David S. Howell must have thought he was so smooth: Sneaking a water bottle full of vodka onto a full United flight out of Chicago. Too bad he drank most of its contents in the first 30 minutes, then threatened to kill a male flight attendant.
Here’s what not to do when you’re a concert pianist on an airplane and you’re still drunk from last night. Don’t:
• Sneak more alcohol on the plane in a sports bottle, then ask for a glass of ice.
• Lie to the flight attendant when he asks if you’re drinking alcohol with your “glass of ice with lime.”
• Wash your ADD meds down with vodka and a Valium chaser.
• Play Rachmaninoff’s Piano Sonata No. 2 on your tray table.
• Pound on the walls of the lavatory like some sort of giant ape.
• Threaten to kill a flight attendant.
• Scribble weird messages all over your sheet music.
• Push a flight attendant in the chest causing the airline to land the plane so you can be arrested
• Resist arrest by locking your arms and legs under your seat.
• Go limp and refuse to walk so the officers have to carry you to the waiting squad car.
Really, any of these things are pretty bad. Taken together and you’ve got one drunk concert pianist. When asked to explain himself in court, Howell said:
“I really can’t argue with anything,” Howell told U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull on Thursday as he pleaded guilty to charges of interference with flight crew members. “You can’t argue with things when you’re in that state of mind.”
True, true. —MEGHANN MARCO