This wasn’t bad for me, per se, but it was for a whole lot of people on that plane.

It was spring break 1998. I went with a group of aboput 25 students at the Naval Academy for a 10 day trip to St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Prague.

We were taking a night flight from Moscow to Prague, so we all ate dinner together before heading to the airport. It was your typical Russian upperclass meal. I concentrated on the caviar before the meal while others went whole hog on the smoked salmon. I’d guess there were probably only 3 or 4 of us who liked Caviar at that point. So you have 20+ people chowing down on smoked salmon.

Turns out, they choose poorly.

We get in the air a couple hours later and the salmon eaters were all green around the gills. Complaining about stomach cramps. Heading to the head. Whole 9 yards.

Then the first guy threw up. I have flown all over the world since I was a little kid and I had not before then nor have I since then seen anyone use a vomit bag on a plane.

The next thing I know, it’s like the lardass scene from Stand By Me in all the rows around me. Violent vomiting. Lots of it. And those bags turn out to not be as big as you might want. Passengers who we didn’t even know start vomiting. A flight attendant comes to check and bring more bags and they end up vomiting. I’d guess that by the time all was said and done, more than 50 people on that flight probably threw up.

Thankfully, I come from a long line of Newfies who fished the Grand Banks on schooners, so I have a stomach of steel. I happily ate some snack food in my seat while the sounds of misery filled in around.