Travelling home from a recent holiday in Cambodia (I HAD BEEN VISITING FRIENDS), I was in high spirits. I adore air travel: the whiff of international sluttiness that surrounds air stewardesses, the precious time to reflect on the aching emptiness of my life, and the elated rush I experience as the plane leaves the ground, as if the sweet release of death has finally, mercifully arrived. On this occasion, my happiness was heightened by the fact that I’d managed to smuggle an entire suitcase of the grottiest, most degrading magazines that South East Asia has to offer on to the plane – and without so much as an anal probe at customs.
Sitting down before take-off, the excitement was trembling within me. My eyes were twitching, my mouth was dry, and I couldn’t fasten my seatbelt because of my shaking hands. It was as though – and I don’t say this without a modicum of self-disgust – a masturbatory mania had engulfed me. I could think of nothing but my beloved smut. Something in those magazines, some kind of malevolently erotic voodoo spell, had turned me into an insatiable wank zombie. I realised that I was going to have to sate my tortured pangs of onanism before we took off.
Leaping from my seat, I hurried down the aisle to the tiny, crapulent toilet, fiddling maniacally with my fly as I went, barely able to disguise my intentions. Mothers, shrieking in ambivalent terror (I think some of them hoped I was coming for them), hugged their children to their bosom as I passed, while more than one elderly Asian man took out his Koran and started colouring in the pictures. An air hostess politely tried to explain to me that the toilets were not available during take-off, but by now my logic was wholly possessed by a porno-demon of unimaginable malignity, and I violently barged her aside.
The rest is a haze. A tiny cubicle that carried some residue of the boredom and fear of every turd it had ever witnessed; the bolt sliding shut on the door; my own reflection in the mirror, a stranger to myself; a copy of Laotian Housemaids falling open on the floor; an announcement from the pilot and frantic knocking on the door. And then silence.
My escapade had, apparently, delayed our take off, and every passenger glared at me as I walked back to my seat. Out of respect for my fellow passengers I tried to look as much as possible like I’d just taken a long, necessary, and alarmingly vocal dump. No one was fooled. I slept a shame-filled sleep for the entire flight.
On arrival in the UK, I lost everything. A man from customs wearing rubber gloves opened my bags and looked at me, slack-jawed, with something between disgust and admiration, when he saw my haul. Needless to say all of my beautiful treasures were seized.
Let this be a lesson to anyone who wants to indulge in the innocent pleasure of trafficking thousands of illegal pornographic images between the unregulated and exploitative sex industry of the East and the depraved, morally-bankrupt West: wait until you’re home before having a wank.