Picking up strangers while traveling can be thrilling, but in the 21st century United States, there's no worse pickup line than "Have you ever wondered if someone could get something on the plane they weren't supposed to?" Meet that guy.
Last Friday, after a day of delays and five Jack-and-Cokes, one Bryan Sisco boarded the Delta flight from Dallas to Atlanta at 9:45. Sisco, 40, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal he just decided to sit down in a random seat. When Danielle Valimont, 23, happened to sit next to him, the recently divorced Sisco decided to flirt with her, offering her chocolate, and telling her he was an architect and a flight marshal. When the flight attendant and another passenger tried to claim the seat, Sisco said he and the woman were newlyweds. By the way, those Jack-and-Cokes? Doubles.
"We were talking, sharing M&Ms, eating chocolate, having a good time," he said. "I fabricated some truths about myself. ... I thought we were getting along pretty good."
Valimont tells it a little differently, saying on her blog that Sisco was "jittery" when she sat down and within a couple of minutes, she texted "I'm sitting beside a crazy man." Things only got more romantic from there:
"Have you ever wondered if someone could get something on the plane they weren't supposed to?" he said. My heart dropped…"I'm sure its possible…" I replied. "It is…"
He opened his book bag and brought out a silver metal torch-like item and put it near my leg. He clicked a button and a 4-6 inch blue flame shot out … I acted as if it was no big deal, though my heart was racing.
"That's cool- what else do you have?" I said. He opened his bag and pulled out an item that looked similar to the end of a headset and told me it was like a tazor and could cause temporary paralysis...
And when the woman picked up the cylinder Sisco was carrying that he had said was architectural drawings, "he said it was a canister filled with gas strong enough to make everyone on the plane pass out." When she said she didn't believe him and went to open the cylinder, "he freaked out and told me to stop."
So Valimont, now believing she was sitting next to the muscular, armed Texas version of the Underwear Bomber, played it cool. She kept Sisco talking, then made an excuse to use the bathroom. While there, she typed a note to flight attendants on her phone: "If the guy in 20D is a Marshall disregard this msg. He has a torch that he lit and showed me. And he said his canister has a gas device that will make everyone on the plane pass out if there is danger. He also has a device that says is like a tazor. I will go sit back down. Do what you need to."
The flight attendants did what they needed to — having the pilot divert the plane to Memphis for an emergency landing, get police on board dressed as paramedics and escort Sisco, who didn't realize what was going on until he was on the ground — into custody.
Sisco spent four days in custody, including two strip searches. He's banned from Delta for life, and has regained some of the common sense washed away in Dallas: "It was stupid of me. I'm a dumbass."