Friday, June 12, 2009

I'd hate to think I was getting you down

So what is it with social disobedience? As usual I notice that a fellow passenger believes in a personal exemption from the ‘no mobile phones in aircraft’ rule. Obviously, blatantly yacking on the phone as the Boeing 777 trundles down the runway would attract the wrong sort of attention, so my fellow passenger concealed the phone in her handbag and spent the entire trip sending and receiving text messages.

“Please stay in your seat with the seatbelt fastened until the aircraft has come to a complete stop.” Surely a reasonable request, but apparently not. As soon as the aircraft wheels hit the runway, and while bowling along at 150mph, half the passengers leap up, grab their luggage and start to shuffle towards the exit.

Why? It is of course impossible to get off the plane until the bridge or steps have arrived and the door is opened. Do these people really believe that jumping up early will accelerate door opening? They’d be better off yelling “Open sesame!”

Anyway, the cattle-class peons always have to wait until First and Business have alighted before they’re allowed out. And no-one is going to get out of the airport until the baggage handlers have done their thing behind the wall on that part of the carousel that we never see. Everyone at the passport queue – front or back – will have to wait for bags, and the choice therefore boils down to waiting in a queue in front of passport control or at baggage reclaim.

Another thing: why does standing right up against the baggage carousel make your suitcase arrive faster? If everyone stood behind the yellow line, then we could all see the luggage. As it is, the thronging masses make it impossible to see all but about six inches of conveyor belt.

Was that my suitcase/cuddly toy/fondue set? Missed it! Now I’ll have to wait until it comes round again because chasing it around the carousel would involve climbing over the aforementioned multitude.

OK, so I’ve got my suitcase. Now for the train. My understanding of “Please stand clear of the doors” seems to differ from everyone else’s. Democracy in action: It actually means “Feel free to block the doors and hold them open. It’s not like the rail company has a timetable to follow.”

Oh, but this disobedience is not limited to transportation. Far from it. I was at the pictures the other evening and, as per flippin’ usual the people on the row behind me had mistaken Cinema 6 for Speaker’s Corner. As the main feature started I found myself turning round and saying, “In the nicest possible way, would you shut up now, please?”

This is clearly the wrong approach. The more deserving technique is to stand up and bellow something along the lines of: “Shut the fcek up, you ignorant armhole!”

Such an approach would undoubtedly earn me an all-expenses trip to the minus-seven-star Al Wathba Desert Resort. It would appear that bad language is at least as serious as physical assault, at least when directed by a member of one group at a member of a different group.

Which brings me in a roundabout way to another of the many things currently getting right up my nose. Any individual who spends money he doesn’t have; who fails to pay his bills; who writes cheques on finest India-rubber, will very quickly find himself in Al Slammah, a perfect place from which to earn the necessary funds to pay his debts. And yet, laws concerning payment of debts seemingly only apply to the Little People.

Nakheel currently owes UK engineering frms $302 million (New Civil Engineer International, June 2009). The article starts with “Leading UK consultants were last month struggling to recover hundreds of millions of pounds from Middle East clients.” and goes on to provide some numbers.

It's a pity that the consultants don't have the same sort of clout as their clients. If you don’t pay your electricity bill, out come the fuses; if SEWA doesn't pay its bills, then mammary glands resistant to strain.

I have so far adopted Siegfried Farnon’s PNS system for debt recovery: (Polite, Nasty, Solicitor). I’ve not actually tried sending de boyz round. However, Sheikh trumps Policeman and Policeman trumps Peon, so this approach is doubtless futile.

Incidentally, yes I do know where the airport is. I’m also aware of the climate, taxation and crime rates elsewhere!



Paraglider said...

Good rant, and wholly justified. I would add one about confusing 7:30 start with 7:30 doors open, so just drift along casually in dribs and drabs and hold up proceedings for an hour or so. Or the one that says just because we've signed the contract doesn't mean we can't vary the terms (in our favour).

hemlock said...

dont let the world drag you down with it. when someone pisses you off, remember your bikes.
the sun will shine again. =)

Jayne said...

In the same bracket as those who insist on using cell phones/jumping up for luggage etc are the fcukwits who get through to arrivals & simply HAVE to block the exit as they stand/greet/sob their felicitations with 6-24 close relatives. Gawd forbid they should move aside & let the rest of the foot traffic 'arrive' as well.

As for the 'non payment' bit, you've given me a nudge into writing about what I'm dealing with right now, thanks to the utter cnuts (you must know how angry I am to have to use that word) that run a major property development company.

Seabee said...

You didn't mention the fellow passengers who bring into the cabin more baggage than you've put in the hold and use up your overhead locker space - and the airline staff who let them do it.

Mme Cyn said...

And since we're ranting about plane passengers, what about the "men" who have to spray perfume all over themselves before they arrive? Don't they know we can't escape their noxious fumes? Ugh.


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