(Or would that be ‘doofi’?)
I have a dirty little secret. Every time I fly in or out of Italy or Romania, I’m scared shitless. Actually, when I fly into either of these countries, I’m merely very concerned that I won’t see my luggage for a week. Inconvenient, yes, but not in an underwear soiling sort of way (which is advantageous since I’ll be wearing that pair of underwear for the next six nights…). But when I fly out of these two countries, I need two shots of tequila, a blindfold and preferably a stick to bite on.
The reason why I’m this scared is this: I don’t completely trust the ground crews in these countries. I know this is not going to go over well in my voluminous Italian and Romanian fan clubs, but the fact is that I’ve lived in both of these countries for a fair time and it was hard to overlook a few character flaws that these people have in common. That being, they tend to be inordinately distracted from critical duties by inconsequential matters. Distracted from driving their car in a straight line by adjusting the stereo. Distracted from getting the hell out of my way by lighting a cigarette. Distracted from closing the luggage bay door on an airplane by an SMS message from their girlfriend or what have you.
By way of proof, I present this example. It seems that a Blue Air flight from Rome to Bucharest (sorry, the article is in Italian) came a hair away from disaster last week when two ground crew boobs and the jackass pilot all forgot to check that the luggage bay door was closed before the plane started to taxi for takeoff. With the door open the air pressurization system would have failed and when they reached altitude, everyone’s heads would have exploded like over-ripe turnips.
But disaster was averted by an alert (presumably non-Italian) dog that was in a kennel in the luggage bay. According to the article, the two year old canine sensed imminent disaster, chewed his way through the security tape holding his kennel closed, jumped out of the plane and proceeded to run along next to it in an attempt to warn the pilot about the luggage bay door by doing Italian Morse Code with his tail.
Since the pilot was probably SMSing his mistress in Bucharest (“Baby, I’ll be there in three hours. Start heating up the latex.”), he failed to notice this heroic feat, but luckily the dog’s owner saw the dog and SMSed the flight attendant at the front of the plane, who – as soon as he finished his coffee – raced into the cockpit and yelled for them to stop the plane or everyone would die. The co-pilot, seeing that the pilot was far too busy with his phone to respond, flashed into action, stubbing out his cigarette, lighting another cigarette, taking two drags off it, carefully setting it down, pulling his feet off the console, then stopping the plane and everyone was saved.
Or something along those lines. My Italian isn’t that good.
The unsettling gist is a multi-faceted group of fuckwits almost killed 140 people, because they had more important things to do than their jobs, and a dog saved their asses. Since both Italians and Romanians seem to strangely regard their fellow countrymen and women as gullible dupes, Blue Air officials came out with a statement explaining that it was actually the dog’s fault that all this occurred. They painted an elaborate tale of how the dog grew a temporary opposable thumb and opened the door himself from the inside after the three dedicated, and not at all distracted, airline employees had faithfully fulfilled their pre-flight duties.
OK, sure. This might have happened. Or maybe a band of penguins that had escaped from the New York City Zoo had left the door open while stowing away on the plane in their bid to get to Antarctica in order to rescue their friend who was being held captive by the Evil Walrus King, who’d lure the hapless penguin into his lair by posing online as a lonely, sexually frustrated Russian penguin.
Now I’ve flown this route on this particular airline twice and it wasn’t too bad, but you can bet your sweet ass the next time I’m making this run I’ll be down on the bloody tarmac myself assessing the situation and bitch-slapping the first guy that even glances at his cell phone while he’s supposed to be working.
That’d be a great job. Senior Airport Bitch-Slapper Guy. I bet that guy would get a book deal.
Oh and my seven regular readers will have probably noticed two things by now. 1) I have a new blog theme that looks awesome. 2) I am startlingly attractive even when I’m averaging six hours of sleep per night, walking 12 miles every day and drunk on Tuscan wine at 11 o’clock in the morning.
Special thanks to Bertine who has gone above and beyond the call of duty (helping out some guy she just met in person last week) to make the blog look right and giving my online presence a shred of professional lookingness.