Disquiet

As I begin my preparations for my British sabbatical, a couple of things have started to concern me about my impending globe-trotting — and remember, I haven’t flown domestically or internationally for about ten years.

A recent New York Times article [no link, fuck ’em] has pointed out that the root causes of the current woes being experienced by hapless revenue providers (fare-paying passengers, to you and me) lie in two areas: the shift in airline management’s emphasis from passenger comfort / treatment to fiscal measures such as pre-tax profits; and the fact that since 9/11, airline staff can treat passengers like nuisances (at best) or as “security risks” (at worst) without too much repercussion.

The airlines, of course, are bleating that all this is being driven by their soaring costs (despite the massive drop in fuel prices), and that in order to maintain any kind of decent profit margins, they have to “unbundle” features like free baggage, seating choice and comfortable seating and turn said features into revenue lines. Thus, when I went online to pre-book an aisle- or window seat for my trip to Britishland, I was hit with a $15 fee, each way. My checked bag (actually a small trunk — I’m going to be Over There for three seasons and some hunting withal) will also occasion an “oversized bag” fee, despite it being within the size / dimensions criteria posted on their website because, as the reservations clerk informed me, “It’s rigid” (i.e. it can’t be squashed flatter like normal bags and suitcases, something you may want to consider in the future when packing those bottles of wine).

By the way: talking to an actual person as opposed to doing everything electronically also triggers a fee.

Of course, because I’m flying in steerage (okay, “economy”) it means that I’m lower than shark shit shadow on the airline’s list of Necessary Evils, so there may well be a “Get off the plane, asshole!” moment in my future.

I do have a frequent-flier account with this particular airline, and have logged hundreds of flights with them in the past, so one might think that I can escape “Involuntary De-planing” (such a nice euphemism for GTFO, isn’t it?) — but sadly, all those flights took place in the distant past, which means that I’ll probably fall victim to the “But what have you done for us lately?” policy. (And if you think there’s no such policy, please direct me to the place where you bought your unicorn.)

Now there’s talk among the Big Four airlines of charging passengers for carry-on bags, something Spirit Airlines (motto: “We Invented Cheap ‘N Nasty Travel”) — are already doing.

It seems that the only way one can even begin to escape being treated like a dog turd on a tablecloth is to buy more expensive tickets (a.k.a. “added profit for not much more service”) in Business- or First Class.

Great Caesar’s bleeding haemorrhoids… what a lovely prospect.

Please note too that I haven’t mentioned which of these bastard airlines I’ll be using to get to England, because I bet that somewhere in their oh-so-tight budget is a line for “Snooping on passengers’ social media in case they say ugly things about us”. Motherfuckers.

And yes: I haven’t even started talking about having to deal with the TS fucking A, yet.

I need to stop now before I get angry.

Bird & Bees

For no reason at all, I’m declaring today to be “Sex Day” on this here back porch of mine. Yes, what the hell: the entire Zeitgeist and its acolytes the media seem to have declared every day to be about sex, vid.:

So why should I not follow this trend for just one day at least?

In any event, it’s got to be more interesting than talking about Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and those other tools. Oh, and by the way, speaking of tools: No-Class Michelle Obama dresses like a slut when visiting a cathedral in Italy. I know that this last bit has nothing to do with sex per se, but it’s all part of the coarsening of society, innit? More articles and thoughts on sex below… if you can stand it.

One Dozen

Some people were asked what they thought was the “magic number” of sex partners — more than X being too many, and less than X showing likely sexual inexperience.

The number X: twelve (or to be accurate: not X but XII).

My guess is that most of the respondents weren’t around in the 1970s. “Twelve” would have been an annual average, back then.

Here’s a totally gratuitous pic of a Seventies girl (Christina Lindberg), just to show what we guys had to deal with, temptation-wise, in those days:

Yeah, call me old-fashioned (take a number), but I love the clothes women wore back when I was in my late teens and early twenties.

 

Intemperance

And lo did the Combatte Controller and his fair bryde venture unto the castle of the Physician, where they mette with the man they call Evil Kim. After supping upon the flesh of dead bullock did the carousing beginne, with the drinkynge of much ale and strong spirits. And there was raucous laughter, and loud conversation, and foulle language, and fondling of weaponry large and small, more loud laughter and carousing, and did I mention drinkynge?

By the light of the dawn did Evil Kim awake, with throbbynge head from the liqueur and sore stomach from all the laughter, because he had to penne this blogge, and lo did the bright rays of the Sunne afflict his eyes. In vain did he plead with the others, whose bodies are clearly more accustomed to such debaucherie, to keepe their voices down lest his pore head explode. And loudly did they laugh at Evil Kim’s predicament, callynge him ugly names such as Olde Fartte and worse (which I dare not mentionne here lest the Ladies reading this sorry tale be offended). Even the Physician, who should knowe better, did mock the ailments of Evil Kim and gave him not of his potions to ease the pain, and did cackle upon hearing the groans of sufferynge, the Foul Bastard (for such did Evil Kim call him).

Whereupon did the groaning elder member of the group repair unto his bedde until such Tyme would pass that the hobgoblins would cease their clogge dance in his head, or merciful Death arrive to claim his ravaged body. Should the first come to pass, and not the last, will Evil Kim (now called Nice Kim) penne further tales for his Loyal Readers, but ’twill occur most lykely in the morn.