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Travel Shortens the Knees On:2009-05-15 04:28:35

I've been back home in England for a few weeks: of course at work they tease me by always claiming that I do it merely to work on preserving my accent, which seems a strange thing to say (especially in jest), since I don't even have an accent (speaking as I do the perfect accentless received pronunciation of English) but be that as it may or may not, I have yet again been there (and anyway even if they were right, there's no one  now left in England who can even approximate to proper English---now-a-days they all mumble some sort of vile lumpenproletarian Estuarine ugliness that's totally unqueenly and even worse than Teyuxian into their mobile phones whilst driving, in spite of the Law, and usually (as far as I can tell from loads of coverage in the news) into other people .
Yup I'm the only one who can still speak it and I'm usually over here not there---so there!

Also with loads of coverage in the news (both here and there, and indeed for the entire duration of my vacation) has been Swine Fever ---or Swine Flu, or whatever it is that's swinish and diseasy and currently enjoying a high level of popularity; and of course, just the moment I arrived in England closely followed by the flu, and with the impeccable timing that they are renowned for throughout the entire English mumbling world, the VandA---the Victoria and Albert Museum, one of London's greatest, or at least biggest---immediately started advertising an exhibition on the Baroque Period by offering us all the chance to win a trip to, would you believe , Mexico. According to their blurb, Baroque was the first world-wide style, making it what one might call panstylic, so I suppose that it is completely appropriate to celebrate it by the giving of a chance to participate in what could easily be a world-wide pandemic.

And over there (and probably over here too) there was lots of the usual online doziness---people worried about things like the dangers of eating pork, in spite of assurances that you are unlikely to get swine flu from pork unless you grab a live pig and start munching on it. Of course then you'd be in a lot more danger from other things, like the pig biting back.
And of course, what would be far worse than going to Mexico and catching swine fever would be the flight to go and get it. That I can assure you through personal and recent experience is the real thing to fear!
What was it the Beatles once bleated? "Got in from Miami Beach BOAC" or whatever1, though in the case of my recent and personal experience it was actually BA from DFW, and as usual "Man, I had a dreadful flight" but of course in my case the paper bag was not on my knee, though if they'd stuffed any more passengers into coach, the guy sitting in front of me would have been.knee me

I'm just thankful that the FAA makes the damn buggers have something fairly solid to attach the seat belts to, otherwise I'm sure they would have us all sitting in circles on the knees of the person behind us or else strap hanging, and I for one don't fancy the opportunity of spending nine and a half hours sitting on a probably smelly stranger's knees, nor standing gazing at their sweaty armpits whilst eating packaged food substitute and being shaken not stirred by turbulence.
Oh yes and just before I left for Texas and Home, the VandA sent me an e-mail thanking me for entering their ‘Explore Baroque in Mexico’ competition (I couldn't resist entering, I figured that, with all the panic, hardly anyone else would, so I might actually have a chance of winning something for once)---an e-mail telling me that "Unfortunately, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office is currently advising against all but essential travel to Mexico. It is with regret, therefore, that the V&A has taken the decision to cancel this competition" So yet again I didn't have a chance of winning anything, though to look on the bright side, if I had won I'd have had to fly again and anyway since the e-mail then went on to assure me that the V&A will not store or use my details, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, I suppose I should be thankful for whatever small mercies there be.

Cheerio for now
and for ever and ever and ever...
from
Richard Howland-Bolton



Notes:

1 Of course it goes:

Flew in from Miami Beach BOAC
Didn't get to bed last night
On the way the paper bag was on my knee
Man i had a dreadful flight
I'm back in the U.S.S.R.
You don't know how lucky you are boy
Back in the U.S.S.R.

Been away so long I hardly knew the place
Gee it's good to be back home
Leave it till tomorrow to unpack my case
Honey disconnect the phone
I'm back in the U.S.S.R.
You don't know how lucky you are boy
Back in the U.S.
Back in the U.S.
Back in the U.S.S.R.

Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the West behind
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout
That Georgia's always on my my my my my my my mind.

I'm back in the U.S.S.R.
You don't know how lucky you are boy
Back in the U.S.S.R.

Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the West behind
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout
That Georgia's always on my my my my my my my mind.

Show me round your snow peaked mountains way down south
Take me to your daddy's farm
Let me hear your balalaika's ringing out
Come and keep your comrade warm.
I'm back in the U.S.S.R. hey
You don't know how lucky you are boy
Back in the U.S.S.R.

 






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