Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pecked to death by enraged Ducks?

Blogger won't let me load a photo today!

Well – just as soon as I talked about Cate’s relatively few trips she announced that she is off again tomorrow morning to Moscow. Then on Sunday she goes to Bangkok.

And on Tuesday there was a plane crash in the wilds of Russia - but Russia is a dangerous place in which to fly - and especially if you fly on Russian domestic airlines. She seems unperturbed by any of this but can be a bit inscrutable about these things.

Indeed I am not at all worried about Cate being killed in a plane crash.

Let me put that another way. Ducky Pharma has certain standards about which airlines can and cannot be used internationally. And Cate also has standards. There are airlines on which she simply will not fly. Sure there are sometimes no choices when you fly domestically in Russia but in Cate’s case she is usually always able to fly with an airline that has a reasonable chance of getting there and land on something that fairly closely resembles a runway.

Sure – there are exceptions – look at that Air France goat thing - but as it turns out that was pilot error and they were just unlucky. These days it is rarely something wrong with the plane but if the pilots are going to have a punch up about what’s amiss well you are all pretty well fucked and may just have time for one last Tweet before merging with infinity.

I think everyone should have a last Tweet ready just in case. This is the opportunity for that one last great thought to share with the world before the inky blackness sets in – or you meet your maker – whichever takes place. Not everyone would take advantage of it of course.

Hi Mum – The pilots are shouting at each other - I think I left the iron on.

I read a while ago in a science magazine that future airplanes will have only one pilot and one dog in the cockpit. The pilot to watch the instruments to make sure they are all working properly and a dog to bite the pilot if he tries to touch anything.

But while 99.999% of the planes are going to get there – you would not think so by looking at the insides of some of them.  When I fly with Cate on Austrian – for example – some of the planes are positively ancient.

I have been on planes where – and I am not kidding – there is duct tape holding the toilets together. Ah – duct tape! I am sure one day they will find duct tape in the pyramids.

I am sure if you scraped the paint off the wings on some Austrian planes you would find the old Luftwaffe markings underneath and possibly some holes made by Spitfire machine gun bullets. 

But they get there – and that’s all that matters – and the food on Austrian is brilliant. It is done by Do & Co and is the best food I have ever had on any airline. They have a chef on board in business class – well he wears a white chef’s hat – he might be a mechanic – but he looks cool!

But I too have been feeling a bit mortal in recent times after a number of people have shuffled off the mortal coil.  

I had always imagined that and I would go by being pecked to death by enraged ducks – sick of this particular Paparazzo in Stadtpark who never has breadcrumbs – or perhaps by being torched on our front lawn in Peoria by Christian  Fundamentalists who discovered that we were Atheists.

But after last weekend I have started thinking that I may somehow be savaged to death by William’s donkeys. I have started leaving carrots on the steps up to the apartment to give me time to make my getaway over the terrace.


  1. I haven't been able to find out what percentage of the Peoria population is atheist, but I did find this group:

    If I had a choice between donkeys and birds, I bet the donkey would be a much quicker death, it just depends on the quantity of animals and their quality/quantity of teeth, hooves, claws and beaks.

  2. Once upon a time, I was so frightened of flying, I paid $400 to Ansett to do their Fear of Flying course.
    I found myself in a classroom with a pack of loons!
    It made me feel so much better about myself
    (a little bit like when you tell us of your misadventures).

  3. I absolutely agree: Austrian Airlines food in Business Class is a fantastic experience. I have never experienced more generosity by an airline than on an AUA flight: I was on a business trip and had a business class ticket and my teenage daughter joined me on the last leg, from Vienna to DC. I asked if it were possible that she be seated in one of the first rows of economy, to be closer to me. They checked the reservations and asked us to wait, while the other passengers boarded. At the end, they invited the girl up to business class. Incredibly generous, they treated her like a princess!

    I always recommend Austrian Airlines to visitors from the States, and they love it, economy or not.

    The image on top of your previous post is exquisite: the light in Vienna on a day in June is special, isn't it?

  4. Interesting blog you got here my friend!

    Are you a Zunist?

  5. Has Thursday fallen through the crack? ;-)

  6. esbboston: I reckon it would be very small - but we will happily increase it. I am not sure about donkeys. I think possibly a large stampede of donkeys would be best.

    Freefalling: My fear of flying is being with the other passengers.

    Merisi: I get some shots in the courtyard.

    Steve: I used to be but I hate their separable verbs. And I think your software is shit.

    Merisi: Sorry. I have been painting.

  7. I have become more afraid of flying as I age. I don't know why... Maybe I'm just anxious and angry with the whole flying experience (read: TSA and shitty customer service from airlines).

    There have been a few flights where I thought I was going to have a full-blown panic attack, but just have to keep reminding myself that the destination (usually) is worth the travel.

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