Winter Of My Disco Tent

Only a lunatic would leave Durban to go to Cape Town on holiday at this time of year. In my defence, two hadedas have taken to roosting outside my bedroom window. I have tried to scare them off by throwing plastic patio furniture into the trees. They are still there. And I can no longer sit on the verandah. They are the antichrist of the avian world and nothing short of napalm will dislodge them. If I wanted to be woken at the crack of dawn by the sound of screaming, I would move to Joburg.

It was 26 degrees when I left Durban. I was wearing a T-shirt, boardshorts and slops. Given a choice, I would fly naked. Economy class is constrictive enough without adding to it by wearing clothes. Even shoes give my toes claustrophobia. Long pants cause me to readjust my tentacles more frequently than Jacob Zuma readjusts his cabinet. If it weren’t for the praying and the fasting and the random hostility from jingoistic infidels from the hinterland, I would convert to Islam just to be able to wear the robes.

I was given the choice of an aisle seat in the front of the plane or a middle seat at the emergency exit. Tough call. I have the legs of a giraffe, the body of a manatee and the central nervous system of a howler monkey. When it comes to flying, though, it’s really just the legs that dictate my decisions.

For me, the emergency exit is the Holy Grail of airline seats. Not only am I first out when the plane crashes, as they all do eventually, but I can sit without having my knees double as ear muffs. However – and it’s a big however – the prospect of being hemmed in by complete strangers comes perilously close to rendering the leg benefits null and void.

There should be special flights for misanthropists. I would quite enjoy flying if it were just me, the pilot and an air hostess. What I really should do, though, is learn to fly and pour my own drinks. How hard can it be? I’m already halfway there.

There should also be special flights for fat people. If Kulula can punish me with a R350 surcharge for having the audacity to arrive with two suitcases, the least they can do is make sure I don’t spend the entire flight with my arms in the T-Rex position.

And if I don’t get the lardaceous blimp, I get the baby. It’s even starting to look like the same baby. I’m beginning to think my name is on some kind of list. The instant I book a ticket, an alarm is triggered and word goes out. “He’s in 20A. Put the baby in 20B. No, wait! Put it in 19A so it can kick his seat and vomit on his head.”

Everyone around me ordered tea or coffee or a softdrink. What happened to the good old days when entire families would order a brace of miniatures and drink heavily from take-off to landing? Try that now and people look at you as if you’re a sales rep for al-Qaeda.

In their avaricious attempt to fit even more people onto their aircraft, they have reduced their toilets to the size of a bar fridge. To have something no more complicated than a wee, I had to arch my back and shuffle up to the bog like a goddamn limbo dancer.

Two minutes after walking out of Cape Town International Airport, three of my toes turned black and dropped off. A man dressed like a polar bear offered me something. It could have been a taxi, it could have been heroin. Whatever it was, I should have taken it.

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