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The Air Traveller’s Prayer

Disposable gloves; surgical gloves; chirurgisc...

“Step this way please, we just need to carry out ooone more security check…”

Dear God/Allah/Shiva/Buddha/Richard Branson (delete as applicable),

Please see to it that my flight isn’t the one delayed 14 hours when I made a special effort to be at the airport 2 pointless hours early. Come on God, you know we talked about this last time – if you want me to sit for more than 4 straight hours in one building, I either need to be getting paid for it or facing a free bar.

Please grant me the strength not to strangle the cretin ahead of me in the line for security checks, who waits until the very last possible moment to search their hand luggage for their 27 bottles of lotions and potions, seeming surprised that they then need to fit these into the thoroughly well advertised teeny plastic bag.

Dear deity/Sir Richard, bestow upon me a will of iron so I don’t smack them round the back of the head with my laptop (removed from its case well ahead of reaching the conveyor belt) as they struggle and fumble to remove theirs from the depths of their carry-on suitcase and then cause the line another 10 minute delay as they have to be prompted by the bulldog-esque female security staff member to remove their belt, their Mr T style neck adornments, chain mail vest and suit of armour prior to entering the metal detector. 

Please grace the security bulldog with tender hands while she frisks me, and seriously, would it be too much to ask that she at least buy me drinks and dinner before checking my inner thigh and bra underwire quite so thoroughly?

Dear spiritual being, when they start to call people forward for boarding, can you please add me to one of these “priority” groups? It seems to me that you’ve been granting this wish to a lot of people and it’s getting out of hand. “Ladies and gentlemen, now calling forward for boarding all passengers with wheelchairs or who have access issues” – sensible. “Now calling forward all passengers with business class tickets” – fine. “Now calling forward all passengers with small children” – ok. “Now calling all people in rows 17 through 20” – bit random but ok, carry on. “Now calling forward all passengers with a slight lisp and who are afraid of bees” – seriously?!

Dear sweet lord above (or wherever you are Mr Branson), please don’t screw me over in the seating lottery. You know what I mean. Don’t give me a seat next to a snorer, a fidgeter, an arm rest stealer, a laugh-out-loud-at-films-er, a seven foot tall-needs-your-leg-room-too-er, a constant need to pee-er, and seriously, for the love of all that is airborne, please don’t sit me within 10 rows of the screaming brat who will be using the entire plane’s oxygen supply to pierce their neighbours’ eardrums through the excruciating 10 hour flight, while their 5 year old sibling tests the bounciness of their shoe on the back of the seat before them.

May the films be current and not talked through by the overly chatty member of flight crew who is clearly very excited about being promoted to chief announcement maker and number 1 microphone wrangler. May the entertainment system function for the entire duration of the flight and if it doesn’t, please, oh chosen figure of worship, at least ensure that the drinks trolley wheels are well oiled so that the boozy goods are free of flow and free-er of price.

Please bless me with the ability to distinguish three different coloured blobs of congealed matter from each other as the meals are handed out. It doesn’t mean the food will taste any better but it helps to trick the mouth into opening and accepting said congealed globules, if the brain can tell it roughly which of three food groups it’s meant to be; carbs, baby food or boiled dog. Oh, and when the tea/coffee comes around, please can you bless us all with a pocket of turbulence, as having those utterly interchangeable hot brown liquids poured all over our immobilized crotches is immensely preferable to actually drinking them.

Dear deity, please can you explain to me why when the plane lands, everyone rushes out of their seats to stand uncomfortably, cramped and crooked necked, clutching their heavy bags of duty free in the aisle for the 20 minutes it takes the crew to release the plane doors? If it’s their penance for getting on your priority boarding list (they do look a little afraid of bees) then that’s only fair and I’ll skip the priority thing after all, thanks.

Please find it in your almighty power to see that my luggage comes out onto the carousel in one piece. I would ask for you to make sure that it comes out first, so I can escape the vile tourist melee that is the arrivals hall as quickly as possible, without getting my ankles rammed by a child-driven luggage trolley, but really, I’ll just settle for it to appear at all, full stop. Actually, scrap that, I want it to appear without half my soiled undercrackers spewing forth from a freshly broken zip and without a mystery liquid trickling out of one bruised corner. Thanks.

May passport control be swift and may the customs officials have a very blind eye to the 800 cigarettes and 17 litres of mysterious local liquor swinging from my paws, and may the taxis be as bountiful as an air stewardess’s make-up.

Dear God/Allah/Shiva/Buddha/Richard Branson, if you could see your way to hooking me up with all these humble requests, while keeping a huge metal tube up in the atmosphere and not plummeting us all to a deathy doom, that would super. Just one thing, I don’t actually believe in you and I never will… UNTIL I GET A FREE UPGRADE!

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