Friday, 11 January 2013

Airport Musings

Of late, I have been spending far too much time at Gatwick Airport. I am intrigued by the sort of corporate advertising one sees upon arrival on the interminable hike from the plane to Border UK or whatever it's called this week. They are usually horizontal Adshel six sheets. The first one might show a woman running on the horizon of a very green field. The sky is blue. Her face is the picture of concentration. Underneath in Helvetica is Performance and in a logo KS&G. The next one might show two shirt and tied, slim 30-something 'businessmen' shaking hands but not smiling too much. The grip is firm 'though. Underneath is the text Delivery + logo of course. Then there might be a woman post-delivery, in bed holding her grizzling new born, Passion (passion: possibly this decade's most overused word). The next you can make up maybe. Perhaps a 48 storey office block at night with just one light burning at some office on the 23rd floor. What shall we put underneath? I know! Commitment. Then the last one has a sort of fizzed-up Mercator Projection of the world done by some 23 year old whacked out on charlie with arrows all over the shop and underneath Keimann Schultz & Greishaup. Crossing frontiers, delivering change. And I stop and realise that I don't have the faintest idea what these people do. Are they chartered surveyors? Caterers? Investment bankers? Nice work if you can get it I suppose for the ad agency.
Whilst I am on an airport rant, there are some suggestions I would like to put forward which might make travelling by air a little less ghastly.
1. The British are a foul race. Badly dressed, ugly, invariably either terribly overweight or heroin thin, spotty and pallid. They have few manners and their offspring are disgusting. Could we not have some form of entry-testing whereby any UK national who wished to use an airport would be asked a few simple questions like "What was the name of Nelson's cabin boy at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife?" and "When James Lees-Milne considered Wardour Castle in Wiltshire in 1948 as a candidate building for National Trust stewardship, what was the main architectural feature which made his response a positive one?" If they can answer those two questions they should then be required to sing both verses of "I vow to thee my country" in the key of C after which they should explain typical situations in which one might use the words "please" and "thank you". They should also pay a £600 good behaviour bond which would be refunded (less an administration fee of 50%) when they return from whichever filthy hell-hole they travelled to, provided they were not arrested or accused of anti-social behaviour.
2. Airport police. Why are they dressed as if they are rejects from a casting session for some third-rate Hollywood LAPD Swat movie from about 1983? Why can't they wear a proper bobby's uniform and carry a Webley break-top revolver? The Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle is just not British old boy.
3. Once you get to 75 it should be against the law to fly on a civil airline. The airport was jammed solid with those electric golf carts going beep-beep-beep, their miserable passengers blank-eyed after their 2 hour flight from Spain, their colostomy bags slapping against the side of the carts. There's a departure lounge for them and it ain't in an airport.
4. On a separate note, what exactly do the firemen at Gatwick Airport do all day?