Now that IS an offensive weapon


Oh crap, it’s going to get cold again. After a Christmas of muddy walks and hot baths down in Wiltshire, I have been back at work for three days. To save on energy, the managers of the office building (a huge and not very sightly block uninhabited over Christmas break apart from me and six lucky colleagues) haven’t turned on the heating. So we sit in our coats, complaining, discussing our best/worst new year’s eves and waiting until the clock gets far enough round to permit a trip to the pub.

My flatmates both, eventually, managed to get away from sleety chaos – one to South Africa and one to Germany. South Africa was fine but Germany was terrible. EasyJet simply cancelled all their flights out of Gatwick without explanation, even though every the other airline was still flying, and poor Carina had to come back after five hours’ sitting around and try again with a different airline a couple of days later.

Now this bloke Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (yes, I did have to look it up – thanks Beeb) tries to blow up a plane by setting his gusset on fire. What with the extra levies, capricious cancellations and now even more security, I really do find myself rethinking the whole notion of air travel: if I can avoid it, I will. Not sure that anyone agrees with me, given the number of people who seem to choke up airports on the rare occasions I go, but maybe the prospect of full frisks or body scans will be enough to put people off flying quite so often. It’s such a hassle and we’re treated like bloody cattle, corralled and fenced and waved through and shouted at. Sod that. And if there’s a chance that we’ll all have to strip to our scanties while someone fiddles about with our undercarriage, we should be back in our cars and driving to down-at-heel coastal resorts in no time. And thus, post-Copenhagen grand failure, able to cut chunks out of aviation pollution.

Just think about it. You’ve spent a fortune on tickets, new clothes, credit card charges and the privilege of being allowed to take a suitcase with you. You left home two hours early in case the trains are delayed. You allowed an extra two hours at the airport for the minimum four queues that you’re going to have to join (check-in, security, passport control, boarding. Six if you eat, drink or go for a pee). It’s taken you three times longer than the flight to get as far as the duty free. But just prior to that, you’re going to have to partially disrobe or have someone else stare through your clothes. Not only that, but you’re going to have to watch lardy strangers do the same thing. The thoughts of seeing my fellow passengers’ party parts is enough to turn me green in more than one sense. Ew. I’m taking the ferry.


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