Monday, January 08, 2007

Roger, roger

Airports in movies are often used to show emotional scenes of happiness. A person getting off a plane to see their loved ones. A young person picking up a backpack, slinging it on their shoulder and waltzing off with carefree abandon to find themselves on a trip to Europe (they usually only find a second degree STD). But where the fuck in these movies are the half-wits with those rolling suitcases!

Before purchasing one of these mobile shin-destroying contraptions, does one need to leave all brains, common sense and god given decency in the luggage store. People whinge about backpacks, but at least people with backpacks are aware that they are not leaving a trail of 825 people behind holding their toes, shins or face down as the buffoon with the rolling suitcase decides to stop suddenly, turn sharply (resulting in the suitcase going sideways) or simply take up three metres of space when they are walking.

Obviously my Heathrow experience wasn't pleasant.

Arriving in the fifth dimension of hell - or Heathrow for those not familiar - everything was going smoothly. Or it seemed to be as I was still drunk. Why does one go out on a Saturday night before an early flight, say I'll go home by 11 and ends up stumbling home at 5am, not having packed and realizing that you can either pack well or have a quick snooze - but not both? I went the snooze. Suffice to say when I opened up my back pack I have one jumper, two pairs of jeans, three black socks and 6 pairs of flip flops.

Fun didn't end there though people. At check in I ran in to the couple I affectionately labeled Danger Mouse and Penfold for their ability to fuck up the easiest tasks known to man, but yet both being mid 60s, seem to have got through life and the larger challenges so far (survival of the fittest my arse Mr Charles Darwin). While checking in they realized they had left their passports in their suitcases, but rather than moving aside to let others in they started unpacking. Not just in front of one counter, but took up a second one also. Ggggrrr I said. This was my first of three run ins with these two. The final being at Melbourne airport where they refused to accept that they couldn't bring 10 litres of duty free whiskey in to the country. Their argument was that they hadn't declared it on their customs card so they should be allowed to bring it in. Logic lives in a black hole with these two.

Getting past the check in I made my way to the scanners and customs desk. As my deodorant was taken away from me (it was larger than 100ml so apparently it is considered a weapon of massive destruction and could be used as a terrorism device - called the 'Lynx effect' by experts) I made a little joke: "That's fine, I just feel sorry for the people next to me." Oh how that comment was going to come back at me. Moving swiftly along I reached the customs desks.

Now, let's set the scene. Over the past few weeks Tony Blair has been banging on about immigration and monitoring people in and out of the country. Now any fool in media relations 101 will understand that he has been chastised over Iraq for weeks leading up to this and the only way to worm out of a potentially damaging issue is by focusing the public's mind on an emotive issue that affects them all - war, unemployment or immigration - being the triumviri of choice for today's politician. War is the the point to be avoided so have a stab at the immigrants. Sure vote winner.

So, after
New Labour banging their drum over this and heightening airport security, it was with great surprise that I saw this sign hanging from the Customs desk:

UK Immigration - Heathrow
9.30 - 20.30
Monday - Friday

Now some countries don't stamp you when you leave, and that's fine, but by stipulating the hours, the UK clearly does, but only during office's that immigration issue going? Maybe pick unemployment.

So onward I did go, eager to get to the departure lounge so I could sit and contemplate how to rid myself of the impending hangover. Finally getting on the plane, I had two seats to my right. But according to my luck for the day, along came a large Indian man and plonked himself next to me. This fella stutred.
Now you probably haven't come across this word before. That's because I just made it up. The smell and its intensity was so bad that I have to combine stunk and putrid to describe it. It was so bad that the passengers behind us asked to be moved. Along with this, my TV screen in front of me was broken, meaning a 7 hour trip with woofy boy and no tv. But it was semi-okay as I was on the window and he was the aisle. That was until a young lady, who later became my savior, sidled up and announced that she was the aisle seat. So up he struggled, slamming down next to me, resulting in a gush of BO air hitting me in the face. Catching my eye after she sat down, the young lady had a look of shock and revulsion on her face as she copped the first whiff of her new next door neighbour. We bonded immediately. Noha and I proceeded to spend the next 4 hours trying to talk over him from aisle to window, be she eventually swapped seats to sit with me. This resulted in a great buffer between myself and Mr Stinky, she didn't need to face him to talk to me and in the end we didn't watch any TV anyway. By close of play it had to be one of the most enjoyable flights I've had.

And the lesson for the day kiddies - no matter how bad it is looking, every cloud has a silver lining. Glad to have made your day.


At 11:22 AM, Blogger LaLa said...

Does that mean you are home?

Welcome home Mr Woofy.

At 11:47 AM, Blogger Bart said...

Home and hosed - wish the little smelly man had been hosed too.

At 12:30 AM, Blogger *Luce* said...

Good to have you home ;)

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