We arrive to the airport first and shortly after comes Leah. We see a good number of other TLGers from other groups who are apparently on the same flight. They open our gate for boarding and we stand in the longest line. In line we see a friend we met two previous nights at The Hanger Bar. Great guy. He comes up to greet us as his bags were already checked (or so we thought). He then proceeds to tell us that his host family ‘made’ him pack way too many bottles of various alcohol for his flight to the States and the check-in agents were not going to let him bring a bottle of Cha-Cha. So, he tells us, he is going to drink it before the flight.
Now, hopefully most of you have been reading this blog long enough to have learned the insanity of that statement. And HE must have known the insanity of that statement. It was such a gross gesture of insaneness, for multiple reasons, that I felt an obligation to verbally tell him HOW crazy it was. He brushed it off and walked off to talk to various other TLG members.
No more than ten minutes later, he stumbles back mumbling about something. As he is standing there incoherently talking, he is also teetering back and forth. At one point he stops talking mid-sentence, his eyes roll back in his head and motions like he is just going to pass out backwards with a deadman’s fall. But he catches himself. Leah and I both look at each other and simultaneously say, ‘OH SHIT!’ He is by this time black out drunk but still trying to get on the plane. I don’t step in to babysit until he starts hugging random ladies and irritating Georgian men. The attendant says there is no way in Hell he is getting on a plane. Okay.
So we try to sit with him for a little bit, get him some water, etc. Everybody in the airport is looking at us thinking, ‘Stupid Americans’. I was most afraid that security was going to come and whisk him away. We even try to call TLG, but they had a tough love stance of “It’s his own fault; leave him.”
But they are ultimately right. Who drinks a bottle of Cha-Cha before a flight back home? Cha-cha guy*, that’s who.
I had to ultimately leave him with the attendant. who asked was he a friend of mine…. How does one answer THAT question? “Kinda.”
As I ascended the stairs to the departure checkpoint, I saw Cha-Cha guy still stumbling amongst the other people at the gate. Poor bastard.
“Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go I wanna be sedated
Nothin’ to do and no where to go-o-oh I wanna be sedated
Just get me to the airport put me on a plane
Hurry hurry hurry before I go insane
I can’t control my fingers I can’t control my brain
Oh no no no no no”
I Wanna Be Sedated, The Ramones
*Cha-Cha Guy- name affectionately given to the TLGer by the rest of the airplane passengers.