperate attempt to class things up a bit. It was almost like we thought that drinking wine would make up for the fact that 24 hours earlier we were mainlining whiskey while asking strippers to sit on our faces. Either way, it was a nice dinner. From there, we grabbed our bags and charged the airport. Beep beep. Here comes the shit mobile.
Bill and I were on the same flight home. He made it through security with no issues, so I figured we were in the clear. If you read the headline, you know that wasn’t the case. Now, the red-eye out of Vegas is sight to behold. If you manage to stay awake long enough, you can actually start to smell the despair. Half the flight is bummed because they’re returning to their suburban lifestyles in even more debt than before. The other half is googling “HPV symptoms.” It’s not a fun deal. I managed to maintain consciousness throughout the entire flight. Not sure what that says about me, but I managed to burn through the playlist I put together for a seventh time.
I think we were about an hour into the flight when I saw a guy two rows up jump out of his seat. “Hmm, that’s odd,” I thought. “I think that’s the dude sitting next to Bill. Hope everything is okay.” Never did it occur to me that Bill did something wrong. He was passed out from the moment he sat down. What could he have done? The guy just stood there, shaking his head. He awkwardly waved at the flight attendant and seemed to mouth, “He peed…he went to the bathroom.”
Fuuuuuuuck. I knew Bill wet a few beds in college, but holy s, this was a new low. Was he alive? Was I supposed to intervene? At that point, I’m not sure, what I could have done besides saying, “Hey, he’s a good dude. It’s cool.” Luckily 95 percent of the plane was balls deep in a REM cycle and had no clue what was happening. I watched the flight attendant approach with caution and gently start the iffy process of waking this primitive beast up.
“Sir,” she loudly whispered. “You had an accident.” By this point, The Liability was coming out of his slumber. I can only imagine how bad he smelled, as he was covered in urine with dry-mouth like an Addy’d up law student drinking Sugar-Free Red Bull. “What?” he aggressively whispered. “Oh no,” I thought. I’ve heard this tone before. This interaction had all the red flags associated with an in-flight emergency. Drunk guy, flight attendant, angry passenger, and urine. I had to intervene.
I quietly approached. “Bill, I think you wet,” I said in what I think was the “I’m not angry, just disappointed” tone. He put his hands on his thighs then shot me the ultimate “Oh fuck” look. He knew it was bad. Luckily his jeans were dark enough to where it wasn’t completely obvious, which raises this question: How did this random dude notice this mile-high bed/seat wetting? There wasn’t a puddle. I don’t want to speculate, but…Nah, not doing it.
Bill started to stand up, and an impressive damp spot appeared in his seat. He’d been sitting on his seatbelt for some reason, and that was soaked. Bill walked to the bathroom without saying another word, and the flight attendant followed. Then it hit me. I had clothes in my carryon bag, albeit dirty Las Vegas clothes. Bill and I were similar sizes, not that it really mattered at that point, so I rummaged through my bag in the overhead compartment for a pair of jeans. They were covered in sin, but beggars can’t be choosers. I was impressed by my ingenuity.
I walked to the back of the plane and informed the attendant of my intentions. She was clearly not happy about the whole plane wetting thing, but she mentioned that it’s not the first time she’d seen it. “People just can’t handle Vegas,” I muttered with a grin, trying to mitigate the fallout. I then told her I’d be giving him some clothes, and she told me, and I quote, “You’re a wonderful friend.” I didn’t mention that I still owed Bill two hundred bucks for a failed bet I made him place for me, but that’s okay. She then grabbed a towel from somewhere back in that secret flight attendant area, and laid it on his seat.
Bill changed, sat on a towel for the rest of the flight, and managed to not be completely humiliated in front of the entire plane. His seat neighbor managed to find an open seat near the back, far away from the newly crowned King of the Rubber Sheets..
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