Thursday, March 27, 2014

French Twist Dare: Sydney's Drunken Airplane Episode

As you well know, French Twist is based in truth.  The major elements of the story are all blissfully true, but I felt the need to add a little excitement (and a whole lot of comedic value) to the story.  And there couldn't be better comedic value than embarrassing myself, right?  
One of my absolute favorite scenes to write was this completely fictitious episode where Sydney and Louis fly to New York together to spend Thanksgiving with her family.  While it is absolutely true that my parents met my husband for the first time over one strenuous Thanksgiving weekend, we were not able to fly together and I am pleased to tell you that I did not consume any alcohol at all.  Thank God!
Now, back to our good friend, Sydney.  Unfortunately, she is left to her own devices during the six hour flight from San Francisco to New York because, of course, Louis fell asleep the instant that the plane took off.  Sydney attempts to drown the anxiety she feels about her parents meeting her brand new French fianc√© for the first time by having a nice glass of wine.  When one glass doesn't do the trick, she has another - you know where this is going.  The more wine she drinks, the better she feels, until...

I slowly opened my eyes and looked around.  We appeared to be in some kind of exam room.  How had we gotten off of the plane?  Oh my God.  I had a really, really bad feeling about this.  Slowly, some rather unsavory memories permeated my mind.  No.  That could not possibly have happened.  I could not have been that stupid.  Sydney!  What have you done?
I looked at Louis.  “Um...Louis, how did we get here?”
He bit his lip.  That was a really bad sign.  He only did that when he had something unpleasant to tell me.
He exhaled slowly.  “You were put on a stretcher.  The EMT’s couldn’t wake you, so you had to be taken off the plane as quickly as possible.”
I put my head in my lap.  I have done some pretty embarrassing things in my time, but this incident was now number one on my list.  God help me when Maya finds out.  She will hold this over me for the rest of my life.
 Louis cleared his throat.  “Syd, you have been cleared to go home.  We should go down to the baggage compartment now.  They are holding our luggage.”
I looked up at Louis in horror.  “How long have we been here?”
He looked at the floor.  “About two hours.”
Oh shit!  My parents were picking us up from the airport.  They must be freaking out right now.  I started looking for my purse so that I could call them quickly and tell them not to worry.  I am such a total freak!  I cannot believe that I did this.
            Louis took my hand.  “Calm down, Syd.  I have already called your parents to let them know that we are fine.”
            I buried my face in my hands.  “What did you tell them?”
            “What could I tell them?  I told them the truth.”  A small chuckle escaped him.
            I slowly removed my hands from my eyes to find that Louis was desperately trying not to laugh.  The amount of anger I felt towards him at that moment was astronomical.   I slowly stood up, felt completely nauseated and promptly sat back down.  With no other viable options, I settled for fixing my deadliest stare on him.  I was prepared to tear him a new one, when the floodgates opened and he dissolved into hysterical laughter.  I was so shocked that I didn’t know how to react.  I just stood there, watching him completely lose his composure and wondered what I was supposed to be feeling...

(Excerpt from French Twist by Glynis Astie, Copyright 2013.)

And there you have it.  I laughed so hard while writing this scene that I had tears streaming down my face.  I hope that you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  I am INCREDIBLY thankful that an event of this horrific magnitude has not happened to me.  Though I must admit that I have come pretty close.  Maybe some of those stories will make it into another book!

PS - I am very sorry to say that I have not been given permission to post the photo of my husband wearing his epic blue suit.  I will keep trying! 

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