Monday, October 19, 2009

Ben is MIA again

The snow did not arrive and has vanished for probably at least a few weeks. It snowed in many parts of Austria and indeed I saw on TV today coverage of skiers in Schladming – where we were walking just a few weeks ago. Today is quite mild.

(No reports yet on the chaos that I am sure took place on the snowfields but when the convoys of ambulances have done their job they will have a body count and report the number to the Austrian Times).

It was cold enough to light the fire again on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and both Monika and Sissi have discovered it - and at various times were both flat out in front of it. On Sunday night Muffin and Monika were in front of the fire together – albeit at the opposite ends of the rug.

Cate arrived bank from Peoria safe and sound – but without Ben. Ben is in her suitcase which is missing somewhere between Washington and Wien. However, he has been MIA before and is quite stoic about these situations. We are confident of an early recovery. Austrian Airlines has been informed of the urgency of the problem. (Newsflash – it has just been found).

Amazingly enough this is the first time Cate has lost a suitcase in transit. It has only ever happened to me once – flying from Paris to London – and it turned up on the next flight.

It happens to other travelers we know all the time and some (including Melissa) have to live in the same clothes for week at a holiday destination. It wouldn’t matter to me as jeans and a black T shirt one day look much like jeans and black T shirt the next.

In Peoria Cate says she met her first (shudder) Creationist. They were in a work group together and she discovered at the end of the week that he was in fact a believer that the earth was created less than 10,000 years ago.

She was stunned ‘he seemed like such a nice, normal man’ she said.

I explained to her that more than 40% of Americans believe in Creationism. This means that there are about 120,000,000 of them wandering around over there – so it is entirely likely that every third person she saw in Peoria was a Creationist.

However, in the circles in which she moves – which compromises mainly scientists, doctors, lawyers and the well educated – it is a bit unusual - and I imagine they would go to some lengths to hide the fact in Ducky Pharma as it may be a bit career limiting.

He was from Arkansas and I imagine that the percentage in that State is much higher than 40% – it might be closer to 99%.

But – it is not all their fault – this is what they are taught by their parents, their teachers and the religious.

I am intrigued by an article I saw on Friday – it was about the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh going to a London play ‘incognito’.

I quote

“Britain's Queen Elizabeth stunned theatre-goers in London this week when she and her husband slipped in to see a play unannounced and at the last minute, newspapers reported.
"The Queen and the Duke sat down as the lights dimmed and it was a huge shock when people realized who they were," said a journalist at the show for The Lady magazine. "They were incredibly apologetic for asking people to let them past and there was no hubbub or fuss about it all."

The Queen and her husband often make incognito trips to the West End, but are rarely spotted, an aide told London's Evening Standard newspaper.”

Well – leaving aside ‘incognito’ which is not correct – (she went as the Queen – not in disguise) – my question is:

How can the Queen and her husband often make trips to the West End and be ‘rarely spotted’.

Do they only go to performances for the visually impaired? Do they arrive in a mini-cab? Do they arrive when the lights are dimmed and leave before the go on again?

Now I am not the world’s most observant person – but if I was sitting next to the Queen or Duke of Edinburgh I would certainly recognise them – even if she wasn’t wearing a Tiara.

Is there ANYBODY in London MORE recognizable than the Queen and the Duke?

Many things that happen in the world just don’t make sense to me. Perhaps I look at things too clinically. I should read articles like the Incognito Queen and move on – but I just can’t.


  1. Phew. I worry about Ben. I think he might have to travel in the carry-on luggage in future. [My suitcase went on a voyage without me for six weeks - now I never put anything in the hold that I might actually need]

  2. I live next door to Arkansas so I can tell you that you're spot on about the percentage of creationists there are in "these here parts". I can also tell you that most of them don't know why they believe in creation, they just do. Most are lazy thinkers and prefer to believe what they've been told (about anything) and they never ask questions. But then. most of them have only two good brain cells that are running around like mad trying to find each other to rub up against. I believe it comes largely from 150+ years of inbreeding.

    A couple of months ago a man and his son were arrested for kidnapping an OSU student, knifing him, and leaving him for dead out in the boonies. When asked why, the father said that his son came home and said, "Daddy, I jes' feel like hurtin' someone."

    Of course, they were regular churchgoers and believed in Jay-sus.

    Glad to hear that Ben has been found once again!

  3. Sorry about that. I posted that comment from the wrong email account. Doh!

  4. I lost a case on my return from New York to Sydney. My bag of dirty laundry arrived safe and sound but all my brand new clothes from the Jaeger shop were missing for four days!

    Glad to hear that Ben's been found.