Friday, August 03, 2007

These things are sent to try us....

Considering that I’m a stroppy cow at the best of times, I thought that surviving six and a half hours before having a tantrum was pretty good going. It’s not even my fault really that I did; it’s that I have had to spend so much time in the company of other people. Airports are shitty places anyway but airports in summer are just evil, cursed places full of disappointment and stress.

London Gatwick on a muggy Thursday is not a nice place to be. Thankfully, Air Malta had laid on lunch for us fortunate passengers delayed by the non arrival of our plane at the Hilton Hotel. I paid for possibly the most expensive internet connection in history so for a few hours I could get on with doing some work, and fuck around on facebook. Well worth it, I say. I was even in such a jolly mood I lent my copy of heat magazine to some girls sitting next to me. I didn’t even complain when the Hilton bent me over and buggered me senseless by charging me £2.40 for half a lemonade which, it turned out, was mainly ice. C’est la vie! Thought I, sipping my drink, before trotting outside for a cigarette.

Cigarette. Hmmm. I’d kill for one of those now. No, really, I mean kill. At the very least throttle someone. Preferably someone who voted for the jizz stain that is this pointless piece of legislation. Because I think that’s why I was so stressed. There were shops for me to busy myself in, shoes for me to look at and alcohol to be purchased. But as I gazed longingly towards the tables where the smoking section used to be, I just felt unsatisfied. I felt more than unsatisfied. I felt a gnawing sensation of frustration rush over me like the waves on a beach as the tide comes in. Hungrily, I trotted off in search of something to eat.

Since there was only about 40 minutes until we would be called to the gate, I settled for something quick, easy and probably, gross. Ah! There were the golden arches of the McDonalds, with the satisfyingly long queues for the tills manned by talking monkeys!

I was not disappointed. McShops are normally fairly irritating places where one has to explain a million times that you don’t want that, you want the other thing. No....that one. This one really took the biscuit, though. I stood for 10 minutes in a queue that didn’t move, served by a girl who was getting confused about a chicken sandwich. Luckily, The Boy called me, and I hastily departed away from the cause of so much angst to hear his voice and listen to his words sooth me. That still left me somewhat hungry, though, and I mooched around the other possible watering holes to find a cure for my twitching tummy.

And tripped over about 30 screaming children.

Argh! Why have they all come out to bother me? And why are they all ginger? Why do their parents not keep them under control? When I was younger, I was under no illusions that misbehaving, especially in public, brought about the swift arrival of Mr Smack, and consequently I behaved myself. My parents didn’t bribe me with ice cream or other e-numbered sticky delights, nor did they simper at someone who may have had their foot run over by a suitcase which was being treated like a toy from a fractious child, instead of apologising.

Yet I have to put up with all this nonsense, and because I’m a woman, I’m expected to like children and tolerate it. Well, I don’t tolerate it, goddamit. I especially don’t tolerate it when I have not had a cigarette for hours and some dim twat at McCraps has just told me, after being in a queue for 15 minutes (Fast food anyone?) that the only thing they serve for vegetarians is a chicken fucking sandwich.
One problem with that, sunshine. It’s got chicken in it. If I didn’t have a problem about eating meat then I would order a burger. Sod that, I’d order a fillet steak, rare, with some mushrooms on the side and béarnaise sauce. Yum.

And I really don’t tolerate anyone being badly behaved, except myself, when I haven’t had a cigarette for 5 hours and I can’t get one because I’m in departures and there is no longer a smoking section, I have to queue up with a load of people who look like they are flying to Malta to join the rest of the cast from Coronation Street and I am hungry.

Am now on the flight and I can hear some of those children. I have at least another two hours before I can have a cigarette and, someone near me is farting with such frequency and power that I think they have some kind of rotting animal in their bowels. It’s either one of the two brassy divorcees from Essex or similar who are going to Malta to find Shirley Valentine style love, the blonde woman in front who is wearing stone washed denim, her boyfriend who is wearing a straw hat and chewing gum (with that hat it should really be an ear of corn) or the guy next to me on the other side who is reading Harry Potter and has come in his best line dancing outfit.

Just to be sure, I think I’ll kill ‘em all.

That is, after I have killed the person at Air Malta who failed to book me a vegetarian meal. It’s quite a long flight I’m on, and since didn’t manage to get anything in the airport apart from a bottle of water, I’m still rather hungry. I ordered a vegetarian meal when I booked my flight. I sent an e-mail yesterday when I tried to check in on line but found out that I couldn’t. And yet, I do not have a vegetarian meal. No; instead I have a dish of dog poo with green beans and rice. I hate rice and most of the beans are mixed up with the dog poo / beef so I can’t have those. And the pudding just looks gross. Ah! Emergency bread, cheese spread and maltese biscuits, thank the lord. Well, not that much, though, since he didn’t get me the original meal which would have at least allowed me some veggies.

The Air Malta staff are simply wonderful, though. Bringing me extra cheese and biscuits and plying me with lots of vodka and tonic. Thank heavens for them. And they’ve made sure that my ‘v-freak (as my beloved would call it) meal is ordered for my return journey. But I’m not going to dwell on that because the decent has started, and finally, my holiday is about to begin. Yippee!

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