On this Easter Weekend we lighten the mood a little after our heart-wrenching ‘Testimonies’ with this light-hearted tale that came to your editor from a supporter…
“I JUST FLEW from Vancouver to Sydney on Air Canada for Easter. It was an interesting experience to say the least.
(Air Canada is rather like British Airways – a flag carrier full of its own importance – only the staff are even older, fatter, ruder, sadder – and naturally take it all out on the passengers!)
The mask mandate was in full force, and I was being a good boy, I did want to get to my destination, after all.
Then, ten hours into the flight – and having worn my mask for every one of the 600 minutes so far – I began to savour a good old cup of Tea. Not a Bloody Mary, not a G&T, a hot cuppa. Something to sip. Ah, the simple things…
Then, like some Justin Trudeau wannabe, a steward angrily points towards me – and instructs me to re-mask between every sip. Naturally in full view and earshot of the other masked-up passengers.
Taken aback at this bizarre reprimand I say I’ll finish my cuppa quickly and then dutifully re-mask.
Not content with my reasonableness, and having rather made a public spectacle of himself, the Steward repeats the command, “No, you must mask-up after every sip.”
I smile. Not a huge Cheshire-sized over-the-top smile, more the sort of knowing smile of Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind, when she knows she is going to get her way with Rett Butler, whatever he thinks…
He goes away, not so much in a temper or huff as a ‘just watch me’ contemplation as to what to do next… and comes back with a card saying I face a $5,000 dollar fine.
Not put off by this intimidation I say I will happily pay it.
He retorts, saying I face a… lifetime ban from Air Canada – as if he works on Singapore Airlines business class.
I smile again, saying serving such a ban will be a pleasure, (thinking of travelling instead by Singapore Airlines business class as I do so).
The steward says I face arrest at Sydney if I fail to re-mask instantly.
Emboldened by the cup of char coursing through my veins, I says, “Aussies will love the headline ‘Englishman arrested for finishing his cup of tea’!”
The Steward departs.
Towards the end of the flight another steward comes to me and tells me “all the penalty cards and threats are scare tactics – for which there is no sanction – just a big nudge and then an empty threat.”
I say they should all read Laura Dodsworth’s book.
The atmosphere cools. We all keep calm, carry on and touch down.
Sydney is nice though!!”
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Our mystery guest is still in Sydney. Unmasked, presumably.