The UFO incident over the southwest coast of Ireland on Friday, I’m embarrassed to reveal, was most likely caused by myself, writes Denis Lehane.
There can be no other explanation for it. The facts speak for themselves.
I, along with four of my youngsters, went to London last weekend, our journey began on Friday.
Owing to the fact that I’ve made nothing out of farming this year, the only way we could go was by booking the cheapest flight possible. And make no mistake, I left no stone unturned in my search to find the lowest of the low.
In the finish, I tracked down an outfit called Mayday Airlines. If there is one thing I’d advise today, it’s avoid Mayday at all costs.
Anyway we had only just taken our seats on board when the co-pilot came on the tannoy to ask if anyone at all knew the whereabouts of the captain.
It seemed he was wanted back at the bar to settle his account, and he also had the keys of the plane.
Eventually the captain staggered on board with his cap to one side and a large stain of freshly spilled porter on his shirt. The first thing he did was to let off a volley of unpleasantness which really was most unprofessional.
Then needing something to focus on, he fixed a blood shot eye upon this poor overweight passenger, stating that she would be the first overboard if he needed to “soar like an eagle”.
Being a defender of the downtrodden, I got to my feet, went to the cockpit and demanded he apologise. But he refused, telling me to “go to hell,” adding that he didn’t care “one way or another” if we all “lived or died”.
Well I can tell you now, t’was far from a satisfactory way to begin a flight.
That said, once we were airborne the captain calmed down and admitted that the drink sometimes drove him crazy. And while some hoity-toity passengers on board were still ill at ease, I was on the captain’s side from that moment on.
Until that is, about 10 minutes later when I caught him cheating at cards. He produced the queen of diamonds from God’s knows where and I didn’t care if we were at 38,000ft or not, I let fly with a haymaker. The captain hit the deck.
“Oh Lord!” roared the co-pilot, “but who will fly the plane now?” The knocked out captain was the only one who could handle the contraption. There was nothing for it only for myself, the star of the show, to take the wheel. If I could handle a David Brown 996 and round bale through all the ruts and tracks of my farm, I could steer this vessel.
For 10 minutes over the south coast of Ireland I zigzagged between Cork and Kerry, doing my level best to keep us afloat. We must have crossed over Ballyvourney 40 times. And that I suspect was when the UFO spotters saw us on Friday. T’was no alien invasion, only a flying farmer.
Eventually the Captain came round, and, after a quick swig, was back in full control. We landed in London a short time later and we went on to have a wonderful weekend.
We retuned on Sunday evening, to Kerry Airport on a Ryanair flight, the flight costing me a savage €9 a head. Almost €50 to carry myself and four more, ’tis no wonder O’Leary’s so rich. He must be laughing all the way to the bank.
But the flight was a comfortable affair and at the end of the day, perhaps it’s best to pay the few quid extra to get the deluxe treatment.