Home > Alcohol, Bitching, Japan > The Time I Threw Up on a Plane

The Time I Threw Up on a Plane

October 27, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I had just turned 21 the previous week when I found myself on an international flight from Osaka, Japan to Chicago – a trip lasting about 14 hours.

Despite the fact that the drinking age in Japan is 20, and so I had been able to drink ever since setting foot in the country four months ago, I was still pretty pumped to finally be 21. Alcoholic drinks were free on this flight, and I decided I would be derelict in my duties if I didn’t take advantage.

I was sitting next to a young marine, and we started having a friendly conversation. He congratulated me on turning 21, and I suggested we have a toast together. He agreed, and I ordered two gin and tonics. We clinked our plastic glasses, and sipped our cocktails. Once I had finished, I flagged down the airline attendant for another round. “Ever gone shot for shot?” I said to the marine, in one of the stupidest moments I’ve ever had in my life.

Look, I’m not even a big drinker. I’m 5’0″, and at that point I weighed about 95 lbs soaking wet. I have a horrific tolerance, and can get tipsy after a single drink. Martinis would put me under for an entire night, and I got hangovers so vicious that I usually couldn’t eat until mid-afternoon after going out.

So why I thought I could go toe to toe with a marine, I have no idea. I can only presume I was delusional from the altitude. Plus it was hour one of a 14 hour flight – what else was I going to do?

The marine for some reason AGREED to my insane scheme, and we began ordering Tanquerays like our lives depended on it. Why the attendant didn’t stop this madness, I will never know. Oh, if only she had.

After a few more cocktails, I was well and truly drunk, and started feeling queasy. As blog readers will eventually learn, I have the opposite of a cast-iron stomach. It’s more of a San Andreas faultline stomach, perhaps. I gag as easily as others breath – everything from strong smells to cold air can bring me close to vomiting. Alcohol essentially acts as a fire sale for my entire digestive system. None of this women and children first bullshit – everything evacuates immediately.

So a moving plane, thin stale air, and booze all combined to turn my face into a whirling dervish of vomit. I struggled to climb over the unfortunate marine, and upon reaching the aisle, all hell broke loose. I brought my hand up to try and stem the flow, but it was no use. Puke crept around my fingers, and spattered onto the aisle, several seats, and the aforementioned marine. I stumbled to the bathroom where I finished my business, not realizing the carnage I had left in my wake. I futily rinsed my vomit-covered shirt, thinking that maybe I could drift back to my seat with no one being the wiser. I’d just order some water, sit with a magazine, and act like nothing had happened. Yeah, that was the ticket.

I emerged from the bathroom to see an attendant staring daggers at me, and several horrified passengers trying to wipe puke from their headrests. The marine was gone, never to be seen again during the rest of the 14 hour flight. I crept back to my seat and, still drunk, began to sob uncontrollably. Ah, yes. I forgot to mention that when I get really drunk, I cry for no reason for hours at a time. Fun!

The flight was so long that I went through the stages of drunk, to sober, to hungover, to finally just exhausted before I even got to customs in Chicago. When I was forced to go through security again, I was required to take off my coat, which was the only thing covering all the stains on my shirt. As soon as I took it off, one of the TSA agents exclaimed, “Damn, girl, you smell!” Well, no shit. I had been sitting in my own vomit for over half a day.

When my parents finally picked me up in Cincinnati, I made up a story about getting air sick. At least I could hide my shame from SOMEONE in the world.

To this day, I still don’t drink gin and tonics. I also made a new rule: never drink on a moving vehicle. It’s just not worth it.

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Categories: Alcohol, Bitching, Japan
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