I fly quite a lot, and apart from the fact that a 400-tonne piece of metal is able to occupy the same space as a hoopoo, there are some things that still positively amaze me about the whole air travel experience.
Of course, one wonders why it is necessary for you to watch a pre-flight safety video – surely the most pointless exercise of all – but for me, most galling is the insistence that you cannot listen to your iPod or use your iPad, laptop, Kindle or any other electrical product while the plane takes off and lands.
What a bizarre practice. The reason given is that if you do it’ll interfere with aircraft navigation systems, which means that you are left with the totally frightening prospect that your plane could be reduced to a mangled inferno because a man called Darren was insistent on listening to Coldplay as it attempted to leave the runway.
Also, you can’t use your phone on a plane, which I actually applaud. I like the fact that for a limited period in my life I won’t be contactable. I’m not a hermit, but there is a peace knowing that a plane ride creates mystery about your whereabouts, even if it is five miles above above the Atlantic ocean.
Then there’s the other myth that if you answer your phone in a fuel station you will become a participant in a dull rerun of the Towering Inferno. If course, it’s utter utter nonsense. Mobile phones do not blow up filling stations, but big bits of fire do. I reckon you could be having a barbecue with all the trimmings on the forecourt and no-one would bat an eyelid but as soon as you pulled out your phone to receive a call you’ll get a indecipherable warning from a preposterously loud tannoy telling you that you are out of order and that you risk razing the petrol station to the ground. You’ll hear, ‘MANAPUMNUMERTHREE. TERNOFYURFONE’, from trainee pump monkey Kevin as his power complex reaches dictator-like proportions.
Kevin and his accomplices are dedicated to employing the letter of the petrol station law yet their inability to see the bigger picture will soon be their undoing. One suspects you could build the kind of fire large enough to incite a local battle involving native Americans yet you’ll still remain uninterrupted. Text your mate, however, and within seconds you’ll be leaning sideways from an aural nuclear bomb dispatched from phone-fascist Trevor at the cash till.
And how many times have you read of petrol stations being turned into blazing infernos because some idiot has been chatting to his mates on his mobile while filling up his Ford Escort?
Here’s an answer that’s laced with absolute fact.
Mobile phones, according to this increasingly ridiculous nanny state, are responsible for pretty much every ill in the world. We don’t need weapons of mass destruction we just need a fully functioning mobile phone to scare our enemies witless. Let’s tell Kim Jong Il in North Korea or President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran that we have our mobiles and, yknow, we’re not scared of using them.
If you believed every story about the demon mobile your only method of remote communication would be through a couple of coke cans and a length of string. At present the doom-mongers tell us that mobile phone cause cancer, are responsible for the majority of road traffic accidents and they’ll turn your balls into marbles if you carry one in your pocket, and that’s before you’ve caused the inferno at the local petrol station.
I have an idea that should silence put this whole mobile-phones’ll-kill-your-children theory. Sellotape your mobile phone to your ear and leave it there for the rest of your life. In 100 years’ time when the Guinness Book of Records phones you up and asks you for the secret of longevity tell them that you have been wearing mobile phone earmuffs since you were 12 years old and although the microwaves fried the part of the brain that helps you perform basic functions like using a flushing toilet or blinking, you are in fact, in perfect health.