Saturday, December 06, 2008

Inflight Entertainment

Yesterday the weather was a bit shit in England, so I decided to come to Florida. I therefore took a plane, as usual, as this has always seemed to be the most efficient way of getting here. On this occasion, however, I noted something quite unnerving about the aircraft. Something which I feel I should share with you.

The trip began as it normally does, with no major surprises. I was welcomed on board and directed to the left hand side, there to be assigned an extremely comfortable, fully-reclinable seat. Once I was seated, a voluptuous-looking stewardess began to ply me with Champagne. And once the aircraft was in the air, I received complimentary whisky, wine, and so forth, together with some rather delicious meals. It all helped to assuage the boredom of the nine hour flight.

Anyhow, after a few hours or so of being pampered, I started feeling a bit restless. Normally I'd just read a book or watch an inflight movie. On this occasion, though, for a bit of a change, I decided to stretch my legs and explore the rest of the aircraft. This is where I made my unnerving discovery. And this discovery?

Well, like most of you, I'm sure, I had always assumed that the passenger-carrying part of the plane was to the left, as that's where I always go. But you know what? If you go to the right, towards the section where I'd always assumed they stored cargo, fuel, and luggage, they actually have another passenger compartment. At least, this plane did. But what a truly horrible compartment it was.

As far as I could see, none of the passengers here were served complimentary Champagne. Nor did they receive the delicious food that I had received. Indeed, it looked to be inedible slop, which they had to eat using plastic knives and forks. And here's the worst part: instead of having a wide, reclinable seat each with plenty of space around, like mine, these people were all crammed, (if you will forgive the cliché) sardine-like, into narrow rows. I reckon they'd squeezed three rows into a space no wider than about six or seven feet. Furthermore, there were four of these rows across the width of the fuselage, a configuration which repeated itself all the way down to the back of the aircraft.

As you can imagine, the poor wretches who were forced to endure these disgusting conditions looked thoroughly miserable. I was, of course, outraged that such cruel treatment could be meted out to my fellow human beings. "Have you no compassion?" I raged at the cabin crew. "How dare you treat people like this! Would you do this to members of your own family? Have a heart, please! Reach into the depths of your soul and repent of your cruelty!"

But then my flight attendant told me that she was just about to serve up some rather splendid, vintage brandy, so I went back to my seat and paid these people no further heed. Shit happens, after all.

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