Well, just the weekend and then Monday at work to come. Which is just as well; I am absolutely knackered!
Although I don't mind so much; I assume that means it'll be easier to sleep through the first 8 hour flight. Except for the possibility of having a thirty-stone neighbour with halitosis, offensive body odour and undiagnosed cases of haemorroids and Tourrettes Syndrome.
(Lewis has been brushing his teeth more lately though).
Of course, with Laura not coming with us, we have a spare seat, which could be useful. For Sarah's handbag for instance.
According to subclause 18.104.22.168.8 of Annex 22.7 of the airline's Terms and Conditions, I cannot recover any of the ticket price, sell it back, or otherwise dispose of it. I can change the name of the associated traveller, but only if I pay an administrative charge equivalent to the price of a first-class upgrade plus ten euros per changed letter that the administrator needs to type into the booking sheet.
Of course, the biggest problem will be deciding who sits where. One of the criteria would have to be safety; which of our four of five seats offer the highest survival probability?
Well, it kind of depends upon the nature of the accident.
The seating map above (thanks to seatguru), illustrates the truth behind the old adage - aircraft tend not to back into mountains. However, it doesn't really help us; if we have five seats in a row (a distinct possibility on the B767 400 Emergency Room), which of those five are the most survivable four?
After some debate we propose the following solution, but other proposals are welcome:
We shall constantly rotate seats every thirty minutes. And just hope the handbag gets it.
Apparently I'm not doing much for the motivation of the team, so perhaps it's time to move on?
So, we arrive in Detroit (hopefully), and then hang around trying to find somewhere to smoke for three hours. Then it's a shortish 3 hour drop (I use that word in the colloquial sense you understand) from Detroit to Seattle, arriving about 5.30 pm local (the same time zone as the blog publication clock incidentally. I think).
Then we face the charm of the US immigration staff that so many people have warned us about; including Tom today who apologised on behalf of the US immigration service ;)
Andy Singer has a take on it:
I realise that Lewis is about eight years older, but I hope we don't have a repeat of a previous incident. About eight years ago (oddly enough), we were about to leave on a flight from Maastricht, and were going through security. Just as we were about to walk through, Lewis approached the security officer and calmly announced,
"My mother has a gun."
I know that several images flashed through our minds at that point: e.g.
Fortunately Maastricht International (spoken without a hint of sarcasm) Airport is staffed by security who are just so thrilled to have a few people pass through and give them the chance to use the machine that goes bang (to paraphrase Monty Python), that they just laughed and gave Lewis a quick ruffle of the hair as if to say 'ahh, sweet boy'. Whereas I was considering wringing his bloody neck.
Anyway, suffice to say that Lewis will have strict instructions and/or duct tape to prevent a repeat. Although I fear that could go wrong too. A bit like Blackadder's instructions to Baldrick;
"Baldrick. Deny everything!"
Court prosecutor: "Are you Captain Blackadder's batman?"
Court prosecutor: "Are you Private Baldrick?"
Maybe just the duct tape after all. Will do wonders for the halitosis too.