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 Saturday September 10th 2016Tim Candler9

 

      Chapter Thirteen. Your writer of pulp thought of calling it "Arrivals." It's a word he's familiar with from a past life in the course of which he often found himself at an airport, being thanked, prior to being released from the bedlam of an airplane, by that peculiarly difficult breed of overseer, the Air Steward or Air Stewardess. And the thing about getting off an airplane is to hunt down the word "Arrivals" otherwise a person can get very lost, which can lead to problems not so much of orientation rather of the "Authorized Persons Only" kind. And if memory serves, the other thing about getting off an airplane is everybody knows exactly what they are supposed to be doing, they are all in a terribly important hurry and none of them are very helpful, a little like Wal-Mart or that stain on consumerism Hechinger's Hardware Store, and this is a recipe for bolshevism in those of us prone to isolationist instincts. Nor is this reaction a wise one on the part of an airplane traveller, because the third thing about getting off an airplane are the eyes and ears of customs and immigration, both of whom take great pleasure in, for example, searching a suspected Bolshevik's suitcase or pulling him aside at the passport desk because he filled in his immigration form incorrectly, or his eyes don't look hazel because they turned green for no apparent reason.

 

Past

     The obvious question is why associate the Arrival at an airport via an airplane with the Arrival at a Tri-County Lunatic Asylum via the back of a four wheeled transit vehicle. Well it's kind of similar. The transit van is almost like being inside an airplane. In some respects it's actually nicer, there's no steward prancing up and down an aisle challenging people to purchase duty free brandy, there's no question of a demonstration of how to put a parachute on, there's no pointless literature, but there are fellow passengers, some of them on the edge of gibbering, but much better behaved than the precocious child that so often turn a person sour on travelling by airplane, and there is a window a person might get a view out of while wondering how much longer. Then when the transit vehicle "lands" there are fierce directions from the uniformed staff to remain seated until the severely disabled are unshackled, an event which can grant opportunity for the slightly less disabled to demonstrate Bolshevistic tendencies, which is a good opportunity for uniformed staff to set the tone by resorting to a little customs and immigration type manhandling. After that, it's almost exactly like an airport, the only difference is that none of the travellers know what they're doing and the nicer thing is that no traveller even pretends to know what they're doing and everybody gets searched, which is refreshing. 

 

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