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Friday, December 1, 2017

Explosion at 33,000 Feet

So far, this trip has gone perfectly.

And so it was that I was congratulationing myself as we checked out of the Sheraton Mirage Arena La-Di-Da del Mar Continentale and situated ourselves where we could rub our phones and summon an Uber genie to take us to the train station.

I had it all figured out, pretty much, and we'd get to the train, the train would get us to Brisbane airport in plenty of time, and we'd catch the 7th perfectly scheduled flight connection of the trip thus far - to Cairns.

As an aside, Uber has sucked. Somewhere along the way, my account has gotten fucked up, and if you have ever tried to access their customer 'support', it's almost impossible to get help.

Here's how it's gone for me:

Me: try and fail to summon Uber genie, submit ticket
Uber: you have two accounts attached to this phone. Is this the email and phone number you want?
Me: yes please

Next day, me: try and fail to summon Uber genie, submit new ticket, refer to old one.

Uber: do the following idiot things:
  • turn off your idiot phone, turn it on again
  • delete uber app, idiot, and reinstall
  • turn off the stupid idiot wifi, turn on again
  • reset idiot carrier profile, turn off stupid idiot wifi, turn off idiot phone, turn on stupid idiot wifi, delete uber app, idiot, reset every idiot setting, give phone to your nephew because you are trying to change settings with the idiot phone powered off, you delusional ass snatch.

Me: I know better, this is just a copy/past of hail mary 'fuck with it in hopes it works' steps. Fix the problem, you useless bastards.


Me: reset everything, delete, reinstall, get oil change, clean oven, try and fail to summon Uber genie.
Me: find way to re-open ticket, so do that, and give them a blast of fresh air (#@$(* )#*$) )*$#@)*#$)*
Me: If you can't fix this, delete my account and I'll re-register.
Uber:  you have two accounts attached to this phone. Is this the email and phone number you want?
Me: same answer as four days ago - YES. If you can't fix this, delete my account and I'll re-regis...

Next day, me: try yet again and fail yet again to summon Uber genie, submit new ticket
Uber: There are system issues. We're working on it.

Never. Hear. From. Uber. Again.

As far as I know, my account is still fucked up. Thank goodness the Quad Queen had a working account we could use. We would have been all Lyft, but they don't seem to have penetrated the Land of Sheila's and Snags.

We rode the very efficient AirTrain from Gold Coast to Brisbane.

We were very careful to avoid the Swooping Magpies (which is a great name for a tartan shirt big beard band).

Australia is so informative, and yet delightfully nonchalant about potential death situations.
My 10 second Brisbane-out-the-window tour.
We made it to the airport just fine, behind the line, and in plenty of time. This time, we were riding the exciting Jetstar brand of airliner.

The sexier the name, the more things they charge for, and the less room you have. I foiled it all by paying for the exit row.

The exit row briefing was given by one of the Flight Sheilas, and going by the reference card, you would not want to have an emergency in one of Jetstar's shiny airplanes.

Step 1: Ascertain the nature of the emergency. Keep calm and drop a loadie.
Step 2: Pull the red handle, hit the flashing light, pound on the exit sign, and yank the outward opening door into the airplane. (Note - if you have already done this before descending from 33,000 feet, you have made an error. You should have waited.)
Step 3: Because you paid $34 for the exit row seat, you will likely be the only one to survive the forced landing. Give a jaunty wave to your fellow (now trapped) passengers.
We bought lunch on the plane - QQ and I both opted for a lamb pie. I'm really getting to like lamb, and in particular, runny foods encased in hot, flaky pastry, which, now that I think about it, describes one of my sweaty English teachers from Flusherville high.

Any world traveller knows that there are going to be nuances in distant cultures that he or she must learn. Certain phrases, and certain small details of everyday life, such as the aforementioned driving and walking on the left, when to use 'no worries mate' versus, say 'get a dog up ya!', or how to open a ketchup packet.

Sorry. Tomato Sauce packet.

This is what I was faced with as we cruised above the clouds.

It resembled a jumbleberry strawberry jam packet (it's my blog, I can have strawberry if I want!), except there were two reservoirs of ketchup, not just one.

The top was quite stiff, and it had an odd rise across the middle of it.

I carefully inspected it, turned it over and over, inspected it some more...

There certainly were no instructions.

I tried to lift each of the four corners, jam style, but there was no give at all - this sucker was sealed tight and full of the delicious tomato sauce I craved for my pie.

The little ridge had to be the key. There would be some deft movement required that would handily pop it open somehow from there - but how?

I gingerly tried bending the package in halves, forcing the label in on itself. That didn't do much. I considered 86ing the thing.

"C'mon, Flusher!" I said to myself, "Use that fabulous brain of yours!"

So, I tried bending the package in halves the other way. Good God the Aussies make a strong packet of ketchup. Nothing!

If I could just figure out the little hump in the center and how it should work...

I took a close look at it and bent the halves the first way again, fingers on the little ketchup swimming pools.

Bend it... a bit more... this makes sense now... bend it...

I realize now that to any Australian onlooker, this would look exactly like some yokel looking down the barrel of a mis-firing shotgun full of salt rock and pulling the trigger with their (unshoed) big toe. (The one named Puss-ey, not the one named Black-ey.)


Yes, it's really that simple. And yes, I was wearing most of the contents of the ketchup packet.

All you do is squeeze the two halves together while pushing on the two ketchup scrotums, the middle ridge breaks, and the ketchup goes on your pie.

Or shirt, glasses, forehead, belt, and seat. I couldn't have done a better job if I had been trying to paint myself with red polka dots.


And now I had to answer to the Australian guy on my right.

"G'day mate, yeeyah, didn't noy how to oypen, get inny onyeeyah? noy noy, no worries get a dog up ya, noy?"

Exhibit A. Investigators have found no evidence of a second packet.

    1 comment:

    1. The ketchup may have done that shirt a favor. I'm just sayin'


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