Terminal Hell

Terminal 5 Hell

Good to see Heathrow Airport’s new Terminal Five get off to a flying start. Lost baggage, confused staff and crashing computers caused long delays for crowds of suffering holidaymakers. Sounds like T5 is running normally already.

As a frequent prisoner of Terminal Hell, I’ve come up with a few tips to ease your Departure Lounge delirium.

Worrying Rash – Get to the front of the massive check-in line by making a call to the Centre for Infectious Diseases to find out if your test results are in yet.

Buggy Run – Electric airport buggies look fun to drive, so borrow one for an hour. Charge kiddies $1 each to go on your Magical Mystery Airport Tour, or charge them $2 each to have a burnout contest.

Air Scare – Amuse yourself scaring passengers at the observation deck by shouting “Oh my God! That plane’s not gonna make it! Oh… it’s in the air now, phew. Oh my God! Is that smoke coming from the engine? No, wait… it’s just a cloud.” Hours of fun (until you are escorted from the building by Security).

I’m Not Spartacus – Entertain crowds of bored travellers by inviting them to remake famous movies with your video camera. You will have enough bodies to remake Spartacus or Gladiator in the Departure Lounge.

Gimme an ‘R’ – Pretend you are a rock star. Buy a pair of Duty Free shades and walk closely behind a security guard to make it look like he is protecting you from hordes of screaming fans. Wave to people randomly, shouting “Rock and Roll!” and talk loudly on the phone to Axl about the sound check for the Rio gig.

Drunk Rock – Tell a hapless-looking bartender your rock band drank all the booze in the Executive Lounge so you have to sit at the common people’s bar. Your manager will take care of the bill after he coaxes Axl off the Departure Lounge roof. You’ll give them your autograph in exchange for a Rye on the Rocks.

Stinky Sweet – If you cannot find a seat to lay your weary head, visit the Duty Free store and spray on as many powerful perfumes as you can. In no time you will have a whole row of seats to yourself, if not the whole lounge.

Of course once you are released from the Terminal holding pen, you will again be trapped inside a flying chamber of horrors, and still hours away from your holiday destination.
Next year, go camping.


Piss-Up In A Brewery

Beer and BeerI was invited to the launch of a new beer at a local brewery. Free beer all night. Free food and entertainment. A dream come true!

I arrived early, dangling my party pass at a group of tourists on a brewery tour. They must have thought I was a local celeb attending an exclusive bash. I felt very hip.

I rushed towards the loud music and aroma of sweet, fresh brew. Huge illuminated cases of icy beer filled every corner. “Try our new beer!” beamed a bikini-clad blonde as she thrust her hand into the ice and pulled out a chilled bottle. Forget the feminist implications of this sexist PR tactic, I thought, this chick has free booze.

Cheesy Things
A large buffet table groaning with crudités, nachos and unidentifiable cheesy things was beckoning. Ignoring the more nutritious offerings, I dived straight into the chips and cheesy things. It was plentiful and free.

Two hours and five beers later I was still going strong. Beer tasted so much sweeter when it was free. But the bikini-clad girl’s smile had turned to a grimace. She was probably wishing everyone would go home. All right, she had to stand next to a freezer in her undies all night, but the beer wouldn’t open itself, would it?

Five hours and an unknown number of beers later I was struggling. I couldn’t leave – there were still bottles in the case, swimming amongst the melting ice cubes. Bikini girl was nowhere to be seen. The buffet was empty except for the crudités.

I chewed on a raw carrot but my stomach required grease to hold down the beer. I had to pee for the eighth time in an hour. My hazy brain reminded me I had work in the morning. I would leave, but I couldn’t stand up. The carrot was threatening a comeback. I never wanted to see another bottle of beer again. I had learned my lesson.

Annoyingly, I’ve just been invited to an exclusive party at a cocktail bar. I don’t want to appear ungrateful so I will just pop my head round the door and say hello. Maybe just one little drink…


Useful Things To Do With Snow

Pretend Drugs Fun

Snow. It’s fun for the first week, isn’t it? Four months of non-stop blizzards later, I’m tiring of the frosty white stuff.

The lady on the Weather Channel advised me to leave my nice warm house and try to embrace it. I went skiing but was politely asked to leave the slopes after mowing down a kindergarten snowboarding class. I made a snowman, but he scared me. There must be something else to do with snow.

Freezer – When the power goes out (and it will) rescue your beer and fish sticks by burying them in the snow. However, you will need to maintain a 24-hour guard to ensure raccoons, rats and neighbours keep away from your precious horde. That ice pick will come in handy after all.

Post No Bills – Pack your postbox full of snow. Postal workers will be unable to deliver those post-Christmas credit card statements and outrageous heating bills.

Time Capsule – Keep the kids amused by placing newspaper clippings, photos and post-Christmas credit card statements in a time capsule. Place under a pile of snow. The spring thaw (May) will reveal the capsule! Go down memory lane and revisit the good old days (January).

Popsicles – Pour orange juice on the snow and suck away.

Snow Art – Pile up snow and call it Art. Your front garden is now an art gallery so there may be Government tax credits to be had. Give your snow piles pretentious names like “Sky Dream Mastication #16” and collect $$$ from your local Arts department.

eBay – Might as well try selling it. If people can auction single cornflakes and donuts shaped like Pope John Paul II, who knows what else the idiots will bid for. Shovel snow into a jar and call it “Elasticated Sky Box #9” to add value. Your customer may complain the installation has melted when they receive it, but that’s like, Art , right?

YouTube Drug Fun – Pretend your garden is full of cocaine. Pretend to snort it and fall over a lot. Get your friends to film it and put it on YouTube. Isn’t YouTube a hoot?

Psychedelic Snow Drug Fun – Sprinkle food dyes around your neighbour’s snowy garden and act normal. When they ask you if you can see multi-colour snow, declare they must be on psychedelic drugs and call the cops. Get your friends to film it and put it on YouTube. What fun!

Now I’ve come up with all these great ideas for enjoying snow, the sun has come out and the damn stuff has melted into grimy grey blobs. Thanks for nothing, lady on the Weather Channel.


Speak English, Tiggy!

Nice Biscuits

I only noticed when I moved from England to North America – I spoke English. I don’t mean the regular English understood across the world, but a weird 1960’s comedy English I assumed had died out with my grandparents. How queer.

I thought I was doing well to fit into my new country. I started to use lots of ‘z’s in words, a very underused letter back in Blighty. I accepted that pants were the things you wore outside your underpants. My new car had a trunk, not a boot. I was still having trouble with the term ‘fanny pack’ as that does mean something awfully rude in England. Oh, rather.

I’d frequently lapse back into English. Apparently “Popping to the shops”, “Just nipping out for a bit” and “Joining the queue at the Post Office” are uniquely English pastimes. “Oooh,” my friends mocked. “Are you popping for a cup of tea? Nipping out to get some biscuits?” And then they would laugh, as apparently biscuits are something you have with chicken, not dunk in your tea. Chicken and biscuits? How simply dreadful.

Did I ever say I was nipping to or popping anywhere back in England? Maybe the spirits of my English ancestors had possessed me, angry at my overuse of the letter ‘z’ and attempting to claim me back as one of their own. I was being forced to say “Cheerio!” against my will.

Dick Van Dyke
Whatever was causing this strange phenomena, I was morphing into a stereotypical cheeky chirpy Brit, complete with bizarre Dick Van Dyke-style cockney accent, if yer please. And I’m not even from London.

My friends liked my spoken English after all. I thought I sounded like a walking, talking Carry On movie but they thought it was just awesome. Well, one is not amused. It seems a part of me will be forever England, whether I like it or not. What a palaver.