Sunday, 25 April 2010

The 2-Year Orgasm

The pressure was getting unbearable. When the explosion finally came, there was a deep groan of satisfaction as the hot fluid burst out. And as is customary in these situations, this was followed by a long and leisurely smoke.

No, I'm not trying to win the Bad Sex Award. For a start, I wouldn't even come get close to the 2009 winner, Jonathan Littell ('I came suddenly, a jolt that emptied my head like a spoon scraping the inside of a soft-boiled egg'). I just don't have that kind of literary talent. And in any case, I'm talking about that Icelandic volcano.

You may have heard about it. The one that has the unpronounceable name - fdsjakldjkd or something. The one that hadn't erupted for over 100 years. Until the week I happened to be in the USA.

I can't really complain, since I only had to spend two extra days in a comfortable hotel, but I did have a rather unsettling week. When the thing first belched out clouds of ash, they prohibited any flying through it. The weather folk said that the cloud would be over Britain for at least a week, and the vulcanologists (these aren't Trekkies, but people who study volcanoes) said that it could keep erupting for a year or two.

This is a Vulcan, not a vulcanologist.

I started to wonder what I'd do in the US for a couple of years. There were signs up in Walmart saying that they were hiring. Or maybe I could get a job as Bee's stunt double, taking over from her in those situations where women want her to touch them up.

In reality, I wouldn't manage to last two years on the wrong side of the pond. America is like watching a 4:3 TV broadcast in widescreen. The roads are wider. The cars are wider. The people are wider. The reason for this last one is that in America they just don't stop stuffing food into you. No, I'd have to find a quicker escape route.

To give you an idea of what I was up against, having visited TGI Friday's in the UK, I went to a Stateside one. The menu is much better, but not only did I fail to finish my meal (I couldn't even manage the starter), I felt so bloated that I didn't think I'd live long enough to have another. Fortunately, I pulled through in time for breakfast the next day.

Whilst munching my way through a Triple Whopper one afternoon, I was pondering the injustice of the fact that the only unaffected transatlantic flights out of America were ones to Iceland, when I realised that this could be useful. All you had to do to get back to Blighty was to wear a teflon suit, fly to Iceland, jump into the volcano and wait for it to spew you out. After all, everything else that comes out of this thing ends up getting blown to Britain.

As I started on the fries, I realised that there was another, more worrying scenario. Eventually the airlines would have lost so much money that they'd go bankrupt if they didn't fly some planes. At which point they'd start to fly them through the cloud. What's the possibility of losing the odd plane compared to certain financial ruin?

Sure enough, within a week they'd decided that they didn't need to wait for the ash to go away, and they began the flights again. Apparently they carried out extensive tests over a couple of days, and it's all right. To be fair, they've come up with a safe ash concentration limit. To be even fairer, none of the planes have crashed yet.

Now they're saying that this volcano's got a friend, and that they like to erupt together. fdsjakldjkd is presumably a bit premature. If that one goes up as well, they might have to stop the flights again. Now, if only I can time my next holiday to Athens just right...

Disclaimers, a.k.a "Please don't sue me"
  • I'm sure that the airlines, the air traffic people and various governments are taking a responsible approach to safety. Otherwise I wouldn't have got on that plane.
  • Not all Americans are fat. I'm going by statistics. So it's only the average ones.
  • I know that fdsjakldjkd isn't really the name of that volcano. Anyone can see that there aren't nearly enough j's for it to be a real Icelandic name.
  • Maybe most people at the height of sexual pleasure feel like their head is a soft boiled egg that's being scraped out by a spoon. Maybe I've being doing something wrong. If so, please don't shatter my illusions by telling me.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Listless - Half a Post.

I realised the other day that it was April already and I hadn't posted anything since some time in March, so I owe you a rundown of all the exciting things that have happened in the intervening period of my madcap life.

I got a nice large piece of paper, and started to make a list, or rather a series of lists - Funny Things, Sad Things, Interesting Things, Embarrassing Things, Out-of-body Experience Type Things, Hilarious Things on You Tube. However, once I got to "Not Very Interesting Things" and still hadn't managed to think of any topics, I gave up making lists.

The truth is that very little has happened here over the last couple of weeks. I had a relaxing time over Easter, Helena spent a few days here over the holidays, and the most exciting event was lunch at TGI Friday's.

I once read that Friday's (as it's known in some parts of the world) is a favourite haunt of Giorgos Papadopoulos, the Greek Prime Minister. He was born in the USA, and spent quite a few years there, so this is perhaps not surprising.

I don't know what the Athen's restaurant is like - maybe I should visit it next time I'm in the area, but the ones here are good. The service is superb, and Helena enjoyed her Salmon with Jack Daniel's sauce. My sirloin wasn't bad either. There was some music playing that Helena liked, so she asked the waiter what it was. After much discussion and fiddling with their i-phones, we were eventually handed a piece of paper with all the details on it. I think it was some kind of garage-be-bop-disco-hip-hop-grunge-techno-folk or similar. The band was something "5". I can't remember what the "something" was. No doubt you can work that out from my excellent description of the music.

Apart from not being able to afford to eat out all the time, the main problem I have with the place is its lack of variety. You can get a burger. You can get a steak. You can get some chunks of animal still on bones. Since I'm not a qualified surgeon I'm limited to the burgers or the steak. Most things have their ubiquitous Jack Daniels sticky sauce on it, whcih I'm not a huge fan of. Still, we had a nice lunch.

Talking of lunch, it's 4pm now and I haven't had any. I'm running down on supplies, since I'm going to be away for a few days, so I'll have to go out and get something. I'd love to write the other half of this post, but my stomach is insisting. Apologies in advance for not visiting blogs, but I'll probably be without internet access over the next week or so.