It's Not How Big It Is...

An hour later Sage and Dredly were released by the Customs officials. They walked gingerly towards the departure lounge, with the ‘couldn’t catch a greased pig in an alley’ kind of gait, which you would expect to see from two cowboys who’d been riding for ten months without ever getting out of their saddles. But although Dredly was in some discomfort, he thought he could discern a light, enigmatic smile playing across Sage’s lips.
“Hey, guys, like... What happened?”
“Sage mentioned we were Grateful Dead fans and they took a bit of an exception to it.”
“In more ways than one.” Dredly muttered.
“Let’s just get on the plane and get out of here.” Said Greta. “This place gives me the creeps.”
“Do we have to go so soon?” Asked Sage.
“What?” Greta couldn't believe her ears.
“I think I’m in love with that security guard - I want to marry her.”
“Marry her! Isn’t that kind of, like an outdated concept?” Said Greta.
“Oh don’t listen to him. He always says that kind of thing when he’s had a cheap thrill.” And so saying, Dredly pushed Sage in the direction of the plane.

Sage and Dredly try to put a brave face on their strip search in one of the humor books at Dredly.com
They were soon enveloped by the heady scents of jet fuel, plastic aircraft meals, cheap, stewardess perfume, all underlaid by the wafting, lingering odour of recently cleared up vomit. Yes, they were travelling economy.
“Welcome on board!” Said a huge grinning mouth, which was all teeth and scarlet lipstick. There may have been a stewardess somewhere behind it, but they were too scared to stick around to find out and moved quickly in the direction of their seats.
“So are we travelling in first?” Asked Sage.
“Er... No, not as such.” Dredly replied as he led the way down the plane.
“Business then - you managed to get us into business...”
“Not quite.” Dredly mumbled as they passed through the business section with its wide seats, designed specifically for business people who were used to having their backsides kissed all day long by at least a dozen middle managers.
“But if we’re not in business or first... Oh God!” Sage didn’t sound too happy.
“Hey, economy’s not that bad... So long as we’re at the front and can see the film.” Greta chipped in.
“We are at the front, aren’t we, Dredly? Dredly!” Sage was sounding steadily more accusatory.
“Well, you know, sometimes if you have to get a flight at the last minute and they offer you... Okay we’re in the tail!” He cried, finally breaking down.
“Not next to the...” Sage began.
“Yes! Yes! Next to the toilets.”
“Bollocks!” Sage didn’t sound too happy about the prospect, but Greta tried to make him see the bright side.
“Hey, little fellow, this is the best place to be. This is where you get to see the whole of life’s rich tapestry, for sure. This is where it’s at!”
“This is where shit’s at!”
“Hey, at least it can’t get worse.” Dredly smiled weakly.
Dredly settled down to check through the safety notes located on the back of the seat in front of him. These assured him that in the event of a crash, cheapskates like himself would have no chance of survival and that it was unlikely they’d be able to find enough identifiable remains of him to bury him all in the same coffin. Nice. He checked they’d given him a sick bag - they hadn’t. He was wedged in the middle seat between Greta, who was looking out the window and dreaming of ice floes, and Sage in the aisle seat, who was fiddling with the clasp that held his table in the 'upright' position.
"It's not a toy!" Dredly hissed.
"Not yet, but with the right marketing, these babies could be next year's Christmas hit..."
"Like your idea for a child's home dissection kit."
"Well they do chemistry sets..." But Sage trailed in mid-sentence. "Look!" He whispered, indicating a strange woman who arrived and sat in the seat in front of him. She had green skin, long, sharp features and a couple of nasty looking warts. She was dressed all in black and was wearing a black pointy hat, but it was the red and white striped socks that gave away her identity.
"No... It couldn't be... It is! Ask her - go on ask her if it is!" Sage prompted Dredly into action.
He tapped the woman on the shoulder.
“Excuse me for being so forward, but aren’t you the Wicked Witch of the West?”
She turned and looked fiercely at Dredly and then at Sage.
“East.” She replied curtly.
“But weren’t you...”
“Crushed by a house at the beginning of the Wizard of Oz?” She finished wearily, as if she’d had to answer the question a thousand times.
“Er... Yes.”
“Stunt witch. It was done by a stunt witch. “
“Really? Wow! And your sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, she survived too?” Asked Sage.
“Yeah, but she was killed a few years later...”
Dredly and Sage made regretful noises.
“She was walking across the lot at the film studios and ended up going through the Singin’ In The Rain set accidentally. They turn the sprinklers on, Gene Kelly starts singing, then suddenly there’s this ‘I’m melting! I’m melting!’ just off camera. They stop shooting and turn the sprinklers off but it’s too late. All that’s left of my sister is a puddle. And then, would you believe it, Gene Kelly goes and splashes through it. She was the puddle next to the lamp post.”
“Er... A very good characterisation...” Sage stammered. “Er... I mean, um... What a terrible way to go...”
“Oh it’s what she would have wanted.”
“Right...” Dredly sympathised, trying not to be fazed by the fact that her nose seemed to have a life of its own and was twitching and swishing from side to side like the tip of an angry cat’s tail.
“So... Er, what are you doing on a plane... I mean, haven’t you got a broomstick or something?” Sage pried.
“It burnt out over France. And you know what French mechanics are like - they never have the parts, it takes three weeks and they get so uppity if you can’t speak the language. So I turned this rude mechanic into a frog. It was ironic, because his best friend ate him the next day.”
Dredly and Sage exchanged nervous glances. She was clearly not a witch to be tangled with.

The flight itself was pretty standard stuff. They went very quickly down the runway and took off, then had that moment not long afterwards when it felt as though the plane was falling backwards through space, before the engines picked it up again. Once they had climbed up to altitude, the stewardesses took to cruising the aisles, their huge grins and shiny teeth dazzling the passengers as they went. Suddenly Sage prodded Dredly.

Stewardesses bother Sage and Dredly like wasps in one of the humor books at Dredly.com
“They scare me.” He said quietly, pointing at one of the lipglossed wonders.
“Don’t worry. If you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.” Dredly reassured his friend (while secretly breathing a sigh of relief that he didn’t have the aisle seat).
“So they’re kinda’ like wasps?”
“Yes.” Dredly nodded.
“Damn! One’s coming this way!” Sage cried out, squirming in his seat.
“No! Don’t make any sudden movements! That’ll just attract their attention!”
But it was too late: she was heading for them.
“What do I do? What do I do?” Sage hissed through gritted teeth.
“Don’t be afraid - they can sense fear. Sit very still and try to ignore her.”
But when she reached them, Sage lost his cool and suddenly lashed out at her with a magazine. It put her off for a moment, but she was quickly hovering over him once more and calling for her two colleagues. When they arrived, they started their attack.
“Do you want a drink, sir?” Asked the first.
“No!” Sage quailed.
She ignored him and poured him a large scotch anyway, as the second one made her move.
“Pillow, sir?”
“Never!” Sage cried defiantly.
But she immediately started forcing a pillow down the back of him as the first one tipped the scotch down his throat. In the midst of the melee, the third started off her spiel about the in-plane shop.
“...It’s the sensible way to shop. It’s a shop in the sky!”
Before Dredly could do anything to help, she had sold Sage a twenty ounce bottle of cheap perfume, he’d had another scotch and two more pillows were down the back of his chair. Finally, he screamed and started flailing about with his arms, then ran to the toilets and locked himself in. Dredly, meanwhile, took his own good advice and stayed very still, ignoring them until they lost interest and went to pester someone else.

Things slowly returned to normal. Sage went back to his seat, the polar bear ate her complimentary plastic cup and the Wicked Witch of the East cast a spell of innumeracy on the accountant in the seat in front of her after he abruptly put his seat back and hit her in the nose. However, the flight was not destined to be an easy one.



Will our heroes get cabin fever? Will their flight of fancy become a descent into the 7th Circle of Hell? Does everyone who joins the mile high club actually enjoy 'getting jiggy wid it' in a toilet?

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