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SYD to LHR on a Plane

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Old Jan 15, 04, 4:31 am
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SYD to LHR on a Plane

Trip Report SYD to LHR on a Plane

The start of the holidays and I was really looking forward to returning to London after a 10-year absence. Being December, I was slightly hoping that it would be snowing in London for Christmas just like in Charles Dickens. Awaking early after the last day at work, too many whiskies had given me a head from hell and I was in a state about what to pack, wear take. It’s summertime in Sydney and it really is hard to get a clear head around maximum temperatures in the single figures let alone minimum. Feeling slightly extravagant, I decide 2 Berocca’s and nurofen are the answer and after a while I am ready to go.

Arriving at Sydney Airport I pay the cabbie handsomely for being kind enough to turn the air con on. He reciprocates by getting off his backside and hauling my case out of the boot. So there I stand waiting kerbside for the attendant to collect my bag and escort me to the check-in counter. I wait………….and wait ………and wait. I decide that perhaps they didn’t realise it was me and venture inside to find the executive premium counter myself.

It’s appalling that airports are so full of, people. They really are a hindrance and make it very difficult to manoeuvre. After asking a few people in uniform where my exec premium counter is and receiving blank looks as if I were from another planet I do eventually find it on my own. How was I meant to know they were from some “group” checking in for a flight to some CAMP! EEK!

I walk purposefully towards the nice lady sitting at the desk and am delighted to see that she has arranged to have flowers on the counter for me. I explain to her that I’m flying to London and hand over my ticket. The nice lady then asks some very funny questions about who packed my bag and if there was anything sharp in my carry-on? I really thought I was trying to be nice and couldn’t think what I said to her to think I was being sharp with her. Just a misunderstanding I felt and I apologised and mentioned that my case was on the kerb waiting for her to collect. I then thanked her very kindly for buying me the flowers and gathered them with my little ticket and wandered off into the terminal.I was rather annoyed that “little miss” started shouting at me about my bag but then I though she was just trying to say how delighted she was to see me and I waved accordingly.

Into the terminal and the nice young gentleman at the desk asked to see my documents so I handed him my bag. I told him about my latest copy of Wallpaper and GQ and how looking forward to reading them I was. Unfortunately he really didn’t share the same taste and was only after some slip that “little miss” had given me together with my pocket stamp album. Beyond the obsessive stamper and another barrier between my seat, and me some contraption on which I am asked to place my belongings. I start to feel concerned at this point and mention how surprised I am that they don’t know who I am, all to no avail of course and then away my belongings go into the darkness of some conveyor. Resigned to not having my latest magazines and personal habituaries, I panic at that moment, realising that I really could not last without my favourite lip balm so I dive elegantly (I thought) through the forboding flaps of the contraption to rescue my bag. Well, they could have explained things clearer is all I can argue.

Travel is not what it once was and if I digress reader, it’s only to ask you to reflect on times of past.

Past the discomfiture of rolling through some x-ray device has none of the comforts of a CT scanner and having some “attendant” review my body in profile as if some carry-on, I trundle forward seriously in need of prescriptive comfort or a Bloody Mary. I’m feeling rather fragile now and with mere hours to spare I seek sanctuary and assistance with my now wilting flowers in the lounge only to be pestered more about “that” pass. Why are these people so obsessed by this piece of paper?

Once presented, solitude at last and I thank [big miss] her kindly and request that she find a proper vase for my flowers and bring me a Bloody Mary, hot and spicy! Another unusual response but then I convince myself that it is the difficult environment of working in air reeking of kerosene that makes them flare their nostrils such.

Settling in finally to some peace and solitude I worry momentarily about my decision not to wear underwear and how unfortunate that it was displayed for all to see on the conveyor. I sip on my BM and scoff at my sensibilities. Looking around I see a number of people animated into the phones all mentioning “I’m in the first class lounge…blah.. blah …. I console myself with another hot and frisky BM that I was directed to make myself by big miss, hmm, getting uncomfortable in here.

Boarding is announced and I stop by the drinks counter and select a few beverages for the flight concerned that they may not have enough onboard. I walk forever to the parking spot cursing that the plane could have parked closer. You guessed it, more people infatuated with that BP, I submit to their little fetish and stroll aboard. Yet more scrutiny of the BP, I start to think about my own values at this stage but resist convincing myself that it’s some sort of procedure. Once viewed and told he has a seat over there just for me I ask him for champagne, I’m feeling great!

Onboard now and I will write about the flight once I can find a power point.


[This message has been edited by GoldFlyer (edited Jan 15, 2004).]
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Old Jan 15, 04, 6:50 am
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This is fabulous! Where is the next instalment? What do you mean you haven't finished it yet? I'll not tolerate being kept in suspense - don't you know who I am?

P.S: Oh, and make me a Bloody Mary while you're at it, there's a good chap...
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Old Jan 15, 04, 8:45 am
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Look forward to hearing more
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Old Jan 15, 04, 9:46 am
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Very funny...could do with some more!
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Old Jan 15, 04, 10:41 am
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Yes please keep it coming with the next bit.
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Old Jan 15, 04, 10:43 am
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This is absolutely the most entertaining trip report I have read! Thank you for lifting my spirits this difficult (little too many drinks last night) morning

Cheers!
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Old Jan 15, 04, 6:58 pm
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Part 2

Over the years, I have learnt tolerance towards others. I appreciate that my upbringing has brought privilege and insight that many others would be incapable of even dreaming of. On occasion when I venture out to gather refreshments from my local liquor store, I make it a habit to politely nudge past other people at the counter reasoning that their cheap little bottle of plonk requires as much time in that bottle as it can get – my bit to promote wine appreciation and I do see the gratitude on their faces as I leave with my purchases, why else would they all watch me leaving the store with such amazed looks on their faces?

Tolerance is tested today and I look anxiously towards the reception area and the head waiter in an almost hypnotic state with his sordid little fetish with boarding passes, grabbing at them and gesturing with his arm motioning the passengers some where down the back as if he is mentally sorting them for his pleasure later in the flight. My lips are parched so I walk towards him, with my pass and remind him gently about my delicate state. Another flare of the nostrils and I suggest that he not stand so close to the open door as it is clearly not good for him to be breathing those fumes. I note his name as Mr. 6 and plan to speak to the Captain later. I’ve seen Star trek so 10 of 9 or Mr. 6 whatever you like Champagne would be nice.

A nice lass rescues me in the end and introduces herself as Purser Gaylor, a strange name but I figure her parents were from one of those interesting little countries in Africa with equally strange names, struggling to make it on their own after the British decided the weather was too appalling to bother with anymore and moved back to the gentle comforts of home. Purser Gaylor returns with my Champagne and I comfort myself with that and a little Valium.

I find it astonishing that so many people sit in those dreary, cramped seats down the back when there are still plenty of empty seats in my section, perhaps they didn’t notice that they were empty and once more I ponder their sheep like nature and congratulate myself on being so blessed. Finally that head waiter seems to have had enough of those fumes at the door, he’s looking slightly ruffled with a pulsating temple, he glances at me and a moist glow is visible across his brow, to each their own I think but I take precautions and secrete my boarding pass into the secret pocket of my jacket. I’m horrified to find that I had failed to remove the pass from a previous trip and wonder just how much of a “turn on” this would be to him.

Captain Merri’s voice crackles to life over the sound system welcoming us aboard and telling us we will be stopping in Singapore in about 8-hours. I didn’t really appreciate this change of itinerary at first worrying that I hadn’t really packed for the tropics but figured a few hours would not make much difference. I make a mental note to see the Captain later and have a chat about a few things.

The crew were very obviously in the festive spirit and before take-off, Purser Gaylor breaks into a little pantomime act with a life jacket and seatbelt. I found it a little incomprehensible at first and looked furtively at the other passengers to see if they were getting anymore out of it than I. It was then that I noticed other crew members doing the same thing further back in some sort of synchronised routine. I get it now, well sort of and laugh appreciatively at their clever antics and applaud politely in encouragement. I couldn’t help but think the routine would have been more entertaining if they had all stood together when they performed. They would probably have received a much more rousing response from the passengers had they done this. Sure it wasn’t a polished performance but I applauded as loudly as I could, once more congratulating myself that my fortunate upbringing meant I was the only person who understood what they were up to and wondering why others looked so miserable with their lot.

The Captain steers the plane away from the terminal and appears lost as he wanders around the tarmac. I’m a little concerned at this and wonder how on earth he will find Singapore leat alone London. We come to a stop and sit there for a few minutes and I realise that the silly bugger has probably stalled the plane or perhaps he’s just looking at a map. Eventually he moves us forward and he appears to have found a nice long stretch of road and the right direction to Singapore, we roar on down. I chuckle to myself as we pass the terminal again and wonder if the Captain doesn’t feel just a bit foolish.

Things seem to go from bad to worse and once again I find myself thirsty. I tried to keep my Champagne but Purser Gaylor insisted that I had to surrender the glass. I look anxiously for her in the cabin and notice her sitting down on a little seat by the door next to another member of staff – brushing her hair with a hairbrush. Break time already I thought. They have barely started work. I wave at her to gain her attention and I notice her nostrils flare as well. It can’t be good working on an aeroplane if you start getting symptoms like these. I decide to leave her, confident that she will soon change her attitude if left to think for a moment. I glance at the menu and fuss with my arrangement of flowers that I sat next to me on the window ledge. Reverse psychology always works and I knew that once she thought I was no longer interested in getting her attention she would be seeking mine.

In yet another synchronised move the two attendants launch to from their seats and commence drink service.

The other waiter starts to hand out presents of pyjamas and a toilet pack. I notice his name badge, Naïve Dobel, and see a pattern of festive character in his and Captain Merri’s names. I chuckle again and accept the gifts with kindness. A little disappointed that they hadn’t been wrapped, I always like to feel my presents through the wrapping and try to guess what’s inside. Oh well.

It’s interesting to watch adults act like big kids with presents and I notice that many of them are so excited about their pyjamas and other things that they have disappeared somewhere to return decked out as if ready for bed. Odd behaviour I thought as it was barely past noon and luncheon was about to be served. I thought to myself how uncouth they were to be dining with fellow passengers in pyjamas although it did look kind of fun. By now my Champagne and Valium were working magically in unison and my normal sensitivities to such group jollying evaporated and I decided to join in. Grabbing my pyjamas I ventured out to find the change room.

The next cabin I discovered was business class. How odd I thought that people would want to study on an aeroplane when we were all having such fun in the other cabin. To each there own and I asked one of the students what sort of business they were studying today. An incomprehensible mumble about minding my own and I momentarily thought of suggesting a class in manners would be of more benefit to him but I had pyjamas to wear and a party about to happen so I sauntered past up the stairs to the change room where another class was being taken. It’s like a school bus I thought.

Not wanting to attract another comment from these students, many of who looked well beyond study I ask the waiter for directions. He motions me forward saying “…cockpit” as he industriously arranges meals on a tray. It looks like lunchtime kiddies. I saunter forth to the “cockpit”. A commotion reaches my ears from behind and I recognise that pesky character with the boarding pass fetish rushing towards me asking to see mine again. Concerned I quicken my step padding at my secret pocket. I reach the door just as Captain Merri passes through into another door to the side. I lunge forward for the second time today looking over my shoulder as I close the door behind me just in time to see Mr. 6 trip on one of the students notebooks carelessly protruding into the aisle. Tisk, tisk.

I’m starting to feel unsettled once more and thank my good sense in bringing my Champagne with me and I’m sure I have my pills on me somewhere. There’s a nice man sitting looking out the window surrounded by dials. He doesn’t notice me, as he must be listening to music with those headphones on. I think it’s strange that they want me to change in this room but then judging by the cramped confines of this plane I convince myself that there probably isn’t room for such niceties as a change room. I try not to disturb the man looking out the window so I settle my glass on the console and remove my cloths. The pyjamas are fun although I worry about my decision earlier not to wear underwear. The material seems to want to reveal all. I astound myself with my quick thinking and reach for the little tote bag that they came in. I quickly fashion together a rather fetching little waist arrangement with the bag noting that I can place my boarding pass in there. I’m sure Mr. 6 will think twice about grabbing for my groin, at least I hope.

There appears to be some impatient sods waiting outside so I gather my things and open the door to be met by Mr. 6 and Captain Merri both looking ruddy faced and hysterical. I speak curtly to the Captain about Mr. 6’s shenanigans explaining how I can tolerate the peccadillos of others so long as they are in the privacy of their own home. The Captain appears concerned at my report and walks behind me to my seat. I feel safe at this and walk past the students who were watching the scene from their seats. I notice they all see my ingenuity with the tote bag and I thrust my hips forth in my best model walk to accentuate my accessories.
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Old Jan 15, 04, 8:13 pm
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ROTFL

Please dont stop now.
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Old Jan 15, 04, 10:46 pm
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Part 3

Walking through the downstairs business class it appears my reputation as a fashion stalwart preceded me. All the students were out of their seats looking as the Captain and I walked through. Not a lot of study happening but I think they realise how absurd the concept was and lunch was soon to be served. The Captain motioned towards my seat and started to speak about some rather technical issues. I smiled knowingly, not really understanding why he chose to bring me into his confidence or really what he was on about. He then mentioned a security threat and sought my co-operation. I was taken aback and explained I was a pacifist but would do what was required should the “threat” materialise. I figured he understood I was a person of good judgement and ability and would be an asset to him should action be required.

Purser Gaylor appeared with a somewhat quizzical expression on her face before I realised that she was no doubt worried about my empty glass. I offered it forward and thanked her for being so thoughtful. Captain Merri walked off with Purser and spoke with her for a moment. I believe he was explaining our situation and my important role in the matter should it be required. The other passengers looked slightly alarmed and I was somewhat embarrassed that they were all looking toward me. Ever the social animal I am, I quickly acknowledged them and toasted their health with my freshly arrived Champagne. What a life I thought.

Naïve moved about the cabin in readiness for lunch performing the most extraordinarily clever trick of making a little table out of pieces of wood someone had carelessly left in the side panel of the aircraft. I was somewhat relieved in a way, as I didn’t feel terribly confident about having to find the dining room on this thing, especially after my last adventure. So lunch for one it was and I settled in, moving my flowers onto the newly laid table. We all looked so terribly smart in our matching pyjamas with little tables in front of us. Oddly, the other passengers appeared not to be in a talkative mood with many placing headphones on. It was then I realised that they had their own TV and I wondered if I would get one.

Purser Gaylor arrived with my entrée and offered a selection of wine. Yes, I’d had enough bubbly I felt and reached to hand her my flute clumsily knocking it off the table onto the floor in front of me. I apologised and offered to move my seat while she ducked under the table to retrieve the glass. I searched for the little button that moves the seat only to hear Purser scream out from under the table. Oh dear, what had I done. Purser by now on her knees looked up at me cupping her forehead in her hand and pointing with the other to a little television that seems to have popped out of the seat somewhere and hit her in the head. So many things lying around this cabin I thought. Someone will get hurt if we hit turbulence. Naïve at this stage had rushed from the other side of the cabin and I detected a slight look of amusement on his face at poor Purser’s misfortune. Another little nostril flare and Purser was away to bring me some wine.

The luncheon went on without further incident and by now I was feeling rather tired from all the adventure. The cabin was rather warm and I looked around to find Purser or Naïve. They were pouring coffee and liqueurs so I decided to reach up and adjust the air myself. Of course it’s always difficult to know what does what on these aeroplanes but I was certain there was an air vent above my head somewhere. A small panel was evident and I used my intelligence and surmised the controls were behind. After a little struggle I managed to open it and was somewhat startled that a number of face masks came dangling out. I recognised them from the pantomime but feeling weary I didn’t wish to get into the party games yet. At this stage Purser came over and looked worriedly at the masks dangling before me. I assured her I was fine so she set about to try to put them back in place. It was a little awkward for her and I suggested that I get out of my seat to give her clearer access.

Standing patiently, I began to feel hot and wondered if I had eaten something disagreeable. I decided to perch myself on the arm of the seat while I searched in my pouch for my pills. Just as I was sipping my wine with my pill Purser lets fly with another of her screams frightening myself, my glass and my mouth full of wine all simultaneously into the air. I look around in panic to see what the girl was up to while everyone else in the cabin stood at their seats. Purser was waving hysterically, bunched up against the side of the seat in front of mine pointing at my table. I fear the worst having read in the newspaper of a rat that had been found recently on a plane. Naïve moved forward lifting the tablecloth gingerly to peer below. Relief, not a rat but somehow my seat had collapsed into a flat position pinning poor Purser to the seat in front. Naïve moved swiftly and pressed at the control pad on the seat arm from which I had just moments before leapt. Purser doesn’t appear to be having a good day and I wonder if she is always this clumsy.

I apologise to the pleasant looking gentleman across from me who unfortunately gathered the majority of my wine in the incident. I look annoyingly towards Purser realising that I had spat my pill and would need to take another. After a clean up the cabin settled down and the gentleman across resumes his cognac and movie.

Thank you for the encouragement. Reading back I suppose there is a funny side to this report. I'll continue soon.
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Old Jan 15, 04, 11:04 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by GoldFlyer:
Reading back I suppose there is a funny side to this report. I'll continue soon.[/B]</font>
My mother taught me that only the ill-bred laugh at the misfortunes of others... but then again, she clearly hasn't met you. Move over Mr Bean, GoldFlyer is here. More! More!

P.S: Can I please buy the movie rights?
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Old Jan 16, 04, 12:21 am
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This is absolutely hilarious! Waiting eagerly for the rest of the report.

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Old Jan 16, 04, 2:33 am
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Well thank you Mr. Mad_atta, are you sure you too don't work for this airline, they appear to share the same funny name as you? My Mother once told me something about Manners, he must have found employ with you. This was shortly before he was asked to leave our service. Shame really as I did like him and wondered why Mother was so concerned when she caught him sleeping with a life size doll.

Welcome too to my newest reader igel, I'm sure I have something in my bathroom cabinet that sounds similar to your name. Kiwi Flyer, well pigs fly too I'm led to believe so keep trying pet.

I digress but I wanted to thank my puny readership for your encouragement. Never one to judge size over quality I treasure you all. I do appreciate your delightful words and look forward to the cards that I'm sure you have sent. I feel you are sharing this journey with me in spirit, knowing how difficult it is to recount some of the experiences on this trip. I will forge on - after a visit to the local cocktail bar to gather my faculties. Now for my Valium.

[This message has been edited by GoldFlyer (edited Jan 16, 2004).]
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Old Jan 16, 04, 7:12 pm
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Part 4

The movie “Flight Path” is another of those Art House style films based on the silent movies of early last century. I’m puzzled at the direction the Director is taking and wonder if he had perhaps taken something himself. I consult the guide to see how long the movie lasts. I figure I’ve devoted an hour to the twaddle and it must end soon. I also believe in giving people a fair chance and I expect the ending will no doubt be spectacular. I scold myself for not selecting a better-known film. A shiver electrifies my spine and I look to see Mr. 6 has entered the cabin. I wonder what grubby little act he is up to now. He appears to be handing out slips of paper to the passengers and shaking their hands. I shudder at what he has written and the thought that he will approach me. I need to think of something quickly. I sit upright, wiping the dribble from my pyjamas. The thought occurs to me to go to the bathroom and wait until he has worked his slimy little act through the cabin.

I gather my bag and slip quietly beyond the curtain. Purser is resting behind a trolley with an ice pack on her head and her legs resting on a bag of soiled linen. I feel like saying something to her to cheer her up but decide I should escape to the bathroom while the coast is still clear.

In my refuge I quietly close the door and place my bag against it. I observe how small the room is and hope that my confinement is brief. I decide to run some water and freshen up. The taps are annoyingly stuck and refuse to stay on so I fashion a little wedge from my handkerchief and jamb it into place. It works a treat but the water is slow in filling the basin so I take a seat on the change table that I place across the toilet seat. I must have dozed and woke up dreamily. I couldn’t see anything in the bathroom and I quickly worried that there was a fire. I could feel my feet burning and jumped in panic. It was then I heard the sound of water and realised that the taps were still running flowing water onto the floor. The smoke was steam and I calmed myself chuckling at my forgetfulness. My bag had blocked the vent at the bottom of the door allowing the water to reach a few centimetres inside the cubicle. I did what I could with the hand towels and disposable seat covers but I knew I would need something from outside to mop up the water properly. I opened the door and watched guiltily as the carpet soaked up the spillage, again I marvel at my ingenuity. In the dim cabin light it was barely noticeable how wet the carpet was. Purser was no longer resting and my mind went straight to the laundry bag her feet were resting on. I slung my bag over my shoulder and snuck across to gather some linen to mop the remainder of the water.

Walking back across the galley I here a voice from whence I had just come. My heart skipped and I lunged for the third time today. I pushed firmly on the door feeling a heavy weight behind it followed by Pursers now all too familiar screams. I manage to wedge the door open just enough to see Purser’s never regions thrust skyward into the air with her head shockingly down the toilet bowl. She was covered in the towels and paper I had used to wipe the floor. My judgement of her took a dive as I considered her in pose. I feel deflated that I have discovered another deviant on the crew. I wondered at her depravity. If only she remembered to lock the door. I walked back to my seat forlorn yet grateful that no one else had seen me witness her antics.

Refreshed after my makeshift sauna I feel it’s time to stretch my legs and venture around the aeroplane. Looking across the aisle I see my neighbour has a visitor at his side. I’m confused that my neighbour is prone in his bed and still taking visitors so I ask the gentleman at his side what was happening. It turns out that he’s a doctor sitting in the business class when he was called to attend my neighbour. It appears he had overdosed on prescription drugs and alcohol. I chat briefly to the doctor about the dangers of such “cocktails” and wonder as to my fellow passengers inability and judgement. I leave the good doctor to his medicine and walk to the far curtain lest I come across Purser. I still need time to recover and convince myself that she is a good girl just lacking guidance. This flight is starting to become freaky I decide.

Beyond the curtain once more and Purser is again sitting by the trolley with Naïve padding at dark blue stains on her blouse. The same blue is visible in patches on her hair, she looks a fright and my heart goes out to her when I consider that her screaming is most likely attention seeking behaviour. I read about it once in Hello Magazine, some minor Royal having difficulty dealing with his lesser position on the Royal Tree was known to do something similar at State Functions. In the end he was sent packing to Australia for a few months away from the snapping reporters of Fleet Street as it was then. I reflect on times changed and look again at Purser. I’m always surprised at my compassion in the face of adversity. I approach Purser with my head tilted slightly to the side as a signal to my humanity.

Purser Gaylor’s hairbrush is on the trolley and in a moment that takes me back to my childhood I pick it up and begin combing it through her hair. I did this most evenings with my Mother. We used these moments to talk about our travels and plan our next journey. It was always such fun conjuring up weird and wacky itineraries as I stroked the brush through her long hair, strangely erotic as we would always get over excited at what we had planned and rush to the telephone to call the special Premium Executive Emerald with Dangly Bits number to which Mother was a member and I can but aspire to book our next trip. Sadly she contracted some exotic virus in Borneo that resulted in all her hair falling out and shortly afterwards died when she inadvertently opened the main door of an aircraft while it was taxiing along the runway. I think she became bewildered while looking for the bathroom as her doctor had recently changed her medication. It was very disturbing trying to gather her together as she always told me she wished to be buried complete in an iron casket – some phobia towards worms I believe. In the end it was easier for me to arrange with the airline to buy the offending wheel and have the funeral agents custom make a casket. Mother was always so unique and I saw poetry in this send off.

Back to Purser and with all my charm I think I’ve convinced her that the blue shade to her hair has matched remarkably well with her coral lipstick, a few pumps of that delicious new fragrance from 4711 and I feel certain the toilet deodorant smell will calm into the background. A faint smile creeps across her face and I feel it’s time to leave her. I tell her about a story where a boy had cried wolf once too often and later wound up in bed with a girl called Goldilocks who had a strange fetish that involved visiting her neighbours and pretending to blow their house down – absurd I know but it has merit. I knew from her expression that my simple story had given her a lot to think about.


[This message has been edited by GoldFlyer (edited Jan 16, 2004).]
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Old Jan 16, 04, 10:47 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by GoldFlyer:
The movie “Flight Path” is another of those Art House style films based on the silent movies of early last century.</font>
*SPLORF* You might want to put a warning on this report.
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Old Jan 16, 04, 11:17 pm
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Location: Currently a man without a country; American Airlines-3MM, Executive Platinum; US Airways-Doesn't Matter AAnymore; Hilton-Diamond; Starwood-Platinum; Hyatt-Diamond
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This sets the benchmark for all humor-infused trip reports. No "the wheels left the pavement at 14:58 and were 1 meter into the rather sharp takeoff at 14:58:03....just laughs.

I tried to attain this level of humor in my little Hong Kong dities...but this takes the cake, the toilet and the Purser Prize!

Love it...keep it coming!
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