Journey through space to the Planet Fabulous, where the Ruler of the Universe will see you shortly.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Plane Sailing

Like Miss Helen before you, I shall have to bid my leave of you shortly for I am to journey to the Land of the Free (and DisneyWorld) at the end of the month. Your ruler will be going on holiday for a couple of weeks to enjoy the sun, sand, and gym-toned Americans over in Florida with a whole cavalcade of lovely people to go riding. Rollercoasters, et al.

I would like to take a laptop to keep you updated, but I fear my luck with airports and airplanes in general will cause it to crash and not boot up on request, making the officials think I’m a terrorist and cause me to be unwittingly violated by a sweaty, hairy man without dinner and dancing.

And while I have a sauna flashback, you may ponder the rest of this.

I must state I’ve had atrocious luck at airports, and the increase in terror alerts shall only heighten that, I’d wager. Last time I was trapped in Canada for seven hours - a fate I wouldn’t wish on anyone, frankly, as it is a very tedious country - as most check-in staff had gone for their lunch. Yes, I wondered how many courses they were having if it took us seven hours to get through, but it did. Perhaps they were so fat by all this that the meal only took four hours and the remaining three to waddle back to the office, or in the case of Big Ron, had to be moved by rolling him along on rollers in a manner similar to how they constructed the pyramids, whipping unwitting prisoners captured from their aimless wanderings around the carousel, waiting for their Samsonite.

Anyway, I make a poor flyer. Bad things happen to me on planes. Sit-com things. The one time I actually fell asleep on a long-haul flight, I did so with my hand resting on my cheek, awaking two hours later to find I’d cut off most of the blood supply to my gums and thus my teeth were loose. Not just loose, but you could flip them up like cat-flaps. I then had to hold still for the next three hours with my mouth slightly agape until my teeth regained their blood supply and I could close it without the fear of calcium being fired across the flight deck.

Nuns. Nuns are bad luck. If you’ve ever seen any Airport film, there’s always a nun on board and that means you’re doomed. Guess who chartered a flight with a nun convention?

But by far the worst happened on TunisAir, the pre-war carriers coming out of Tunisia. It’s a vile country, with even worse transportation. The airport was a shed fastened to the back of a concrete facade, and when your plane was ready, you were called to a window where they pointed to your ride outta there. You then had to run across the runway, diving out of the way of outcoming airplanes and making sure your luggage doesn’t split or get stolen. Now, here’s a complete gem of truth, there is no word of a lie about this bit whatsoever otherwise it’s just a stupid story: while we were clambering up the steps from the runway, there were three Tunisians on the wing muttering and pointing. As I went past, one of them bent down, looked around him, and surreptitiously got out some duct tape and tore a piece off to stuck something down on the wing.

No word of a lie. Of course, who do you think got the window seat next to the wing?

I spent the journey looking out, watching this length of tape. It was while we were passing over France did the end finally flip up and start to come loose, much to my boyhood surprise. There I was at 15000 feet trying desperately to evolve telekinetic powers while wardrobe-sized space waitresses calmly tried to dispense Dairylea with the name scratched out. It was not a pleasant flight.

I am taking no chances this time: the wife and I are in first class. I’m wrapping myself in bubblewrap and knocking myself out with vodka. If any nun comes near me, I’m stuffing their guitar up their arse and pushing them out of the door. And if any terrorist even tries anything, I’m going to hold a plastic fork to my head and threaten to smoke during take-off if I don’t get my complimentary headset. America, I’m coming, ready or not!

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