Douglas Semple
4 min readMay 10, 2023

It is 11:21 pm in Bogota on a Friday night. I am just boarding Air Canada to Toronto.

There is so much fucking drama around me. In front is a lovers spat with swear words like “bitch” “bastard” flying back and forth.

Right beside me is a woman crying on her phone.

“Give me a fucking break”, I said to myself.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if I could follow that drama but I didn’t understand a word of Spanish at all.

Goodness gracious….aarrhhh.

It is now 11:56 pm and we are still on the tarmac. The pilot announced it would be another 10 minutes before we take off. Something about air traffic control switching runways for us. It would take them that long to re-program the aircraft’s computer. I guess we are flown by a computer. Its not like the old days when pilots used to fly by the seat of his pants.

The lovers quarrel seems to have died down. Still the woman was just itching for a fight but the guy was trying very hard to ignore her and focusing on his book. Poor guy.

It is now 12:39 am and the plane has now leveled off and the seat belt signs are off. It will be 6 hours by the time I get off the plane in Toronto. It’ll take me time to go through immigration but once I’m through, I’ll be able to get Starbucks coffee.

I hear a gentle snore from my petite seat mate, the one that was sobbing and snorting on her phone when we were still on the tarmac. She had snot swinging from her nostrils then.

The lovers quarrel picked up again. The woman is hissing and bitching while the man continues to ignore her. He has put his chair back to try to sleep. The woman pushes her face close to his and. snarls, “You don’t give a shit do you?” He’s now turned away from her but she still yaps away at him. She is doing this in a hissing whisper but I can still hear her.

It is 3:38 am now on this airbus that’s barreling 1000 km/hr towards Toronto.

We are all awake now as the flight attendants are serving us breakfast. They all seem to be pretty, except for the one serving our aisle. She has a large beak.

“Pancakes or eggs” she says.

I wonder if that’s a fake smile she wears. It could be as fake as the eyelashes she wears.

As we are being served breakfast, my mind fucks off 40 years back to another Air Canada flight.

Picture this. An old guy, looks to be Polish or Russian, certainly from across the ocean somewhere, is eating a meal served to him by a pretty flight attendant like we are now on this Airbus I am on. As he finishes up he picks up this small cup container of ceasar salad dressing, he looks at it, shakes it. It looks like he is not sure what it is. So pulls it open, uses his finger to get a bit of it and looks around and then tastes it. He likes the taste, looks around some more and proceeds to devour his tasty discovery. I giggled under my breath as I made this observation of this old man. I don’t think he ever knew I was sneaking peeks at him as he slurped away at the ceaser salad dressing. I’m guessing he had never had a ceaser salad before.

He is probably dead by now, that old English man (I was going to say that old Polish man but I can change it because I am writing this story) on Air Canada from 40 years ago.The ants and other bugs that made a full course meal out of him six feet under the ground over a period of several months are certainly all dead now as well.

“Yummy, yummy, yummy,” the ants and bugs probably chirped in a musical chorus as they ate without a ceaser salad.

Another hour and half and we should be in Toronto. The lovers quarrel is quiet. And the petite seat mate has gone back to sleep after her meal.

It is 10:40 am and I’m now in Thunder Bay. Feeling ok even after staying awake for the past 24 hours.




Douglas Semple

Douglas Semple MBA, MPA, B.A. A writer, a thinker and a follower of Jesus.