Chapter Two – A Gateway to Hell, or what I call, the Airport
Walking across the tarmac to the airport entrance is such a depressing site. Hardly a haven to prepare yourself for a fantastic holiday. Just a bunch of miserable looking people awaiting their doom. Well, what do you expect? Delays, technical faults, hidden fees, being shoved in a tin tube for so many hours and queuing.
Queuing. I love it. (I don’t). It has got to be one of the most quintessentially British, uh, things? Yeah, things that define us as a nation. It is just programmed in our nature, even altered in our DNA (Too far? Thought so?). You can play, “Spot the Brit” when you’re abroad. What are the signs? Just one. We’re the only plonkers standing in an organised fashion, while being barged out of the way by the locals. A tut and a dirty look will do nothing here, old sport.
If Ross, my mum and I were to stand in a line right now, people would stand behind us. The funniest thing is that no one would dare to ask. They would just stand and assume it’s for something. I know this because the first thing that happened as we entered, apart from my brother wondering why there were tramps on the floor, was no one knew where to queue so instead of asking someone, they started forming a line.
Oh the tramp thing. People were laying all over the floor. Probably delayed flights. I assured my brother that tramps don’t have suitcases. If they did, I don’t think they would be tramps. Plus tramps don’t have flight tickets . . . or Armani suits. The line thing. Back on track. We had a guide speaking through a broken speaker, telling us where to go. He took his mouth away from the mouthpiece, still couldn’t understand him. Turns out the speaker wasn’t broken, just a strange man speaking in an inaudible tongue. Parseltongue?
Passport control, such fun! Why is it when security guards at passport control look at your passport picture, you automatically try to look like it? Or you smile, hoping that will help. As if a smile will get you anywhere. Well, actually, I have a funny story about a brothel where . . . Another time. But the smiling thing. We have to fear identity fraud. Imagine that.
Guard: “This bloke got through with your passport because you had the same smile”.
Me: “What? He’s fat, bald and . . . Nigerian”.
And that little camera, web camera thing. Can’t help but strike a pose. Vogue! Nope, felt wrong typing it but also so right.
While we were waiting in another bloody queue, I noticed one of those virtual assistants. You know, those glass figures with virtual people on them. I stood next to one and busted out my best C-3PO impression. Turns out it wasn’t virtual. That was on the other side of the control desk. I was doing the robot with a rather narked off security guard. Someone’s getting frisked. Guilty! He was just jealous of my moves. Well, that’s what I keep telling myself.
They say (Who are they? The writer folk) the trick to writing is keep writing. Watch people, experience life, blah, blah, blah. Keep a pad. Write things down as they happen. So if you see me writing, be honoured. I might be putting something good. You could be my muse. You should only be freaked out if it’s night and I’m in a bush or outside your house, or both. That would be weird. Not that I’ve done that or considered it. I haven’t. Maybe once. Nope, kidding. Or am I?
Anyway, the airport departure lounge. Great to watch and write about people. In fact, my brother nods over to an attractive lady. Shallow, I know. Well, might as well have a gander. I nod in approval. His face drops. He bursts out laughing. What? Apparently that lovely looking lady is actually a lovely looking lady boy. Oooookkkkaaaayyyy.
Icona Pop comes out blaring on the intercom. I don’t care, I love it. (What? I’ll get my coat). I start tapping my foot. As you do. Then the bass drops, head starts rocking. Standard. I look across to see two unlikely gentlemen; saying it politely because they were two of the most overweight blokes I’ve seen in a while, giving it some serious toe tapping. Deliverance had the infamous banjo battle, I’ve got the toe tapping triple threat tap off. (Try and say that several times). A little bit concerning that one of the first film references I do and keep referring to is Deliverance. Squeal, piggy! These guys could lose serious weight with their toe tapping. New fitness programme. Copyrighting that shit right now. I am so tempted to stage a flash mob with these oldies.
Watching the stunning ladies and the not so stunning, or as my brother calls them, the Jabbas. It’s bad when you look at certain couples and think either the girl is tapped to be so good looking and hanging with that fat guy. Or that guy is either loaded (not the American drugged slang word, the British rich slang one) or he has a huge appendage. Appendage, what a word. I mean, heart. What? Just me? Come on . . . Well, I suppose they have great personalities and . . . . Yeah, moving on.
I complained about paying £3 for a coffee outside the airport. The crying woman who sold it to me (I joke!) said, “Wait until you get inside”. In the Costa Coffee near the Check-in, £4! And in the Duty Free, what a load of shit. £5! I better have a never-ending buzz. Come into the Duty Free. No tax. BIG CON! They put everything flipping up so they don’t have to worry about tax. Must be a send-off gift from home. One last rip-off before you leave. If you leave us now, we’re take away the biggest part of you. Ooooohhh. Yeah my money. Should be cheaper on the plane. HAHAHA. Give the cabin crew your flight pass, your arm and go on, have a leg as well.
Anyhoo, my brother made a friend. Awww, travel companion. Friend. Flight friend. He ended up feeling guilty by an elderly gentlemen. He was put on some medication that we felt was not needed. More a cure for hypochondria after suffering an “anxiety” attack. Basically went overkill on a gym session, thought his chest was going to explode. That crappy diet. Beans and rice. Probably heartburn. He’s on the same pills as an octogenarian, who really needs them.
He’s like my Mum, not the hypochondriac thing. My mum is always able to strike up a conversation with anyone. Annoyingly, we always get an extra travel companion. In this case, it was an elderly Irish woman. A cross between Mrs Doutbfire and Mrs Brown. I’m not stereotyping, she does! Did you see her? Shut up. I felt sorry for the old dear. Travelling on her own. Meeting her Morris Dancing company abroad, apparently. Mental but good for her. Me, I don’t like people. They’re my family, so kind of have to put up with them. I joke. Don’t like them either. Oh God, they’re on our flight. They’re sitting with us. Super Duper! To the plane!