Biggles Flies Undone


I don’t like flying, you know this. But if I want to get anywhere I have to fly, it’s just one of those things in life that we don’t like but have to endure from time to time, like going to the dentist, driving around the M25 or watching webuyanycar.com adverts.

I hate taking off, I hate landing. I don’t much enjoy the bit in the middle. I can’t bear British Airways, dislike Virgin intensely, distrust Easyjet and outright refuse to fly with Ryanair. When I’m on board an aircraft I always keep an eye firmly fixed on the cabin staff, looking for any signs of concern or panic in their facial expression or body-language. I always listen to what the captain says over the PA system and, more importantly, how he says it. Plane skippers are clearly schooled in the act of speaking in slow, low reassuring tones, so passengers like me don’t sit in row 38 crying and fiddling with our rosaries.

So I can thank heaven for small Murphys that I don’t live in South Africa and have experienced the joys of Kulula Air. My friend Tracey sends me the below set of snaps of the livery of Kuala’s aircraft and quotes from the aircrew which I’m sure were designed to alleviate the terror of air-travel, but which might just finish me off should I ever experience them. Surely some of these are made up ? Surely ? You be the judge:

On one flight, there being no designated seat numbers flight, passengers were taking their time choosing a seat when a flight attendant announced, “People, people we’re not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!”

On another flight with a very “senior” flight attendant crew, the pilot said “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 declares “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.”

And more pearls of wisdom…

“There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane.”

“Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”

As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport , a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: “Whoa, big fella. WHOA!”

After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in the Karoo , a flight attendant on a flight gets on the tannoy: “Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted.”

“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 traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favourite.”

“Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines.”

“Your seats 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!”

Heard on Kulula 255 just after a very hard landing in Cape Town : The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, “That was quite a bump and I know what y’all are thinking. I’m here to tell you it wasn’t the airline’s fault, it wasn’t the pilot’s fault, it wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault, it was the asphalt.”

Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town , on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what’s left of our airplane to the gate!”

Another flight attendant’s comment on a less than perfect landing: “We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal.”

An pilot once wrote that on this 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 gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. 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 tire 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 pressurized metal
tube, we hope you’ll think of Kulula Airways.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing.. If you can light ’em, you can smoke ’em.”

And finally…

A plane was taking off from Durban Airport . After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, non-stop from Durban to Cape Town , The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight.. Now sit back and relax… OH, MY GOODNESS!” Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!” A passenger then yelled, “That’s nothing. You should see the back of mine!”

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Binge When Your Winning


It’s now less than two weeks to go before the massed-ranks of the world’s piss-heads meet in South Africa for the FIFA World Cup. 32 countries will be represented by some of the fattest, drunkest, worst dressed and worst-behaved sports fans as the bars and bistros of Cape Town, Jo’burg, Durban and Rustenburg are held hostage by squiffy Swiss fans,  paraletic Paraguayans, arseholed Argentinians and spannered Spanish.

The Sharp Single presents it’s definitive , cut-out-and-keep guide to who’s-drinking what, who’s likely to fall over first, and what your team is likely to come up against in those all important opening rounds.

Rainbow Chundering Beckons

 

 

GROUP A

South Africa. 10-1.Ones to watch: Amarula, Windhoek, Castle, Lion

Mexico. 25-1.Ones to watch: Margarita, Negra Modelo, Mezcal tequila

Uruguay.100-1.Ones to watch: Patricia, Zillertal

France. 8-1 . Ones to watch: Champagne, Claret, Kronenbourg, Desperados

There’s bound to be a few champagne moments as the hosts take on the wine capital of the Old World. Windhoek vrs Claret promises a great competition and a few squeaky bum moments, while dark horses Mexico will fancy worming their way into contention and rubbing salt and lemon into the wounds with their star player, Tequila, especially in sunrise kick-offs. With the ageing Kronenbourg making his 1664th appearance for his country, expect more headbutts late on. Uruguay are rumoured to be fielding Patricia, one of the few world beers with a girls name, though she’s likely to be left at home.

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Can't See Nothing from Here

GROUP B

Argentina 5-1. Ones to watch: Quilmes, Isenbeck, Scottish Ale

Nigeria 50-1. Ones to Watch: Wilfort Dark Ale, Guinness

Korea Republic 150-1. Ones to Watch: Taedonggang

Greece 150-1. Ones to watch: Ouzo, Mythos Beer

Past champions Argentina hope that Quilmes lives up his reputation of packing a punch, especially in front of goal. If he links well with Lemonado look out for his Shandy of God.  Minnows North Korea put their faith in the frothy Taedonggang, an unknown quantity, but thought not to travel well.  Tensions were high at this beer’s recent launch when South Korea retaliated by launching a premium lager of their own. While the Greeks will hope to be causing a few headaches with their ancient Ouzo, the Nigerians will hope their Irish import Guinness doesn’t cause them too much trouble at the back.

 

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Double Up for an Extra Quid

GROUP C

England 10-1. Ones to watch: Pimms, Gin, Boddingtons, Shepherd Neame

USA 100-1. Ones to watch: Budweiser, Coors, Miller, Daniels (J), Beam (J)

Algeria 1000-1. Ones to watch: Submarino, Mint tea, Orange Juice, Milk

Slovenia 66-1. Ones to watch: Lasko Pivo, Celjski Grof

 

Violence is Golden for perennial under-achievers England, and with this line up you can see why. The country which gave the world white garden chair throwing and pitch invasions know they have to raise the bar this time. “Boddy” Boddingtons and “Old Shep” Neame are likely to start up front, but watch out for the suprise selection, Pimms, to provide a tonic for midfield-partner Gin around 10.45. The USA’s midfield of Budweiser and Miller look weak on paper (and taste even worse in the glass) but the old heads of Daniels and Beam at the back are likely to take anyone’s legs away, should opposition take liberties, like not leaving  a tip. Slovenia look to have a straightforward, no-nonsense line-up with a strike partnership which not only can’t you drink, but are unlikely to be able to say by the final whistle. Teetotal muslim outsiders Algeria’s plan to play four non-alcoholic beverages across the middle seems doomed to either miserable sober failure, or ultimate victory. Inshallah

 

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For You The Beer Is Over

 

GROUP D

Germany 5-1. Ones to watch: Hefferweizen, Eiswein, Bitburger, Dom Kolsh, Stroh

Australia 200-1. Ones to watch: Victoria Bitter, Shiraz, Coopers Red, Fat Yak Pale Ale

Serbia 66-1. Ones to watch: SRB Niksicko Pivo, BIP

Ghana 150-1. Ones to watch: Star, Club

As someone once said “Soccer is a game for 22 people that run around, play the ball… and in the end,  some German drunk bores the arse off you in the bar” Ever a threat in competition drinking, Germany once more lines up with a familiar-looking muscular attack. Old hands such as Bitburger and Eiswein team-up with the unpredictable Stroh, “an artificial rum with 80% alcohol content which should be avoided at all costs” and who is favourite of many to walk off with the coverted Golden Puke.  Others in the group hoping not to be Mullered are a plucky Australian team who’ve selected the stubby Victoria Bitter up front with Shiraz making up the team, in case any Sheilas show up. Serbia’s BIP looks set to save fans thousands of  SA Rand in replica shirt letters, while Ghana will rely on a Club half.

 

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An Arse Like a Japanese Flag

 

GROUP E

Netherlands 5-1. Ones to watch: Blue Curacao, Grolsch,  Amstel

Denmark 25-1. Ones to watch: Elephant, Tuborg, Carlsberg

Japan 50-1. Ones to watch: Kirin Ichiban, Sapporo

Cameroon 100-1. One to watch: Castle

Group E has been labeled the “Group of Belch”, and with good reason. The Dutch’s brand of Total Drunkeness may well pay off this time round. Groslch and Amstel — the hard-hitting double act up-front for “The Orajebooms” have been tucking them away all season. But the workmanlike Danes hope to upset the tray in South Africa. Hopes are high in Copenhagen, especially for Elephant. As one supporter said: ” I ride a small bike but this beer makes me think its a big bike. It also puts me in a mood to listen to my favourite polish opera” Praise indeed. However, in Carlsberg they have probably the most overrated beer in the world. Japan’s Kirin may well be the surprise package of the tournement. In the heat of South Africa, with sweat dripping down your back, drink enough of this and you’re sure to get an Ichiban.  Finally, don’t discount Cameroon as their Castle may take a bit of breaking down.

 

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GROUP F

Italy 3-1F. Ones to watch: Limoncello, Nastro Azzuro, Moretti, Peroni, Grappa

Paraguay 100-1. Ones to watch: Baviera, Dorada

New Zealand 150-1. Ones to watch: Steinlarger, Tui, Miners Dark Brew

Slovakia 66-1. Ones to watch: Kelt, Zlaty Bazant, Saris

 

Group F looks like a done deal. Few can see past LimoncelloMoretti and Peroni staggering away with the honours here. Even fewer can see anything at all after Grappa weaves his spell. New Zealand look like a one-drink pony with Tui at the helm, while the unknown Dorada hopes to to force the odd hiccup for Paraguay. The best the Slovaks can surely hope for here is they return hope completely Zlaty Bazant.

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Is that A Sugarloaf Mountain in Your Trousers...?

Group G

Brazil 4-1. Ones to watch: Cachaça, Caiparihna, Knot of Pine

Korea 500-1. Ones to watch: Cass, Hite and OB

Côte d’Ivoire 250-1. Ones to watch: Mamba

Portugal 12-1 .Ones to watch:Superbock, Sagres Bohemian, Port

 

According to one Portuguese reviewer “Superbock super star, gets you more pissedd than Stella artois.” That’s as maybe, but everyone’s favourite producer of brandy accompaniments may have to pull something more out of the cellar than just brut strength rocketfuel. The subtlety and guile of the Brazilians is always pleasing to the eye, as are the enourmous knockers of their fans in the crowd. Add to that the odd gallon of Caiparihna and midfield general Cachaca, then it’s difficult see anyone but the South Americans being in the chair. One hope for the Ivory Coast is that the Girls from Ipanema are distracted by their large Mambas. Korea’s offerings sound, frankly, a bag Cass Hite

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Time to Put the Skis Back On

 

GROUP H

Spain 10-1. Ones to watch: Sangria, Orujo, San Miguel

Switzerland 500-1. Ones to watch: Cardnial, Feldschlösschen Original

Honduras 500-1. Ones to watch: Garifuna

Chile 150-1. Ones to watch: Kunstmann, Piscola

 

Spain are forever accused of choking on the big occasions, but if all you had to drink was San Miguel, so would you. Losing their bottle may not be an issue this year as Sangria has been selected to lead the way, in the hope that it won’t be the Spanish peering into their navel oranges. Switzerland may rue the day they made the Cardinal sin of taking up football in the first place, while little is known about Garifuna, except he has a kick like a club-footed mule. Chile, like the Germans, put all their faith in Kunstmanns. But that’s another story.

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