Monday, 27 September 2010

Crusty Prepares To Depart The North East On Tour

On arrival at – for want of a better phrase - Newcastle International Airport, the commuters were already bustling around departures. Their despondent faces growing ever more so as they drew closer to the check-in desks for the usual uppity member of staff to check them in with a face as motionless as that of Dannniiiiiii Minge (sorry, my keyboard’s sticking).

Not only that, but the worry welling up inside them, knowing they were involuntarily entering the Newcastle International Airport Lottery. This is a most exciting game where one never knows if one is going to be charged for excess baggage or not.

This happened to Crusty one year when travelling to the utterly scrumptious Bilbao for a short getaway. A young girl, with a complexion as smooth as a page of Braille and ‘blonde hair’ with unattended roots, charged one for an additional 4kg. This baffled one as Chu Me had already weighed them in advance. Nevertheless, one sent him to pay the £24 or so and we left for Gatwick to make our connection.

Sashaying elegantly to the check-in desk at the connecting airport one was naturally expecting further payment to be made. But no, poppets, the trunks were under the required weight!! One later complained, in the most strongest terms, to the service provider but they wrote back to say after an investigation, the scales in question had been checked by Weights & Measures. One naturally wrote back immediately;

Dear Poppet,

Thank you for your letter, which arrived at an opportune time, as one had just ran out of cat litter for Crotchet. One takes on board your comments but, quite frankly dear, would not take anything Weights & Measures say as of any consequence; they have been telling us for years that 25ml is sufficient for a single measure of spirit … however, as you will be well aware one can never put a measurement on such things, as it all depends on one’s mood at the time.

Love & cuddles,
Dame Crusty

Check-in over and the horror of Newcastle International Airport security was thrust upon the now exhausted travellers. If ever one wished to empathise with the cattle world, then one could find no better place; herded into the cordoned corridors, one minute walking left the next minute walking right, zigzagging backwards and forwards (not the most ideal scenario when one has indulged in the odd glass of gin and is wearing heels) only to reach the end to find the sour-faced employees waiting to greet you at the X-Ray machines.

When we arrived at the gates of Hell, a rather heavy set young man approached one with a look of panic on his face; “Just walk through Dame Crusty! There’s no need to undress like last year.” (How splendid one thought, though one must admit one rather enjoyed the disrobing experience last time). Instead, one clapped one’s hands; Chu Me jumped up onto the machine and began to glide through the dangling leatherette strips in one of the large plastic trays. The security man seemed a little caught off guard as he saw one’s faithful houseboy moving past the X-ray screen.

“Er…all, er, seems to be ok with your companion.” He said.

“Hmmmm … Not so, dear,” One said, pointing at the screen, “One thinks he will need a filling in his upper first premolar when we return! Alas, and despite many warnings from his mistress, he just loves chewing his nuts a little too much.”

Anyhoo … Chu Me surfed to the end of the inspection channel in the plastic tray and jumped down to the floor. Our items collected, one sashayed elegantly past an entirely aggressive woman. She darted forward and one stepped back quickly. One could not see any chain around her neck as she began to ask the most invasive questions with a growl at the back of her throat; “Do you have a loyalty card? Do you have a Credit Card?”

All that was missing from the scene was a leather collar with a bone shaped metal tag with Gripper carved into it, along with her address and telephone number should she go missing. Needless to say, one’s self-defence training kicked in immediately and from the top of one’s bag one grabbed a small bottle of Chanel Nº 5 and sprayed her in the face. She recoiled back spitting and spluttering like an angry viper.

“Good Lord, dear, that’s none of your business, one is quite sure!!” and walked on leaving her in a heap with her eyes streaming; the tears meandering down the cheeks of her over made-up face, splashing down upon her Poly-cotton blouse.

The executive lounge was very pleasing and certainly infinitely quieter than last time, when a bleached haired Rotwieller and her friends were draining the bar dry of every drop of alcohol it held. Chu Me found one a comfortable seat, threw over the velvet throw and placed the small square of sheepskin rug on the floor upon which one’s feet would rest. The peace and quiet was wonderful until an older gentleman entered with a highly polished head and sat to one’s left. He had already caught one’s attention at the sign in desk when he started talking quite loudly to the hostess about what flights he normally took. One could feel oneself saying under one’s breath,” She really isn’t interested in the slightest, dear.”

He took up residence in a seat very near and there was silence once more. Then several minutes later he put his hands in his trouser pocket and began to rummage around. There was no look of ecstasy on his face so one realised he was searching for something. He pulled out his mobile device. In a voice that could only resemble that of God in a Charlton Heston movie he bellowed forth into the tiny mouthpiece.

“Hi Paul, it’s me. You’re obviously not up yet. I’m in the airport lounge. Just wanted to know if you wanted to meet up for lunch on Monday? I’m out of the country until then but we can meet up. Give me a call when you get up, mate.”

After what seemed like a lifetime of shouting, there was peace and quiet once more. However, poppets, it was not to last. Again this person, with the lovely head of skin, whipped out his device. He was ‘phoning Paul again (though one doubted the poor poppet would be up considering he wasn’t 2 minutes and 12 seconds ago). However, to one’s surprise he was ... and the lounge pest could now hold a dialogue. From the start of his conversation one concluded he was a referee of some description from his observations of 16 year old boys who could hold their balls well in varying positions.

One stood and glided towards him while he was in mid conversation.

“Hang on, Paul, there’s a lady who wants to talk to me.” He covered the mouthpiece with his left hand.

“Excuse me, poppet. One knows a place which is infinitely better for such a conversation. May I?”

He got up out of his seat and followed one to a double doorway at the far end of the lounge. One opened the door and as he leant forward to see what lay beyond, one grabbed his lapel and flung him out the door and closed it behind him. Seconds later Chu Me had arrived behind one with the gentleman’s hand luggage. Taking the handle, one opened the door once more and threw it onto the tiled floor ahead. He was now in the main departure lounge and there he would stay (One had rolled up a copy of Cosmopolitan and wedged it in the handles).

Turning to return to one’s seat, Chu Me noticed it was time for us to board. Velvet throw, sheep skin rug and hand luggage gathered, we headed to the required gate while the rather shocked face of an unknown referee pressed against the window of the door behind us, could only see us disappear into the distance.

Barcelona was fingering us enticingly into its welcoming bosom.

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