The Intermittent Kevin

As rarely and randomly updated as most blogs

Ireland, Part 2: Kevin Passes Out

with 3 comments

But not in the way you think.

Our flights between Dallas and Cork, by way of Chicago and London, were pleasantly uneventful. Biggest downer for the first half was a sleeveless-T-wearing douche-canoe, behind Mary Beth on the leg to O’Hare, who reacted somewhat violently to the notion of her seat reclining.

To have a fighting chance against jet lag, we knew we’d need to sleep as much as possible on the seven-hour flight between Chicago and London. So upon reaching cruising altitude, we ordered alcoholic drinks, and then MB offered me a tablet of Buspar, which she promised would knock me pleasantly out for the duration.

(I would also like to mention that the meds were taken along with a full meal, and that MB took *two* of the happy pills with no ill effects. Don’t tell me what I can’t do!)

Anyhoo, after eating my sleeping pill, my American Airlines Reheated Beefy Goodness™ and drinking a small bottle of water, I donned my eyemask and started drifting off to sleep.

Less than half an hour later, I opened my eyes. I was feeling rather queasy. It wasn’t a definite danger-will-robinson moment, but I also couldn’t find a barf bag in my seat pocket, and I have a brief history with trans-oceanic airplane sickness (cf: Melbourne-to-LAX, September 2007). So out of an abundance of caution, I walked back and stood in line for the bathroom.


“Sir? Sir, are you okay? Are you okay, sir?”

I became aware that someone was talking. Then I realized someone was tapping my hand. Then I realized, confusedly, that I was sitting on the floor with my eyes closed. Looking up, I saw the entire rear section of the flight staring at me with great interest.

I’d passed out.

I still felt rather groggy, but of course was equal parts embarrassed. I apologized to the flight attendant, might have attempted to make a self-deprecating joke, and said something about just needing to make it to the bathroom. So I stood up, took one and a half steps, and


(That’s twice, for those of you keeping track.)

Meanwhile, Mary Beth was enjoying her sleepytime quite comfortably, when she heard a heavy “THUD.” 30 seconds later, there was a second “THUD.” She wondered who was making such a racket. Eyes still closed, she reached her hand over to take mine and realized I wasn’t there. She decided to see what all the commotion was about. Standing in the aisle, she immediately saw me, propped up against the wall just outside the bathroom and not especially conscious.

I had a repeat of my first experience; one moment I was walking the three steps towards the bathroom, then I was on the floor and being asked if I was okay by the flight attendant. Mary Beth joined in the game, and I apologized again, realizing more clearly that I’d blacked out, and feeling that much more embarrassed. I started to stand up.



The third time, at least, they managed to steer my flailing body into the flight attendant’s jump seat against the wall. Sooo, that’s something. I woke up a third time to Mary Beth tapping me worriedly, and finally managed to stay awake. My body temperature was fluctuating wildly; I began sweating intensely, and she held ice against the back of my neck, barf-bag literally held under my chin just in case.

Two flight attendants stood with MB for a few minutes to make sure I didn’t go into convulsions or grow horns or anything. One of them, at least, seemed all-too-familiar with the notion of a passenger taking poorly to sleeping pills and alcohol combined. I slowly regained my coherence, made conversation, and after five minutes or so, I felt well enough to attempt to stand up (though by then, I wasn’t full of faith in my own judgment on this point). This time I made it.

Here’s where I received my real sick-man’s perk, and the reason I recommend passing out on an airplane to all of you: they had the very back row of the plane cleared out, and they let me stretch out and sleep horizontally on it. They brought me additional ice, cold rags, blankets, and pillows. First-class, baby!

After a couple of hours’ worth of napping, head propped on MB’s lap, I finally recovered. I never did throw up, so high five for that, I suppose. By the time we deplaned at Heathrow, I was right as rain.

In conclusion: I should not be trusted around sleeping pills or eastbound transoceanic flights.


Written by Kevin Miller

July 24, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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3 Responses

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  1. Omg Kevin! I can’t imagine how embarrassed you you must have been. Did you hurt yourself when you fell? I’m so glad you only took 1 Buspar pill! And now that Ive shown pleasant, customary concern….rofl….this is hysterical!!!! Congrats on scoring that back row and sleeping it off! Glad to hear you you have now safely crossed the pond and are well on your way to

    Heather Hunt

    July 24, 2010 at 4:45 pm

  2. I am glad you are OK and had trained folks to take care of you. Having a whole row to sleep on isn’t bad either. Now make sure that you only take controlled substances when they are prescribed for you. Tylenol PM would have been a MUCH better choice!


    July 24, 2010 at 8:06 pm

  3. Hilarious. And telling. Hahaha


    July 29, 2010 at 11:23 pm

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