27 dreams I've had about flying
1. I’m late for the plane and try to check in, but they won’t let me. I’m too late, and anyway, my passport photo looks like I’m some kind of terrorist. There’s no way I can possibly board and, distraught, I watch my plane take off from the departure lounge.
2. I’m very early for my flight, but can’t seem to find the check in desk. Also, for some reason there is a giant flight of stairs leading up to the airport, which I have to drag my luggage up. When I get there, it turns out that it’s also a seaport, but I still can’t find the check in desk. Finally, I realise that I have to follow the signs that say “B” – but it’s too late and I have to watch my plane take off from the dock.
3. I get on my flight, which is a two-part long haul trip to Amsterdam, via Boston. The hull of the plane is made of glass, and the seats are set up like in a nice European café, around irregularly-placed round tables. Over Boston there’s a spot of turbulence and we have to fly really low, with skyscrapers to our left and right. Below us we can see the city traffic. It’s really cool until we approach a multi-storey car park and have to pull up sharply.
4. I’m on a flight to California, and we’re forced to crash land. As it hits the ground, I’m thrown out of the window and the plane wraps around itself like a Cumberland sausage. Eventually the tail gets me.
5. Halfway during the flight, the oxygen masks fall from the overhead racks. Whoo! It’s fun.
6. I’m on a flight to California, and we’re hijacked by a radical Islamist group which intends to cut our heads off as a violent message to the west to get out of Iraq. I negotiate with them, pointing out that this kind of action isn’t going to get anyone on their side. Eventually I convince them to let us all live and record a moving Christmas message instead.
7. I’m on the plane and so clinically obese that I’m forced to take up two seats. I don’t want to tell anyone, but the middle armrest is digging into my anus.
8. I’m on the plane in the eighties, and they still show movies by pulling down a screen and using a blurry projector. The film is Young Sherlock Holmes and the Pyramid of Fear, and I turn to my left to discover a hooded man blowing darts into people around the plane. The hallucinogenic payload sends everyone insane, and the action inside the cabin starts to mimic the action on the screen.
9. Scatman John is on the plane and won’t shut up. “Shut up, you old has-been,” I shout, and immediately feel bad.
10. I’m an hour into my flight and I realise that instead of getting on the plane to go to Boston from Heathrow, I’ve accidentally boarded the plane to go to Heathrow from Boston. How foolish I am, I think, as I contemplate arriving at the place I wanted to leave.
11. I get up to go to the toilet, and as I reach the back of the plane, something goes wrong and the aisle is vertical. I climb back up to where my father and sister are sitting because I want to tell them I love them before the plane crashes into the ground.
12. I can fly! I don’t need a stupid aeroplane! Watch me zoom, whiz and float above the clouds! I decide to fly down the street to get some sweets.
13. I’m really hungry, and can smell the food trolley further down the plane. In the distance, just in front of a dividing curtain, I can see people tucking into their meals, and my stomach is gurgling at the very thought of it. Eventually, when the trolley gets to me, the stewardess pulls out a tray and places it in front of me. Under the foil is a human face, silently screaming at me.
14. Bottom from A Midsummer Night’s Dream is sat on the aisle, and won’t get up to let me get to the toilet. I curse my luck and resolve to get an aisle seat next time.
15. In lieu of a food trolley, there’s a salad bar at the front of the plane. One by one, we all get up to pile some delicious greenery onto our plate. An annoying fat kid has skipped the queue and gone up three times. All the croutons are gone by the time I get to them.
16. My whole family is late, and we’re running down the seemingly endless Heathrow corridors to get on it in time. Someone over the loudspeaker is shouting “Wombly family, if you don’t board the plane within two minutes, we will be forced to leave without you”. We’re running as fast as we can, get to the gate, fly through the identity check, run down the suspended corridor, around the corner, and out into the freezing air. I fall onto the tarmac below and wake up with a start.
17. My dog is with me. She keeps walking over to where other people are sitting and peeing by their feet. I knew I should have brought her leash.
18. There are hijackers on the plane, and they want me to choose who they kill. I immediately say myself, but they warn me that this is against the rules and shoot someone randomly as punishment. They then take my family and force me to choose which one of them dies. I can’t, and eventually they kill all of us.
19. It’s a brand new aeroplane, and I’m very excited about the journey. I’ve worn comfortable shoes, and have picked out the films I want to see from the in-flight magazine. There is a happy buzz as we board the plane, and as it leaves the runway I’m prepared for the smoothest ride of my life. Thirty seconds later we arrive and file off, one by one.
20. I walk to the back of the plane to go to the toilet, and the pilot is sitting in the furthest-back corner, on the floor. I ask him why he’s there. “I’m so sad,” he tells me, in a plaintive voice. “But you’ve got to fly the plane,” I tell him. “I’m too sad,” he says. “I don’t have a girlfriend.” I raise my voice a little, telling him that he really has to go fly the plane now, and he begins to cry. So I have to go and do it. When we land, everybody claps.
21. Everyone is sitting and watching the film when, suddenly, the picture flickers and an alien voice comes on. I take off my headphones, but no-one else does, and slowly people begin to fall under the control of alien brainwashing. I jump up and down, telling them to take off their headphones, but they just look at me like I’m mad. Slowly everyone succumbs, and I have to pretend I’m one of them to escape.
22. Instead of flying in the air, the plane dives deep beneath the sea. It’s scary, but we get there all the same (no thanks to the giant squid).
23. We’re flying through a giant storm cloud. There’s massive turbulence, lightning everywhere, rain battering the outside of the cabin – and then silence. Outside, everything is black and white, and I see there’s a city above the cloud; a giant statue of Jesus is standing on the mount, looking down. We fly low above the cobbled streets and a starving child dressed in rags looks up at me and asks, “can you tell me where the CJD is?”
24. The food trolley arrives, and they stay standing next to me until I’ve eaten my fill (which is about two and a half trays of food). I belch heartily, spent and satisfied. A northern man with a moustache across the aisle complains that he wants some food too. I tell him to lay off the sausages, they’re mine.
25. “Weird Al” Yankovic is on the plane. He’s terribly wacky and I chuckle delightedly, but the dream then proceeds in much the same way as the one with Scatman John.
26. Every seat has a hamster in it, and as everyone files onto the plane and sits down, they begin to be squished. I jump up and start shouting about how there are hamsters on their seats and they need to watch where they’re sitting, but the flight attendants take me by the arm and drag me back into the terminal. In the distance, I hear the quiet sound of tiny animals dying.
27. The plane never lands and I sit in my economy seat, crunched up against the person in front of me (who, of course, has their seat fully reclined), for all eternity. The pre-recorded CBS News segment quickly begins to become irritating.
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