Compensation

Being inhabitants of an island or two, the Brits have always been very much a nation of travelers, but even I have to admit some surprise at the extent of it:

Up to a million Britons are STILL stranded abroad scrambling to return home after countries closed their borders

Indeed, even my Longtime Friends the Sorensons were until recently stranded while out of the country, and only just made it onto the last flight back to Britishland.

Now of course, the country they were stranded in was the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, which admittedly does take some of the sting out of it (pics taken by Mrs. Sor):

(There were more pics, but they’re somewhat personal nay even indelicate, with half-naked Sorensons all over the place, so I’m not publishing them here…)

Here’s the beach near their hotel, lest anyone still needs proof of their dire predicament:

I suspect that Mr. Sor’s deepening panic came not from being unable to get back to Blighty but from the prospect of the hotel running out of gin — entirely understandable, of course, as the thought of being marooned Robinson Crusoe-like on an island with no gin… well, I don’t think I need say any more.

But they’re back home, self-isolating in their historic urban residence, and despite a ready supply of gin they’re not at all happy about being there, for some reason:

Note the “social distancing” of their neighbors…

Spoilers

I am completely hostile towards people who seem to be unable to get on an airliner without either being drunk, or getting drunk on the flight, and causing trouble either way.  As with all things, as long as drunk people are quiet and keep their shit together, who cares?  But then you get this kind of situation:

As Kenny would say at Knuckledraggin:  straight up White trash, God bless ’em.

I can see the day coming when all flights are booze-free, and passengers suspected of being drunk (think:  breathalyzers before boarding) will be denied their flight.  Or, this may only happen in shithole places like Manchester UK or Las Vegas NV, which is where most of these incidents seem to arise.

Look:  nobody enjoys a relaxing pint of gin more than I do, so I feel a little sorry for people such as Mr. Free Market, who routinely get completely whacked when flying — especially on the very long ones such as UK – Hong Kong or Australia – anywhere — because frankly, it’s probably the best remedy for boredom.  But people like him may have to have their fun curtailed by louts such as the above prize pair, because at some point, a drunken asshole is going to pop the cabin door at 30,000 feet, with predictable consequences.

I have to say, by the way, that I myself always travel sober for the simple reason that the normal dehydration of flying + the dehydrating effect of booze has only one result: 

 

…so a ban on booze wouldn’t affect me at all.

But it’s always the few idiots who fuck things up for the many, isn’t it?

Peaceful Easy Feeling

As Longtime Readers may recall, back in late 2017 I spent an idyllic week at The Englishman’s holiday cottage in Boscastle, Cornwall.

What with all the storms, massive rainfall and such that have been hitting Britishland recently, I emailed him to see how Boscastle was coping — the place was flooded out not long ago,  To assuage my concerns, he sent me a link to a livecam that shows the river on its way out to the bay.  I’ve had it open on my desktop every day since, and watching it has the same effect on me now as being there did then.

If you go there, you’ll see that the post-flood drainage system seems to be coping well — I watched it mid-storm last week and the river barely rose a foot.  (For reference sake, the cottage is that white house down the path which runs along the left bank of the river. )

Off-camera to the immediate right of the pic is where you’ll find outstanding fish & chips, and its proximity to the cottage meant daily visits for nom noms.

I cannot recommend this village, and The Old Store House cottage highly enough if you want to get away from it all for a week or so.  If you do book the place, don’t forget to tell The Englishman how you heard about it — I don’t get anything from him, of course, but I would like him to know that his unbelievable kindness in letting me stay there has brought him some reward.

Unconcerned

Here’s something so outside my range of interest that I had never even thought of it.

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg’s campaign to make people feel “flight shame” if they travel by plane has led to the reduction of bookings in her native Sweden. Now the U.S. airline industry is worried that the trend could take hold in this country.

“Flight shame”?  Let’s talk about this for a moment.

Every day I take people to the airport — most are going away on business, while others are jetting off to places like Aruba, Hawaii and Europe for their dream vacation, or else are taking their kids to a Disney Vergnügungslager  in California or Florida.  Others are going to visit family in far-off cities or countries (in some cases family whom they’ve not seen for years), while others still are proud grandparents off to annoy their children and spoil the grandchildren to death (as is their duty).

Does this sound like a bunch of people who would be “shamed” into foregoing their flights, all because some adolescent twerp thinks they shouldn’t be doing them?

Now I can see a couple of cases where there might be some kind of pullback on travel:  a corporation, for example, buys into the climate shame mantra, and as a form of virtue-signaling tells their employees to cut back — unless, of course, such an activity would have a serious impact on their bottom line, in which case… uh huh, you guessed it.  (“Yeah, boss, XYZ MegaCorp has canceled their million-dollar account with us because they haven’t seen any of our reps in a year…”)

Tell me that  wouldn’t set the stoat among the rabbits.

Another group who might be shamed into reducing their travel would be the International Backpack ‘N Sandals Set, who would otherwise be off to Explore Other Cultures And Enrich Their Lives, or do the eco-tourist thing [gag].  Quite frankly, this could only be A Good Thing in that normal people such as me would not have to sit for the following six hours next to someone who smells like a badger (and the male  travelers of this ilk are even worse).  Also, all those exotic eco-destinations would either go out of business (unemployment!) or have to raise their rates to compensate for the drop-off, making their business model affordable only to the extremely wealthy.

I can’t see Val d’Isère, Monaco or Kitzbühel losing much business, by the way:  the rich always carve out exceptions for themselves;  or else they just don’t care, nor do they buy into the eco-shaming, or both.  (About now, Mr. Free Market’s ears should be burning.)

Returning to the article:  it’s all very well for, say, Sweden  to experience a drop-off in air travel — there are many other ways to get from Sweden to other countries in Europe — but then again, all those countries are only a couple hundred miles apart.  However, the U.S. is not Scandinavia, nor even Europe:  I have to drive a couple hundred miles just to get out  of Texas, for instance, and further than that just to reach any other major city like Houston or San Antonio, still in Texas.

Finally, of course, we have the well-known hypocrisy of these holier-than-thou Greens, who think nothing of hopping on board a private Gulfstream just to attend a conference where they can scold other  people for burning fossil fuels and destroyiiiiing the planet.  Little Greta’s last scolding-trip to the New World, for instance, used more energy in total than a hundred and eighty families flying to Disney World for a week each*.

All that said:  if this foolishness does come to pass, what would be the reaction of the airlines to a sudden (and perhaps permanent) drop in passenger count?  We all know the answer to that:  discounted fares and “bundled” vacation packages to attract those lost customers back — with the concomitant drop in their balance sheets’ profit lines.

And wait till Delta/American/United discover that eco-fuel costs three times more than avgas, with a similar effect on their precious bottom line.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.


*I just made that figure up — kinda like the Greens do in all their Doomsday predictions.

Crims Gonna Crim

As the old saying goes:  “If you ban guns, can we use swords?”  Well, Britishland is discovering the folly of denying its citizens the natural right of self-defense, and especially ownership of guns, as the choirboys just turn to other means:

Knife crime is continuing to rocket as shocking figures released today show more than 44,000 offences were reported last year. The number of offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in England and Wales rose by 7% on the previous 12 months, figures released by the Office for National Statistics show.
The alarming figures also reveal a 4% rise in firearms offences, a 10% increase in pickpock[et]ing, an 11% rise in robberies and a 9% increase in public order offences.

And as you continue to emasculate [sic] your police force:

Worryingly, a breakdown shows just 1.4% of reported rapes end up in someone being charged, just 3.3% of sexual offences and only 5% of thefts.

I’ll bet that the highest percentage of crime categories solved (so as to bring the average up to that 7.4%) is nonsense like “didn’t have a TV license” or “littering” — you know, the serious  crimes.

The percentage of cases solved has almost halved in the last four years. It was 14.8% in 2015.

And it was crap in 2015, too.  From memory, the number was something like 60% solved back in the 1970s, when Life On Mars  policing was reality and not satire.

For my Murkin Readers:  remember, I’m always going on about Britishland because it’s an object lesson in what could happen (and in some cases is already happening) Over Here.

Take away the right to self-defense, take away the proper means of self-defense, lessen the efficiency of your police force by means of politically-correct dicta  and harassment, and you have… London.  And, by the way, Chicago.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Ordnung

Saw this pic over at CW’s place (part of his fantastic Open Road series) and I could not help be amazed at the fact that people adhered to the traffic circle even though it was covered with snow.

Then it occurred to me that  the picture was doubtless taken in Germany or one of the other OCD countries, and the lone tracks which do  bisect the circle were probably made by a lost American tourist.