Trav­el­ogue

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - Harold Wal­ters

The night­mares have started. In the most re­cent one I hold a win­ning ticket.

In re­al­ity, I’ve never held a win­ning ticket, de­spite daily/weekly/monthly fork­ing out toonie af­ter loonie un­til my pock­ets are empty.

Last De­cem­ber, for frig sake, Dear­est Duck dragged me off to The Mall in Car­bon­ear and aban­doned me smack dab in the mid­dle of the con­course where some group — the Lions’ Club p’raps — was raf­fling off Christ­mas tur­keys.

A Mis­sus stand­ing be­side a cart filled with enough grub to stog Mother Hub­bard’s cup­boards clutched the only four tick­ets al­ready sold for the up­com­ing spin of The Wheel when Dear­est Duck for­sook — yes, for­sook — me. Against the ad­vice of frown­ing Christ­mas an­gels, I dumped suf­fi­cient coin into Mr. Lion’s hand for the re­main­ing tick­ets. Truly. The Wheel clat­tered.

In an­tic­i­pa­tion, I squat the sheave of tick­ets in my hand. The Wheel stopped… … and Mr. Lion an­nounced the win­ning num­ber…

… and Mis­sus with the over­loaded cart shuffed off with prom­ises of a fine, fat Christ­mas tur­key.

So, p’raps you can un­der­stand why the un­like­li­ness of me hold­ing a win­ning ticket might be the stuff of night­mares.

Although I never win I keep buy­ing. How­ever — and this might sound a smidgen per­verse — I never buy a ticket of­fer­ing as a prize a Trip to for­eign climes. I do not buy for fear of win­ning.

I am not a travel en­thu­si­ast.

Thus it is night­mare fare, my hold­ing a win­ning ticket for — guess what? — a trip for two to any­where that air­planes fly.

In the night­mare of the mo­ment, Dear­est Duck pro­pels me to­wards the se­cu­rity check­point at The Air­port. My car­ryon back­pack is chock-a-block with as­sorted me­tal ob­jects I hope will trig­ger an alarm: forks and knives I snatched from the kitchen drawer; nail clip­pers and knit­ting nee­dles Dear­est Duck had re­moved from her purse; a few nuts and bolts I grabbed from the base­ment.

Frig­gin’ night­mare, I’m waved on through even though I re­peat loudly, “Bomb! There’s a bomb!”

Ev­ery­body knows some­thing causes night­mares. Ebenezer Scrooge’s Christ­mas boog-a-boos were the re­sult of a chunk of undi­gested bully beef bogged down in his belly.

Some­thing Dear­est Duck said caused mine.

“Harry, my home­body honey,” she said, “I’ve booked us a flight to go see Daddy’s Boy.”

That’s all it took for night­mares like mad ol’ Lady Mac­beth’s “thick com­ing fancies” to plague my nog­gin … well, nightly.

Daddy’s Boy lives far, far away west of the Rocky Moun­tains, al­most at the edge of a for­eign ocean and if Star Trek tech­nol­ogy could beam me there, vis­it­ing would not be so trau­matic — ex­cept for the be­ing away from home part.

Which is a whole other ‘baccy tin of worms, eh b’ys?

Although they are not my favourite places to roam, I can han­dle air­ports, at least in small doses, if flights are not de­layed more than a cou­ple of hours, and if Dear­est Duck is at my side blithely ex­plor­ing as­sorted Have-a-Good­time pam­phlets she’s plucked from a re­volv­ing rack.

It’s the air­planes that give me the yimmy-yams.

Not that I’m afraid to fly.

It’s the claus­tro­pho­bic feel­ing I get when I’m en­cased in­side those cigar-tube fuse­lages, squat in be­tween Dear­est Duck and … and — who knows? — some­one who wants to chitchat at 30,000 feet.

And there’s a line-up at the toi­lets.

And — at the risk of be­ing in­del­i­cate — I’m the vic­tim of a prostate [may you never have one] not the proper size of a wal­nut but the painful size of a bloody big co­conut.

And, be­cause of said co­conut, I need to pee.

Also, I con­fess, es­pe­cially when fly­ing above the Rock­ies, I do have trou­bling thoughts about crash­ing. That’s a lie. It isn’t the crash­ing that’s most trou­bling, although I’m sure that would frighten the whoopsie out of me, but the pos­si­ble af­ter­math.

Again at the risk of be­ing in­del­i­cate…

…re­mem­ber that 1972 plane crash in the An­des? The one with the rugby team on­board? The one in the af­ter­math of which some of the sur­vivors re­sorted to can­ni­bal­ism to stay alive?

Well, when I’m sky-high above the Rock­ies [Yes, Dear­est Duck has made me visit Daddy’s Boy be­fore.] and Dear­est Duck is asleep be­side me, snor­ing … del­i­cately … I can’t help think­ing about sur­viv­ing a crash and even­tu­ally hav­ing to — some­thing like the sailor’s wife with her chest­nuts in Mac­beth — hav­ing to “munch, munch, munch” on the rump flesh of some of those folk block­ing my pas­sage to the toi­let door…

… or they on mine, for that mat­ter.

Brr … the stuff of night­mares, eh b’ys?

Thank you for read­ing.

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