*CLICK CLICK CLICK*
*SCRIBBLE SLIDE BUMP* “Sorry” *CLICK CLICK CLICK*
*RUSTLE RUSTLE NOM NOM RUSTLE RUSTLE*
*AAAAHHTCHUU RUSTLE SNIFF NOM*
My technology post reminded me of my journey back from the UK a couple of weeks ago, and the text above pretty much details what the audio version of this memory would be like.
I travelled to the UK for work and as such, got to experience the lovely travel experience of a decent airline. Don’t get me wrong, I know that you get what you pay for with the likes of Ryanair etc, but it is still nice to not have to sprint to the front of the line to make sure you get a decent seat. That said, boarding took ages due to the numpties that apparently can’t read a screen that says “Now boarding: Rows 14-22”.
Still, I had selected my seat of choice a day or so before departure (very civilised), so I wasn’t concerned about being trapped in the aisle waiting for these morons dickheads numpties lovely people to get their luggage stowed and take their seats.
I chose the aisle seat as I assumed there would be some form of delay thanks to the apparent Ice Age unfurling all over Europe and wanted to make sure I wasn’t clambering over people to get to the loo should the need arise. Of course, the problem with being one of the first to board…and having an aisle seat means that you will get semi-comfortable before one or both of your seating buddies will turn up and need you to move.
Sure enough, a few minutes after sitting and starting to believe that my row of chairs was going to be empty aside from me, El Blobbo turns up. Now, before you think bad of me for referring to him as such, I realise that I am of the larger persuasion myself…but this guy takes the biscuit (actually, he probably takes the whole pack…and anything else he can find that looks remotely edible)…he was certainly the kind of person that makes us bigger guys feel a whole lot better about ourselves.
Sorry, I digress. El Blobbo has booked himself into the window seat..so I get up and allow him to squeeze into his chair (and some of the middle one too), and then take my seat again. 10 more minutes pass and I am just starting to believe that I may end up with the extra comfort of the middle seat being free, when El Techno turns up.
Fortunately (at least for the seating arrangement), El Techno makes me look like El Blobbo, so we all appear to be relatively comfortable. El Blobbo immediately falls asleep with light (read ear bleedingly loud) snoring. El Techno decides that the overhead storage compartments are for losers…and brings a briefcase, laptop bag, coat and a whole load of paperwork into his small seat between El Blobbo and myself. During seating he manages to avoid hitting El Blobbo…but unfortunately hits me with, well, everything it would seem. I get the paperwork on my lap, the coat over my head, the laptop bag and briefcase hit both of my knees with deceptive force.
Through the pain I realise that he has finally settled…and got out an iPhone to add into the mix. So now, he is taking up more space than El Blobbo and knocking into me with monotonous regularity when swapping between the iPhone, briefcase and laptop. Of course, it would appear that he has never travelled before as…just as I am closing my eyes and getting comfortable, I am disturbed by the stewardess to get this idiot to put his seatbelt on and take off the iPhone headset.
We then taxi (technical aviation term, we didn’t jump out and get in a black cab) to the runway..where the captain informs us that, due to the French Air Traffic Control issues….we will be a little delayed in taking off. Of course, noone actually knows how long the delay will be, so we can’t listen to iPods or mess with computers etc…that would be far too civilised. Instead, I am forced to listen to El Blobbos Snoring Concerto in Oh My God flat.
Eventually the French come back from their onion soup break, and we are given the all clear to set off. El Techno is asked to take off his iPod headphones again, El Blobbo remembers to ask for his extra sized seatbelt, and we are off. At this point, I have finished the amazing in-flight magazine and am looking around the cabin for anything of interest. Now I come to think of it, why do they call it an in-flight magazine…it isn’t stored behind some sort of cupboard that only opens when the plane is actually on the move..in-aircraft magazine would be more acceptable surely..Anyhoo, I digress.
As the flight is only scheduled for an hour and a quarter, the crew start tearing around, trying to get the drinks and nibbles out to everyone, and I start trying to contort myself so that a) My shoulders aren’t getting hit every few seconds by the crew and trolley and b) I don’t end up in El Technos lap. I manage to avoid sitting in his lap and the doctors assure me that I will regain full movement of my shoulder in 12-14 weeks.
It’s a busy flight so, as I have chosen the rearmost seat, I am forced to wait until last to get my free coffee and biscuit. The snoring to my left is as loud as it has ever been until, that is, the crew get the trolley to me. They haven’t even said a word and El Blobbo is awake and ordering a coffee, 2 orange juices, some crisps, a couple of biscuits and a roll.
El Techno declines, presumably, because any form of liquid would pose a major electrocution risk and I take a single coffee and biscuit.
As I settle in to have my coffee, I notice the guy opposite me for the first time. I will call him Sneezy Bean McFerret as, well, he sneezed…a lot…and looked like a cross between Mr Bean and a ferret. There were two reasons for my astute observation of this fine example of a hybrid man/ferret….#1 he was in the seat that I should have had, on his own in the entire row. #2 was his peculiar nut eating habit. He would rummage around in the packet…with his nose almost buried in there…pull out a single nut, look up…throw the nut into his mouth…chew, sneeze and then repeat.
Now, I am not talking a CW’esque cutesy “chu” type affair, I am talking a full on…probably slowed the plane and caused the turbulence, gale force 9, Wizard of Oz, knock over the staff and cause a number of natural disasters over Europe type of sneeze. A sneeze so loud that it made my ears bleed and I think crashed El Technos laptop. Honestly, it was a sneeze of comedic proportions…cartoon makers would have been fearful of basing a sneeze on this one in the fear of noone believing it.
You couple this with the rapid click click clicking from next to me and the snoring from the window and I did not have the most pleasant journey home imaginable. I should note though, that even with all of this…and the typical latecomers trying to cram oversized suitcases into the full overhead lockers, by attempting to move and indeed crush my laptop bag…Ryanair should still pay attention about how to run a flight.
In other news…I get to do it again soon….something tells me I will be making a phone call to discuss my travelling companions in advance…they make you specify your size, the amount of technology you plan on using and if you have a FUCKING NUT ALLERGY but intend to eat them anyway….right? RIGHT?