Part 1 of 2
So there I was, flying from Lagos to Houston, first class of course. I had scheduled my massage for 1:40 am, two hours after the plane took off. That would give me enough time to get settled with some alcohol, chat up any hotties around me, and take a power nap.
I snapped my fingers, and the air hostess appeared at my right. I told her to wake me up ten minutes before my massage and dismissed her.
At exactly 1:30, the air hostess was crouched at the head of my bed. She sang softly to me, her voice rising in intensity until I was fully awake. I pressed the button to convert the bed back into a chair. It made a noise like Optimus Prime makes when he transforms as it sat me upright.
I got up and stretched. The air hostess handed me a drink and gestured to the massage robe and slippers on the side table. As I changed into them, she gave me some bad news. She said she was sorry and hoped I wouldn’t mind, but the massage room on this plane was on the other end of the plane, so I would have to walk through economy class to get to it. She stuttered as she said it, looking down at the ground, unable to meet my eyes.
I looked at her without speaking for several minutes, my lips trembling with rage. Even though she was very apologetic, I would have a word with management about this when we landed.
I rifled through my carry-on bag for my sunglasses, I put them on and tucked a toothpick into the corner of my mouth. I nodded to let her know I was ready, she bowed, apologized again, and led me through the dark curtains at the rear into economy class.
What I saw back there was straight out of a period film. You know that scene in every historic movie where they flash to the underbelly of the ship, and the foreman is whipping the workers shouting, “Heave-ho!” as they row in synchronization. It was exactly like that. The place was foggy, there was groaning and omni-directional wailing.
As I slouched down the narrow walkway of economy class in my white wool robe and plush slippers sipping champagne, people were craning their necks to look at me like they had never seen a fine boy before. One kid with grubby hands like an urchin from a Dickens novel, reached out and try to touch the hem of my robe. I shrank away from him.
I got to the back of the plane without incident, without being mugged, and without some sort of peasant revolt. I lay in the massage table for 90 minutes and got a full-body deep-tissue massage and I was able to forget about the whole unpleasant experience.
Until it was over and I had to walk back.
On my way back, would you believe it, that kid, the same kid. He crawled out of a hole between the rows like a mouse and he looked up at me. If his eyes could speak, they would say in a British accent, “Please mister, could you spare a quid to save me from this terrible life.”
I had no choice, I had to do something.
I stepped over him. When I got back to my chair-bed in the safety of first class, I rang up the stewardess and told her through clenched teeth, “That boy in 16D with the googly eyes is really bugging the hell out of me.”
She said, “Sorry sir, I will take care of it,” and hurried off into the back.
As I dozed off, I heard the sound of a whip punctuated by the little boy’s screams. I slept well.