296In this blogposting…
* An Unfortunate Injury
* The BBC Wildlife Fund
* AGM XXVIII
* Kulula Airlines
* This Blog
On your marks, get set, GO…
AN UNFORTUNATE INJURY
The ageing Sid (see the last blogposting) has emailed me this tragi-comic story lifted from the Rockhampton Courier-Mail in Australia. Take a deep breath and hold your nose…
‘A man from the Royal Australian Air Force suffered life-threatening third-degree burns after a portaloo exploded on Monday - an incident connected to an ongoing US-led military exercise in the area.
Officials believe that the man was using the portable toilet (also known as a port-a-potty) at Rockhampton Airport, in the state of Queensland, when he lit a cigarette.
"There was some sort of explosion," a Department of Community Safety spokeswoman said. "He suffered burns to his head, face, arms, chest and airways."
The man, whose identity was not released, was taken to the Rockhampton Hospital in a serious condition.
A spokeswoman from Talisman Sabre 2011 - a US-led exercise supported by Australian forces - confirmed the explosion was a military incident but said no further information was available at this stage.
"I can confirm that an incident has happened but we're still gathering information," the spokeswoman said.
There has been speculation that methane build-up in a portable toilet could cause it to explode - a theory was not proved when tested by TV science show "Mythbusters."
THE BBC WILDLIFE FUND
Until I received an email from Vivienne recently (she may have sent it to you, too) I was unaware that the BBC had a Wildlife Fund, let alone that they were going to close it.
Notwithstanding the august status of my former employer, I have to admit that I was surprised that it operated such a fund, preserving wildlife having no particularly obvious connexion with a large broadcasting organisation.
The cause, however, is an unimpeachably good one so three cheers to Aunty for having the nous to support it so actively - if a little quietly (I’ve never either seen or heard any reference at all to this fund).
Below is the link that, once clicked on, will take you to the website campaigning to prevent the BBC from making yet another wholesale blunder. Please take a moment to read it and support the campaign if you can.
And thanks, Vivienne, for drawing it to our attention.
Our next AGM, which is bound to be bathed in the gloriously warm sunshine of an English mid-summer, will take place at 1100 on Wednesday 24 August at the Tanfield Railway.
Truckshunter Neville, who’s a volunteer there, has promised to do a Dance of the Seven Guards’ Flags for us but don’t let that put you off. We always have a lot of fun when we have AGMs there - and remember just what an important historical site the Tanfield Railway is; it’s the oldest working railway in the entire world (having opened in 1725) and pre-dates the Stockton and Darlington Railway, which likes to hog the limelight in these matters, by fully 100 years.
Dave Shannon - whom the gods preserve - has sent me one of the most pleasurable emails I’ve received in ages. It’s all about Kulula Airlines, a South African company with a highly unconventional, and extremely welcome, attitude to livery design and customer relations.
At first, I was sceptical about all this and found myself Googling their name just to make sure it was all real. And it is!
I hope you enjoy the photos - and the selection of cabin crew announcements below - as much as I did. You'll have to look quite closely at the pictures to get all the jokes.
On a flight with a very ‘senior’ flight attendant crew, the pilot announced:
"Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."
On landing, the stewardess said:
"Please be sure to take all of your belongings.. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have."
"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this aeroplane."
As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker:
"Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"
From a Kulula employee:
"Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."
"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favorite."
"Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."
"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.."
And from the pilot during his welcome message:
"Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"
An airline pilot wrote that on a particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline". He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had got off except for a little old lady walking with a stick. She said,
"Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?"
"Why, no Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?"
The little old lady said,
"Did we land, or were we shot down?"
After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg , the attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tyre smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal.."
Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement:
"We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today.. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurised metal tube, we hope you'll think of Kulula Airways."
Heard on a Kulula flight:
"Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this aeroplane is on the wing.. If you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all airlines dropped the sickeningly supercilious attitude they invariably have toward their unfortunate customers and instead adopted this kind of gentle good humour.
Thanks very much, Dave. Keep ‘em coming.
All other things being equal, I’m off on a short holiday today. I’ll be spending a few days in the Big Apple - yes, New York, New York (so good they named it twice blah blah blah). In the short time I’ll be there, I’m going to try and pay homage to all the those places and streets and buildings that we all grew up with, via songs, cinema and tv.
So look out - Broadway, Washington Square, Battery Park, 42nd Street, Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Central Park, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Staten Island Ferry...the British are coming.
Well, one ageing Durham bloke with a very old camera is coming.
I will try to post to the blog while I am there but, if that’s not possible, I’ll tell you ALL about it when I get back next week.
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