There’s a hole, in the engine!


Yesterday’s flight had me in Row 15, the ‘emer­gency exit’ aisle…window seat…directly over the wing & engine…

I’m a Big Child, which means that I get rather excited by the thought of big machines, speed, power, etc.. As a res­ult, I tend to inspect cer­tain things more than most.

When we boarded, I looked at the engine. When we took off, I glanced at the engine. In flight, I observed the engine. At all times, the engine was whole and appeared to be in good order…

When we were com­ing in to land, I happened to look down yet again…however, I was now peer­ing dir­ectly into the engine! Ima­gine my surprise…

Do I worry? Do I call the host­ess? Do I wait…for something?

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I chose the lat­ter, which was a good thing…as I later saw a cover slid­ing closed over what now made sense…the reverse thrust vents.

You know, they really should paint a sign onto the engine for clue­less pas­sen­gers that it’s not a case of shit fall­ing off of the plane, when you hap­pen to see a hole in the engine that wasn’t there a short while ago, but that pan­els do move, on pur­pose, and that you’ll live to tell the fool­ish story.

FFs.

Hiring out the oldies…

We’re approach­ing the end of the year and the seni­ors in schools across the coun­try are get­ting desperate…to outdo their classmates.

Who will don the killer threads, have the hot­test Date and, quite import­antly, who will make the biggest scene upon arrival?

For the lat­ter, that one stu­pendously rich kid might arrive in daddy’s heli­copter, but most will opt to share a limo’ or arrive in a suit­ably bling ‘old car’.

Classic car hire

For those of us who are amen­able to event rent­als with our old cars, this is the sea­son when our phones start ringing in fury.

Patience is a requis­ite vir­tue in these cases. You’re deal­ing with young­sters who, more than likely, have no idea what’s involved in restor­ing, main­tain­ing and prep’ing an oldie for reli­able, timeous and flashy use. Old cars are exactly that, old. They require hard-to-find parts, which usu­ally cost a for­tune. They’re slower, typ­ic­ally less than 100% reli­able and are usu­ally driven by ped­ants who have little patience. I know, for I am one of them.

Whether you’re ready­ing your jalopy for a media shoot, school func­tion or wed­ding, the pre­par­a­tion is usu­ally the same: intens­ive clean­ing & pol­ish­ing, some degree of a Ser­vice, route plot­ting and, if reques­ted, decorating.

All of this, I can assure you, takes a sub­stan­tial amount of time; and money.

Once the vehicle is ready, we need to get ready. You wouldn’t want to arrive at your func­tion chauf­feured by a smelly, unshaven sod in tatty attire, would you?

You may only be trav­el­ing a few miles to your des­tin­a­tion, but you’re for­get­ting that we may need to travel a not­able dis­tance to cater to your address. Once there, we often need to man­oeuvre sev­eral times, for your pho­tos, assist ladies in and out of the vehicle, recon­fig­ure the vehicle to your needs and per­haps wile away sev­eral hours, whilst you dance, get hitched, or whatever.

All of that said, there are always the lazy bums who will hap­pily throw you the keys to their unmain­tained heap for some quick cash. These are typ­ic­ally the chaps with a list of unhappy cus­tom­ers, irked drivers and road­side assist ref­er­ences lit­ter­ing their vehicles’ dashboards.

So, the next time you think of hir­ing ‘an old car’, please think care­fully before you call a sup­plier to ask the fol­low­ing questions:

  • I want to hire an old car”. “Please be more spe­cific.” “An old car.”
  • How much does it cost?” “For what? Sleep­ing in? For­nic­at­ing within?”
  • …but it’s only two miles to…”
  • We only need you for X amount of time.” “Riiight.”
  • Can we drive it?” “Are you will­ing to pay for any & all break­ages and the insurance?”

…and, with spe­cific ref­er­ence to ambu­lance rentals:

  • Can you fit a dozen kids into your ambu­lance?” “It’s an ambu­lance, dear, so, no.”

We also appre­ci­ate a deposit on time, to cover our upfront costs and gen­er­ally express appre­ciable grat­it­ude when your excess­ively catered event can spare us a drink and a sandwich. ;)

 


Throttling: Poetic Justice

There once was a dash­ing swain,
Long of leg and short of mane.
This fel­low did him­self a motor­ised steed acquire;
Scoped by plods aplenty, he quickly earned him­self the title of Liar.
With dap­per dex­ter­ity did he con­trol it,
Impress­ing dolly­birds from here to there, formed from fleshy to fit.
Upon his bike did he obtain right­eous swift­ness & much mer­ri­ment,
Whether upon one wheel or two, hast­ily or lazily, it met cease­lessly with his mother’s dis­agree­ment.
With haste did he depart,
Sel­dom with urgency in any part.
From form to fit, stood or sat, right did he look;
Framed by a Kojak with a Kodak, he was given the book.

Motorcycle racer

The swine!
He delivered his line…
A souvenir did he write.
Clutched, he was soon out of sight.
The throttle fully wound,
He was soon but a dis­tant sound.

The Rise of the Silver Surfer

ShockDear Read­ers,

I greet you today, in shock and with great awe, as a cer­ti­fi­able ‘Sil­ver Surfer’.

A formerly-unionised follicle, occupy­ing a prom­in­ent pos­i­tion just fore of my left ear, no longer hews its given hue. As you might ima­gine, I am devastated.

I’ve been hear­ing rumours for some time now, from those around me, that I har­boured pec­cant follicles, but until this morn­ing, in stark view, stood their leader…an inch-long thug, gleam­ing in sil­ver rebellion.

The pre­co­cious bas­tard lies atop his brethren, taunt­ing me in the face of out­ro­spec­tion, coax­ing me to a plucky fight. His fol­low­ing is no doubt close at hand though, wait­ing, build­ing in strength. Does one dare invoke the wrath of the hued many by elim­in­at­ing the ashen few?

Hav­ing dwelled on this quandary for some time now, I have decided that grey hair is bet­ter than no hair.

Des­pite our dif­fer­ences, a memorial ser­vice shall be held in hon­our of our fallen pig­mental com­rade. There are none so brave as those who dyed before us.

Nothing broke, blew up or died.

I’ve just cooked some Bolognaisey-pastarish-spiceyeo-type thing. I’ll say that again…I cooked; a meal.

Dandy, eh?

Cooking DisasterI shit you not; there were FIVE lines of instruc­tions, on the spice & pasta box alone!

Noth­ing broke, blew up or died. Gran­ted, it’s only been about twenty minutes since I ate, but I’m con­fid­ent that I’ll see the night through. That’s pro­gress, in anyone’s book.

Thank­fully, as always, Mrs. Balls came to the rescue.

Grate­fully, dessert just requires a tin opener and a spoon.

To Pee Or Not To Pee

Mannekin PisBasic Geo­graphy teaches us, amongst other things, about the water that sur­rounds, fills and shapes our environment.

Once pre­cip­it­ated, it is divided by water­sheds, col­lec­ted in catch­ment areas and chan­nelled into streams, from which develop rivers. Ulti­mately, these rivers flow into the oceans and the cycle is repeated.

Streams flow strong, fol­low­ing wild, unchartered courses. Young rivers flow true, along an estab­lished path. Mature rivers meander, entrenched in their beds.

Along the jour­ney, many obstacles may be encountered, such as water­falls, which are sud­den and dra­matic in stature; rap­ids, which often res­ult from the nar­row­ing of a par­tic­u­larly stoney chan­nel; or per­haps floral sed­i­ment in the water, which may act as a pol­lut­ant, foul­ing life sup­por­ted by the river.

At times, flood­ing may occur, which can res­ult in a river expand­ing its flood­plain. Nat­ural dis­asters like that are dire affairs, often requir­ing extens­ive and under­ap­pre­ci­ated labour.

In densely-populated areas, flood­ing is eas­ily reduce, due to a glut of mod­ern tech­no­logy, designed for max­imum effi­ciency & safety and installed & main­tained through­out, at reg­u­lar inter­vals, by appropriately-trained flood-control technicians.

How­ever, in sparsely-populated areas, or in areas left to decay to slum-like con­di­tions, some rivers can wreak severe dam­age to their flood­plains, often leav­ing a last­ing impres­sion that can render tour­ists and res­id­ents alike to the area sub­ject to over­whelm­ing sens­ory and emo­tional overload.

Men-folk, please, if you make use of a pub­lic toi­let, for the love of your fel­low civilian, aim straight!

Give me strength…

You know, I thought I had it bad when I worked for someone else and had to deal with dis­con­nec­ted man­age­ment & cer­tain people who were, to put it bluntly, plank-dik, but I have undoubtedly dis­covered that with self-employ comes a need for greater tol­er­ance. On any given day I deal with Dis­count Dannys, Bull­shit­ting Bren­das, Rude Ron­nies, Prom­ising Patricks and Way­ward Wallys.

All of this takes time, effort and money, which I may recover every dozen sales, or so.

Take this even­ing for example, when I received a reply to an ad’ for South African flags that I have on offer…

realli now!! people fucken hate this coun­try and u wanna sell them shit”

Now, how do you sup­pose I best respond to this delight­ful query?

Remem­ber, I’m serving my own repu­ta­tion and must there­fore prac­tice cour­tesy, prompt­ness and com­pet­it­ive behaviour.

Dear four-sided-vessel-of-vacuous-matter,

 

Thank you for your inquiry. Unfor­tu­nately I am cur­rently out of “shit”.

 

Your man­ner and tone are not in accord­ance with our terms and con­di­tions, stated clearly in every decent upbring­ing. Please be so kind as to ride thine self in a for­nic­at­ory way.

 

Warmest regards,

 

Ewe P. Rick”

Keep Calm, 'cause I am a Pro'.