Like many people, I’ve made the stomach churning, buttock clenching decision to pack up my belongings into a burlap sack and emigrate to Australia. Statistically, 60 people a day move here. From my own experience, another statistic is that at least 20 people a day will ask you ‘Why are you bothering?’. For some people, the decision to start a new life with my partner of 5 years is the equivalent of shitting on the Queen. During her Christmas speech. Whilst blowing raspberries to the tune of God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols. I’ve found I’ve had to be selective about how I explain why I’m going. Mention the weather and I’m told it’s too hot in ‘bloody Australia’. Mention the potential to live a better way of life, I’ve inadvertently brought down the entire infrastructure of Great Britain and it’s glorious empire.
That said, it was during the second of the two long haul flights that I started to side with the pompous arses.
It’s been about 4 years since my last long haul flight and I think I sweetened the memories over the years. Oh it was lovely. Quantas economy seats are very spacious. You dine off gold trays. You get rude massages off the stewardesses. The very fact I thought these things suggests to me that there is something fundamentally wrong with my cognitive processes and I should seek immediate attention with a bonce specialist.
This year, within two hours of the first flight to Australia, my brain sent signals to all interested parties in my body that there was no way on God’s feted Earth I would be sleeping despite it being an overnight flight. As such, I entrusted my very being with the in-flight entertainment system.
As with all in-flight systems, most of my enjoyment comes out of trying to spot all the instances of editing that come with watching films on a plane. Back in the day, we would all sit on a plane, with orange headphones attached to ears like cybrmen headsets and watch the same episode of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em as everyone else. Nowadays, you can watch what you want when you went within certain predetermined rules. What these rules are, I’ve yet to work out. For example, during the recent summer blockbuster The A-Team, I was allowed to see guns fired, people punched, but no actual explosions. Swearing was cut down to comedic dubbing.
‘Sir this is chicken STUFF.’
‘You think this is chicken STUFF. When I’m done they’ll think this chicken STUFF is chicken salad.’
Meanwhile, watching my 12th episode of the Simpsons in a row, I was treated to a scene of Bart Simpson, dressed as Johnny Rotton, dispelling everything as being ‘Bollocks’. Okay, yes, they were using bollocks in that way Americans tend to do when they want to use what they think is typical British slang – Alright, you wanker, this here is bollocks now slag off! – however, the irony that I got more swearing in 22 minutes than a whole action movie was not lost on me.
At first it was amusing, then annoying and then like everyone else I became a drone to the system. Clutching the remote in sweaty palms, I mumbled the mantra as everyone else on the plane; ‘Ooh, that’s only just come out. FIVE episodes of Friends?! Oh Ambassador, truly you are spoiling us’. I watched Shrek 4 for Christ’s sake.
Done with the goggle box embedded into the chair in front of me, I begin to spy on my fellow passengers. The passenger I took the most interest in was the lady two rows in front who was watching the remake of the Karate Kid. Why did this take my interest? Because she was ALWAYS watching the remake of the Karate Kid. I must have looked over every half hour or so to see Will Smith’s precocious little brat waxing on and off. So, suggesting that it’s about 2 hours long and the first part of the flight was 7 hours long… She’d already seen it 3 and a half times! Does anyone need that much Jackie Chan in their life? Evidently so.
Anyway, the point of the matter is that all my brain farts about how amazing it is to travel in economy made me realise I had been thinking absolute toss about flying and, as such, I began to resent Australia for being so far away. Stupid dumb red country. Ridiculous distance away. No frigging water or Government to speak of (which was true whilst I was in the air). Wail. Knash teeth.
And yet if I hadn’t done the flight, I wouldn’t be here now and, despite the fact I’m presently homeless, living in a room at the back of my mother-in-law’s house, I wouldn’t change this for a thing. So, suck it non-believers.
Ripper, bonza, etc. The end.