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Skateboard attitude

March 7, 2012

Our trip to Cuba nearly got off to a bad start. “Slash and Burn” Thornton Allan was almost arrested at Nice Airport after security were called. The problem was the skateboard, not his you understand, at least that was what he claimed, although with his sense of style and clothing and grizzly bear hair he could perhaps be mistaken for one but there are not many chaps with bus passes adept at the “hospital flip” or “dark side” as I believe those with skateboards call those jumps.

His son, who always takes his skateboard aboard flights with Easyjet, indeed has done so at least a dozen times, was suddenly told it had to go in the hold at a cost of 30 Euros (that’s about £23 at today’s exchange rate, something watched closely by those wise birds who have already opened an account with Currencies Direct for their foreign exchange needs). To say that he was a little unhappy was as understated as saying the Wingco’s moustache is a little bristly.

By the time I was air side some twenty minutes later,  I could still hear him having what he later called his “little chat” with 5 security guards. A little later on in the executive lounge and after he had paid the 30 Euros and we were trying to calm him down with a large cognac, we discussed other examples of heavy-handed airport security. I was only half listening as I was writing this because it was too good to miss, but I half heard the expression “crying his eyes out when cosmetics taken away” and I thought it was referring to Slash and Burn himself, an honest enough mistake considering his habit of carrying a rather gay looking man bag most of the time.

"Slash and Burn" in airport mode

Aboard the plane we discussed the various ploys we had heard about or engaged in to try to keep a seat clear the middle seat a set of three. With a flight often nearly full and with the configuration of most Easyjet flights being three seats on either side if the aisle. A great deal of ingenuity has been employed by many a resident of the Cote d’Azur to avoid anyone sitting in the middle seat. Obviously if there are two of you traveling it is imperative to take up the window and aisle seats leaving a seat in the middle for all ones books, coats and in the case of that nice lady decorator, Sudoku puzzles. I have heard it said that a bigger puzzle is why she puts up with me but I digress.

Regular readers will know of the success enjoyed by my friends the Philpot’s who carry Jehovah’s Witness literature which they place between them, but some ideas I had not previously considered were suggested. Coughing without a hand over ones mouth the second someone looks at the spare seat apparently works, but timing is everything. Spitting was also proffered as an idea but that does have unfortunate consequences, where does one spit for instance? A burqa accompanied by mumbling or rhythmic chanting whilst reading the Koran would work for me, but in those circumstances nowhere on the plane would work for me. Worst of all would be a snotty nosed kid full of e numbers, a bottle of coke and a big box of malteasers. That would probably be the ultimate deterrent.

So the joys of Gatwick followed by lunch (at my expense grrrr..) with Mr Clipbeard and lovely wife Ashley. I thought Burger King looked nice but we were dragged to The Onslow Arms, which seemed to me to apply to the character in “Keeping Up Appearances”. It was however very good. An ideal venue for one of Hyacinth Buckets’s candlelight dinners perhaps?

Chris France

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Julie permalink
    March 7, 2012 1:18 pm

    Enjoy cuba have a mojito in Hemingway’s bar…Havana..wonderful


  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    March 7, 2012 5:54 pm

    If you do manage to blog I don’t want to hear anything along the lines of ‘Havana wonderful time here in Cuba………’!!!


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