Then yesterday while she and my staff were slurping chardonnay on the deck I heard the subject turn to planes. My female staff's mum has always been fascinated by them and simply loves flying, so much so that my male staff offered to buy her a broomstick for Christmas. This earned him a savage glare from my female staff's mum and a bruised arm from my female staff. It was then that my female staff's mum dropped her bombshell.
"I'd love to be an airline pilot." She said. Actually sixty years ago she would have made a fantastic pilot. She's certainly courageous, she quite happily gets into the car when my male staff is driving and doesn't even close her eyes. She may of course spend an hour praying fervently beforehand of course, but I have absolutely no evidence to support this. I must admit it made my fur stand on end when I heard her say this, and my mind was instantly filled with images of her in command of an Airbus A380 containing four hundred passengers approaching London Heathrow Airport.
Air Traffic Control comes on the radio.
"Qantas zero zero one heavy. Please descend to flight level one three and maintain holding pattern awaiting further instructions."
"Oh hello dear. Is that you Barry? How's your dad? Is his gout still giving him trouble? Can you say all that again dear. I forgot to bring my hearing aid. Left my glasses at home too. Honestly, I'd forget my head if it wasn't screwed on."
"I repeat. Qantas zero zero one heavy. Please descend to flight level one three and maintain holding pattern awaiting further instructions."
"Okay Barry dear. You sound busy. It must be nearly time for your tea break. Does your mum know that you're still smoking. You really should give it up, and you can't be getting much fresh air stuck inside that control tower of yours. It can't be could for you." Now, what was it you wanted me to do?"
"Please descend to flight level one three and maintain holding pattern awaiting further instructions."
"Sorry dear, you'll have to speak up. Did I tell you I forgot my hearing aid?"
Barry shouts "Please descend to flight level one three and maintain holding pattern awaiting further instructions."
"No need to shout Barry, I heard you. You're getting tetchy. Are you sure you're not working too hard? Okay, so you want me to descend to flight level three one, is that right? Wait a tick dear that can't be right. I'm already well below flight level three one. Are you sure you don't mean flight level one three? You really should concentrate dear. Anyway, I'll descend to flight level one three for you and maintain a knitting pattern. That's what you wanted wasn't it dear?
"Whatever." Then there's the sound of a chair scraping on the floor, some muttering and a door slamming."
My female staff's mum turns to the First Officer. "Okay Roger dear, set the flappy things to fifteen degrees please."
"Roger, flaps to fifteen."
"That's right dear, that's what I said. Are you teasing me now you naughty boy? Call the tower for me please will you please Roger. Ask Barry which runway he wants us to land on. I think he's a bit cross with me at the moment for some reason. I must send him some of my date scones"
The First Officer gets on the radio and has a conversation with the tower.
"Well, what did he say dear? I hope he's concentrating better now."
"Barry wasn't there Captain. They said something about a terrible accident, apparently he fell off the tower. They're not sure how it happened. He's been rushed to hospital."
"Oh, that's nice. I'll take him some flowers and grapes when we land, I'm sure he'll be pleased to see me. Now then, which runway did they want us to land on?"
"Runway zero nine left Captain."
"Jolly good Roger. We're getting quite low now, better lower the erm......the erm......don't tell me, it'll come to me shortly. Oh look! A cow, and a man walking a dog. Tsk tsk! Oh look. He's let his dog poo on the pavement, how disgusting. Sorry, Roger, what were we doing? Ah! I remember...........the wheels, better get the wheels ready. What's the correct term? I always forget."
"Lower the under carriage Captain."
"That's right. Remind me which button it is will you. No, wait don't tell me, let me guess. Oh look that man nearly fell off his bike looking at us, he should watch where he's going he could cause a nasty accident. Oh Roger, we've landed now. Did you press the wheelie thing button for me while I was nattering? That's disappointing dear, that's my favourite bit. never mind probably just as well.
Ich haben never liked flyink. It's just not natürlich für eine guinea pig. If guinea pigs could be flyink everyvhere ve vould be nussink more zan bats.