I yelped as there was a shudder of turbulence. Flying was a nerve-wracking experience that I had absolutely no control over. It wasn’t hard for me to imagine flocks of birds or maybe a superhero of some description gumming up the engines. Not only would the plane crash, but it would then be a plane full of guilty people shamefacedly commiserating each other that they helped end the world.
Flight 572 was the worst one though. Not only did I have to deal with my habitual aviophobia but the people on that flight were the most unsettling I’ve had to contend with on my regular business trips.
Some of them had actually been watching the carelessly chosen in-flight movie, Plane Disaster; none of the children were screaming or torturing sweeties out of their parents; No couples had giggled their way to the toilets; none of the impatient rednecks were being unreasonably abusive towards the flight attendants and absolutely nobody was paying any attention to the moose at the front of the cabin!
| Why? |
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It just kept staring at me, a mysterious mouthful of grass dribbled from its lips as it endlessly chewed. I finally couldn’t take it anymore, I hammered the little button, demanding someone attend to me. Within seconds a female arrived (another unusual occurrence).
“How may I help you?” she asked sweetly as sweat travelled into my eye.
“Well, I was wondering, I mean I don’t mean to be a bother or anything but– why is there a moose on this plane?”
I know that it’s her job to lie and everything (Of course this is the best wine, only the best for our customers. Yes those peanuts are in date, sir. I’ll get someone to clear that blood up before the next flight, thank you for informing us, miss.) but she really was taking the biscuit when she leaned closer to me and asked:
“What moose, sir? Is there a specific dessert you would like?”
“No, no, you silly girl, that moose over there, it keeps giving me odd looks.” I informed as the moose nonchalantly swished its tail and took a step to the left, a small clop of its feet rang dully throughout the compartment.
She made a sour face at being called silly. “Now, sir, there’s no need for name calling, I’m only trying to help.” She scolded.
“But there’s a moose!” I pleaded “It’s right there!” I pointed at the creature as it clopped its way along the aisle heading for First Class. I bet they wouldn’t treat those toffs like fools.
“How much have you had to drink, sir?” She asked.
“Nothing- well one or two to calm my nerves but- I’m not hallucinating!” I said, almost hysterical.
Apparently finished exploring First Class, the moose came through the curtain divider and began trudging down my side of the plane.
“Well, I’m going to have to leave you for now, call again if you need anything else but don’t cause anymore trouble or I’ll be forced to call security.” The maid walked away muttering “Excuse me, sir.” as she sidled past the moose.
I was about to start screaming at her (You can so see the moose! You can! You can! You can!!!) but at the same moment I stood up to chase her the moose decided I was a safe enough tree to urinate on. I almost began to weep.
Violence Solves Nothing
Soaked, smelly and patronised beyond reason I had to lash out. My fist landed on the moose’s spine. I yelled as its bony back pulverised my hand. The moose didn’t even look at me. It simply went on chewing.
“WHY ARE YOU HERE!?” I bellowed “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!?”
It finally swallowed the grass it had been chewing and for a moment I was terrified it might actually answer me when it opened its mouth. It didn’t though; it meagrely decided to belch and then make a move for my vomit-green tie.
I pulled away quickly and tripped over this little boy.
“Watch where you are going!” the bony wraith-like mother scolded slapping my wrist. “They shouldn’t let drunks on planes where they can crush little boys. You should be ashamed!” She wrapped her self around the child in, presumably, a protective gesture.
“Mommy, why does that man smell?”
“Because he’s an alcoholic, you’ll never be like that, I’ll never let a drop of that poison pass your lips.”
“But it’s moose piss! I’m not drunk!” I exclaimed frantically gesturing to the moose. “Well I had one or two…” I conceded guiltily.
“You see this is what they do, Michael, use vulgar language for attention. And as you can see there are no moose around here.”
“Well what’s that mommy?” The boy asked pointing to the moose.
“You can see it?” I said grabbing the boy’s shoulders in something like desperation.
“No, you stupid man!” the woman rasped as she rapped my hands again. “That’s a security guard, honey”
To The Captain!
Sure enough some interfering busy body had called for security and a big burly man, who was leaving a trail of spilt coffee and broken laptops in his wake, was heading straight for me, the moose was between us, obviously. Because there was a moose.
Now that was the final straw I was not gonna be arrested because people were fucking with me. I was going straight for the top as I ran down the aisle to wards the captain's cabin. The moose plodded after me as the security guard waited impatiently in tow.
After a harrowing journey through Economy Class (It was all fat people with five seats and whores with no teeth) I ended up at the door to the cockpit. I rattled the door and shouted through it as the moose traipsed through the last curtain divider. A man who barely looked old enough to drive a car let alone a plane poked his head through the door, all smiles like I was an old friend.
“I want to know about the moose.” I snapped.
“Oh, cool, yeah well I use VO5; you just rub it through your hair and twist it up, works marvellously.”
“No you spastic! The moose! That one there!” I bellowed just on the verge of questioning my own sanity.
“What moose?” he asked a confused smile now gracing his face. I hit him and the weedy little man fell to the ground.
“You know damn fine what moose! You know!” I screamed as I kicked him. To death.
Some hours later I was handcuffed to my seat. I had had a full on mental breakdown. After I killed the pilot and co-pilot I had officially committed mass murder as there was no one left that could safely land the plane.
It gave me time to think about the moose though. I began seeing it as some sort of metaphor for the fact I don't like flying or my over working or my marriage problems or the fact I didn’t love my children. Something like that. That would make sense.
Still things were more normal now. People paid no attention to the imaginary Plane Disaster. Plenty of children were screaming. All of the couples on the plane had ignored the toilets all-together and were now simply shagging in the aisles and the attendants were now getting more abuse than ever.
All was well until someone begged the final question: “Why did nobody just tell him it was a reindeer?”