Hazards of flying, besides bad weather
Sep 12 2013
You are standing in the check-in queue, and the man jostling and elbowing you has mangoes as cabin baggage. Everytime you put your hand into your bag on your shoulder, you hit his chest. He insists on pushing his way to the front, as if he was at a betting station.This new lifestyle has given him the right to change his mode of travel, but not his brand of aggression.
Having come in the nick of time before the counter shut for checking in, I had behind me not only the mango-junkie, but a gang of shameless freeloaders with their new iPhones, which they flashed like torchlights. What giddy-headed glee do people get showing off, like they were the third secretary to the prime minister? And they were so cool, they had earphones on while hearing music and shouted at the check-in lady. What is this awful habit of walking, nay, sashying up the walkway with earphones on, pretending you are in euphoria (like that is a destination!) Worse, when boarding is announced, they run like suburbia is on fire and every home has to be evacuated. The line to the boarding gate is like a line of push-up clones, with tough rasping voices, those who know everything and obviously nothing. They think standing in line and waiting for your turn patiently to leave for the tarmac is a brutal policy.
Anyway, I told myself to get on board and I will be away from these chimpanzees. Only to be one cupcake short of happiness, who did I have sitting in the middle seat, but the head chimpanzee! Sitting in the aisle seat, I leaned over as far as I could into the aisle to distance myself from his unbearable Bollywood music. When we were advised to turn off all devices and fasten seatbelts, I thought he might bash the stewardess. He cursed the cabin staff for being so damn efficient. “Why do people comply so quickly with rules?” he asked. His gruesome curiosity then had him trying to undo the lifejacket from its location under his chair...eeek!
I hit the call bell for help. Bad move, after that, he hit it whenever he felt like, thinking it was a game. I truly believed he was meant for a jumble sale, not as a co-passenger in a middle seat or any seat. This is what you get on dropping prices: people straight off the boat. Of course, when we were ready to commence our descent, he frogleapped over my seat to go to the toilet; this always is the moment nature calls. Let me not tell you how he got back in his seat and strapped, that’s another story for the Looney left-wingers.
Phew! Flying has its hazards, and bad weather is just one of them!
(The writer is a theatre director and novelist)