I’ve moaned before about the Everest of all tortures; that is the twenty-four hour long-haul flight from Sydney to London. One that rivals any agony ever to be invented for breaking terrorists by the Americans at Guantanamo Bay.
Well, somehow we survived it.
Unlike childbirth, it’s not so easy to forget every moment spent gritting your teeth on the cusp of your body’s breaking point once you step off the plane. From the wails of desperate children ringing in your ears and the sight of true desperation of their parents trudging aimlessly around the economy deck, to the queues for putrid toilets and cold, congealed scrambled eggs, if any teenager needs a lesson in humility, this is it.
Uncharacteristically, the Gods looked down on us for the first leg of our journey this time, by offering up a half-empty plane and all the promise that brought with it – by my calculations, a reduction in the toilet queuing time by half and double the potential for free booze. Even they must have realised what a truly shite couple of years we’d been through, and how deserving we were of a bit of slack.
In real terms it meant that the old man fucked off to a row of empty seats, leaving me to the treat of what was effectively a bed, and what I imagine is similar to the sleeping arrangements of Business – without the Champagne, canapés and sycophantic smiles of the hostesses.
Having slammed it in the past as a leftie luxury only available to the ‘more money than sense’ classes, I now fervently believe that Business is one of life’s necessities.
However, to be spoiled so early on set us up to fail for our second leg, where wedged between two long-limbed males with major man spreading issues, I struggled to straighten either leg for the entire eight hours and at one point believed my knees had permanently locked into the pap test position. Not even Cate Blanchett in ‘Carol’ could help me through the seven hour ordeal, (which really should have been a breeze after the previous seventeen). When your body is deprived of deep sleep, your back has been reshaped into the shape of a car seat, your stomach is a bloated carb mountain from the number of rolls forced into it to stave off boredom and the hosties have a three hour round trip to bring your first drink, it’s hard to digest the possibilities of lesbian sex.
Sod education, sod the migrants, sod Waleed for Prime minister, it’s time our government invested in a decent transport system for the cattle classes.