Sunday, 17 June 2007

Travails with my GrumpyAunt

It was all going so well.
Well, just about.
We had reached the airport with no major problems apart from the usual traffic jams near Brent Cross.
Even managed to get the promised wheelchair .
Had to wait in a queue to check in.
Done. Painlessly.
Through security to the Departure lounge.
Only had to go through the metal detector three times (normal).
Amazing how a pack of tic-tacs can send the combined weight of Her Majesty and BAA into a frenzy.
Fortunately, no internal search this time (I remember it well).
So, it's still going well.
We decide to get some food for 'Our Dear Friend who can't eat so much or walk so far'.
(Later, I find out that Our Dear Friend makes Desperate Dan seem like like a rank amateur and, where appropriate, Red Rum seem like a knackered carthorse, but that is for another time)
Me?. I want a fag.
Search the whole of the Departure Lounge before finding, in front of my eyes, the Smoking Area which is right in the centre of the place.
One extra fag for the 'sure to come' hitches. And another just to be sure.
So far, so good.
Too good, so far.

Time to go and the wheelchair has gone walkies.
We have still to negotiate the tourist run (a zig-zag maze that Capability Brown would have been proud of) through the bowels of the magnificent airport that is Stansted.

I speak to the help desk.
We need another wheelchair.
There isn't one.
There must be.
There isn't.
Get me something, anything, a milk float, a flymo, anything.
Just something to get HIM onto that plane.
Does the nationality matter, sir?.
We have some illegal immigrants in detention who are looking for work.
They don't speak English, I must warn you.
I don't give two fucks, just get them here.

And so the four Russian Gypsy midgets with the Sedan chair were summoned.
'What the fuck is this?' I said when they arrived.
Well, sir, the choice was this lot or the Indonesian Rickshaw Drivers or the 4 Coptic Egyptians with Cleopatra's palliase. Would they be better, perhaps?
Ok, Ok, ok, the Russians will do, they'll do.

And so, stately as a galleon, we negotiated the rapids of the Stansted Departure lounge.
In front, a Boldscot in full regalia (bikers waistcoat, kilt and shaven head and, by this time, shaven brain, too)
A sedan chair with an Anticant prodding a walking stick through the front window looking for all the world like a B52 front gunner on a major mission to Japan with Audie Murphy.
Bringing up the rear, the diaphanously attired LavvyBloo looking, as always, as though she has just left Lady Chatterley's Gardener in a state of disrepair in the bushes somewhere.

Problem was I tried to speak Polish to the Russians.
Problem was they tried to speak Russian to me.
Problem was they didn't much speak Russian, only Roma.
Problem was they were so keen to get special status that they would always agree to anything in an effort to please.

Ok, we go plane, now, chodz.
Ah, plane, rozumiem.
Mister Anticant big wheel, gruba ryba, big wheel.
Go far into the sky, now.
Far far away, dalej.

The convoy somehow managed to manoeuver through the masses up stairs and downstairs in the general direction of the plane.
Any plane, just a plane, please. Just get me a plane.
The 4 Russian Gypsy midgets by this time had attracted a fan following amongst the various belly dancers and window washers that inhabit the airport. And then I made my mistake.
The leader of this circus troupe asked me (I think) where to go next.
I pointed and said 'him very important person, him from Hampstead, like Queen, him go thataway' and pointed towards the plane.
Unfortunately, the plane lay due East and the whistling Gypsy took it literally.

I could hear the news going in a square round the sedan chair and saw illumination in their 6 eyes ( a few battle veterans were in that troupe, must be said).
Important, aaaaah.
Queen, aaaaah
Mecca, aaaah
Far away, aaah
East, aaah.
Caliph, aaah

Wait a minute. Caliph, NO


I tried again to explain.
Not very well, obviously.
Now they were sure he was an Archbishop.
In an effort to secure refugee status they were lying prostrate on the runway crossing themselves with a fervour that would have made Father Ted jealous.
I insisted.
No Pope. Not here. No Pope. Never.
Aha, Paisley, I heard from them as they slashed a few Catholics in an effort to fast track a visa.

Him no King, him no Paisley, him like Queen.

By this time, the crowd had swelled to include a few paparazzi photographers who had been reliably informed that Posh Becks and Salman Rushdie were making a quick getaway to join Lord Lucan and Shergar.
Some transvestites clutching bottles of nail varnish remover and contact lens solution had even decided to tag along thinking they could bypass the handbag search.
In the distance, SOCA and the riot police were forming a phalanx together with a party of gay BNP members just back from the Holocaust Conference.

Suddenly, these guys got it.
Caliph, him like Queen Hamstead Heath.

As they were conducting a mass circumcision, in an effort to please the Gods of immigration, we managed to get on board the plane which by this time was garlanded with the foreskins of a mass of the populace including the Russians and a few airport staff who had been, rather reluctantly, co-opted into the whole project. Male and female.

We were finally welcomed onto the plane by the stewards, who had all donned Burqua as a sign of respect for the newly instated Caliph of Hampstead Heath.
As we took off, I mentioned to our, now honourable, Dear Friend that things had been relatively painless.
He looked up from his inquiry into an obscure Trollope novel and said 'Dear Boy, that's what the staff are paid to do'.

I was sure I could detect a wink, though it may just have been the severe nervous tic which didn't leave me till I got back to Glasgow.

Fuck me, what can I say?
Who said multi-culturalism is dead?


Anna MR said...


Fuck me - a *kilt*.

The story was good, too.

Anna MR said...

And also - travails is a fine word that just doesn't get the air space it deserves, it seems, these days.

Merkin said...

'travails' was well aired on our holiday.
I love him, but think of Macbeth.
Where is that bloody man?

lavenderblue said...

All the perfumes of Arabia..........

anticant said...

Naked lunch isn't in it [or the Naked Kayaker]. But the heady fumes of your ongoing liquid lunch are abundantly clear in this flight of fancy.

What actually happened, folks, was that the wee Scottish courier kept vanishing in pursuit of whisky, fags, and passing air stewardesses, so that LavvyBlue had to put her shoulders to the wheel and PUSH.

Otherwise, we'd still be in the departure lounge.

anticant said...

BTW has anyone read Rose Macaulay's "Towers of Trebizond"? A delightful piece of travel fiction, with a dotty great-aunt and a camel.

At least Anticant was spared the camel - though his companions did give him the hump now and then....

trousers said...

Marvellous story, once again you made me laugh out loud merk!

zola a social thing said...

The son of Larkin returns.

Lady Di Aphonous said...

It is noticeable that the be-whiskered and be-whiskied Boldscot
can be quite selective in the details..............

With regards to his full regalia he casually omits to mention the high heels he is partial to wearing: and that Anticant was only driven to use his walking stick on the capacious arse of Boldscot in a vain endeavour to get him past the bars.....
The 'nervous tic' has been observed by many on numerous occasions at the faintest whiff of Whisky,and it is generally said in despatches that this may now be a permanent feature.

The 'mass circumcision' was greatly enjoyed by Lavenderblue and she would appreciate many more such events.
She would like to make it perfectly clear that she has never, and will never put her delicately de- ooops-typo- Befrocked shoulder to any wheel,and also that she does not dally with Staff,however horn- fucking typo again- horticulturally bent she might be.........

Lovely story!
Carry on.

Merkin said...

Lady Di, you may be surprised to find out I did not drink any Whisky at all on holiday - only Brandy.
Neither place we stayed had my favourite Whisky, thatz why.

My understanding is that LavvyBloo did have to push the chair with all her might at one point - but only because she didn't know how to unlock the brakes.

Women and machines. Simple.

ben trovato said...

ONLY brandy?

anticant said...

Good people, pray let us not descend into petty disputes over sordid too-realistic detail. Suffice it to say that I survived what was, in fact, the considerable ordeal of air travel, thanks to the attentive care of Merkin and Lavenderblue, and the ministrations of some high-quality airport staff.

Whether the four Russian gypsy midgets existed outside the fumous imagination of our excellent Boldscot I leave to the judgement of discerning readers. But they were doubtless in subliminal attendance.

An enjoyable time was had by all, and I am not now disposed to depart from Winston Churchill's excellent maxim that the only purpose of recrimination about the past is to secure effective action in the future.

So ave atque vale.

Merkin said...

Naw. Good wine (mostly good) and beer (mainly).
And I didn't even raid the minibar.
Positively docile for a change.
And a good rest for my liver. Hic.
(PS Don't tell Zola).

Merkin said...

Good points, Grumpy one.

'But they were doubtless in subliminal attendance'.

Pats head and rubs stomach.
Point is they are always there keeping me company.

anticant said...

Yes, indeed. Wherever would you be without them?

Pixie said...

Well I've come back to visit, but I'm going home again as I'm simply too bemused. And can't think of anything to say that will make any more sense.

Jose said...

O Gosh! You are like children with a new toy.

I envy you.

Anonymous said...

Bet my toy is bigger than your toy

Jose said...

Everything in this world is relative.

Merkin said...

New toy?.
The seven deadly sins are rather old toys for me.
Still, thanks for the comment, Jose.

anticant said...

Don't be bemused, Pixie. The idea here is to be amused.

Some of us believe we have a talent to amuse.

Heigh ho....If we didn't laugh sometimes we would always be crying.

Jose said...

Crying anticant? Or rather if we don't laugh we would be stern? There are people who cry and who don't cry. There are people who are stern and those who just don't think of it.

There's never been a concrete attitude permanently.

lavenderblue said...

I can think of a couple of things I'd like to see set in concrete.

ben trovato said...

Round spherical objects?

knobbies knackers said...

I hope she wasn't referring to us?.

ben trovato said...

Well, even if she was, don't fret. Help is at hand. Researching [for other purposes] into the background of Mrs Lydia Pinkham - the famous Lily the Pink - I came across the following original, and unbroadcastable, version of her well-known ballad:

"Let us sing of Lydia Pinkham
The benefactress of the human race.
She invented a vegetable compound,
And now all papers print her face.

"Mrs. Jones she had no children,
And she loved them very dear.
So she took three bottles of Pinkham's
Now she has twins every year.

"Peter Whelan, he was sad
Because he only had one nut
Till he took some of Lydia's compound
Now they grow in clusters 'round his butt."

So if you are Peter Whelan - or even if you are not - you now know what to do before rigor mortis sets in....

reporter said...

Is this the same Lidia who wants to wear a Silvery Ringy Thingy?

ben trovato said...

Reporters should do their own research! A link is:

Anna MR said...

Sweet jay-sus, look the other way for a few sunny days in the countryside, and you lot have got up to all sorts of general weirdness.

Merkin - I love "the seven deadly sins are rather old toys for me". I wish I'd said that, that's how much I love it.

Everything else is pretty good, too. I need to go and sharpen my brain, or keyboard, or something.

I vill be back...

lavenderblue said...

Yeah ?

zola a social thing said...

Of course our Panty-Rant is correct in that we must do our own research. But this lilly the Pink is just too much of a red herring.

My own sources tell me that it is Leith that should be researched. It has come to my knowledge that a few posters here are well versed in Leith things. Even RLS was not against this so even antispank can come clean.

Who has been lurkin around Leith?

Is there really a "Blue room" in Leith.

For International readers : Leith is the Real Scotland that slowly feeds itself into an Edinburgh culture scene.
Glasgow? Ah just a mess!!

Now own up !!!! Who has a past with Leith?

Merkin said...

I used to work in Granton, next door.
Is that close enough?
It was certainly close enough for me.