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  • Writer's pictureThe Paladins

Modern air travel


When I was a boy, I used to dream about being a pilot! So my father gave me all his books and manuals about technical aspects of flight and navigation, because he was a respected Captain until one day he couldn't fly anymore because he lost his sight after going to hospital for a routine medical procedure and it turned out to be more serious then they thought but we in the family don't know anything about this and we never talk about it.


Anyway as a teenager I kept my plans to become a pilot and I hid all my father's charts and tables and other papers away from prying eyes because I didn't want to cause you any trouble. Alas, what a strange decision I made! Because later when I came to study the maps and charts I had hidden away so carefully in my father's wooden box I came to discover that they were all actually maps of the other side of the world.


Once when I was on a flight I had been upgraded mysteriously to Business Class with my accumulation of Miles and More opportunities and I found myself sitting next to a man who told me he was a member of the Institute of Directors and would I like to come to a talk about some obscure Sri Lankan tea plantations in which the farmers live off the sides of steep hills and they grow their tea there. And do you know, in a moment of madness I decided I would go to this crazy talk in the Institute of Directors and I thought I was learning so much!


That was my last flight to London. Shortly after that I was driving my car on a windy road somewhere outside Moscow with beautiful churches not so far away and I had a head-on collision with a bus. The Police arrived and they were very nice and professional. I think they were some Special Police reserved for the more serious types of road accident. They breathalysed me and found me positive which was strange because I hadn't had anything to drink except tea in a London hotel just the day before or a few days earlier and now here I was being breathalysed.


So they took my licences away and now I don't fly so much. Instead I live in a large pretty house with open windows and beautiful sunshine and I sit on my porch all day long with my other friends who are very nice people and I dream of my time as a pilot. But every day I know, with warmth in my heart, that one day the airline authorities will come to my front door and give me back my final papers. And then I will be free to go wherever I want and that will be the end of my story.


I like flying with my maps and charts. Are you a pilot too?

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