The annual toastmasters humorous speech contest is upon us once again. This is my speech, entitled airports.
We live in dangerous times. We’re all on heightened alert for the next act of terrorism as we go about our daily lives. And nowhere is this more apparent than at the airport. It’s second nature to look out for strange suspicious behaviour.
But for most of us half of the fun of flying is the airport. I don’t know about you but I love to people watch. You see everybody at the airport. At Gatwick it’s the whole world compressed between Wetherspoons at one end and WHSmith at the other.
I write notes of all the people I see at airports. I shall read out the list from my last visit to Gatwick. Ten women in burkhas, Nike trainers poking out of the bottom. Group of middle aged Americans in check shirts with hearing aid beige trousers bunched around their pert bottoms going on a golfing holiday. Lads on tour with obscure nicknames on t shirts making witty comments. Girl with ripped jeans, more rip than jeans. Woman in Barbie pink dress and pink curlers in hair to match. Man with long yellow hair wearing a black gown. Man with orange hair and black hoop earrings. Man with film reel tattoed up arm.
Over the years I’ve come to realise though that the only suspicious, strange behaviour is my own. And the only suspicious package is about my own person. To avoid the luggage charge on EasyJet one year I put ten pairs of knickers on five bras and ten t shirts. The trouble was I arrived in Tenerife that year in a pool of sweat. When we pass the three holes for you to put sharp objects in I crack the same joke to the kids, kids lucky dip, put your hands in and I take at least 20 plastic bags for my liquids because they make great sandwich bags and I must confess being sad and single I enjoy a frisk and when they ask any sharp objects madam I tell them only my tongue.
No holiday would be complete without a scoot through Duty Free. I make a beeline for the pot of Dior Totale. At £150, I can’t afford to buy it so I check the assistant is nowhere to be seen before I scoop about £50 worth from the pot and slather it all over my face and neck hoping to look 10 years younger by the morning, before heading to the lip sticks and eye shadows. I try on so many testers I end up getting on the plane looking like a tiger.
On board you look forward to in-flight entertainment but what about the fun of in-flight flatulence? Fellow toastmasters have you ever wondered why you need to fart so much when you’re in the air? With the changes in altitude it’s a scientific fact that our bellies swell with added gas. It’s called jet bloat. I’ve always taken the attitude that nobody can hear you fart on a plane. With the engine rumbling like a tractor and the air conditioning blowing a gale from those nosils above your head and the added factor that they carry the smell away too you’re on to a winner. In fact half of the fun of flying is seeing how many bombs you can drop between Gatwick and Gadansk or between Heathrow and Helsinki.But on one occasion the lady in the seat next to me started waving her hands and flapping uncontrollably. Oh dear. I’d been rumbled.
So next time you travel and worry about suspicious behaviour take a good hard look at your own behaviour.