• neil

Day 57 (13 May): Say what you mean and mean what you say

I received an email from Ryanair first thing this morning informing me of the rules to be followed next time I take one of their planes.

I suspect they would be happy indeed if I were to take one of their planes. It would save them a lot of money in parking fees.

The mail informs me that:

There should be no dwelling in boarding stairwells or air bridges.” I have given this some thought.

The use of the word 'should' suggests that, in an ideal world, there would be nobody living in the stairwells but, de facto, it is recognised there will be a few folk cooking and sleeping there. I suppose we should politely excuse ourselves and step over them while taking care not to knock over the soup.

I have no quarrel with these people and neither should Ryanair. 'Boarding' is the act of supplying, or the state of being supplied, with meals and lodgings for pay.

Consequently, in the whole range of available stairwells, a boarding stairwell is exactly the kind of stairwell where one should feel free to take up abode. In any event, where are they meant to stay while waiting for that plane to get the green light for take off?

I'm not going to get snarky about the commonly used word 'airbridges' although surely all bridges are air bridges. If they went through the ground and not through the air they would be called tunnels.

I should not make an issue of this as were I to draw Ryanair's attention to those costly items they would doubtless replace them with cheap but rickety wooden gangplanks. And if you had to cross on planks you would all be cross with me.

Having common sense in spades (we will come to that) I realise Ryanair meant 'dawdling' not 'dwelling' - but If I had said that at the outset I would have had nothing to write about.

Emails out of the way, I went on to step 2 of my daily plan and engaged with my language tutor. The mad owl from Duolingo. The very first phrase of today's lesson? "Me gusta nadar en la piscina con mi gato".

It must be me.

Next up, I read the news and discovered an article on The BBC app entitled

"Coronavirus: Why some countries wear face masks and others don't"

Countries can be really, really big; which explains the face mask shortage for humans everywhere. All the material was used by those naughty two-faced countries.

Which does not, of course, include my country.

According to my Prime Minister, those of us who herald from the sceptred isle are imbued with "good, solid, British common sense" which will get us through this crisis.

This is something which is clearly denied to those of you unfortunate enough to live anywhere south of Dover.

However, in an excess of generosity, I would invite you to speak with myself or any of my compatriots should you have detailed questions relating to the epidemiological situation, vaccine research pathways, or the microbiological characteristics COVID shares with SARS or MERS. We put our common sense at your disposal.

In the meantime, and while waiting for your requests for enlightenment, I'm going to use my good, solid, British common sense to sort out that nuclear fission business.

Keep on keeping on!



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