Some vaguely articulate ramblings, submitted on an occasional basis by our Guest Blogger: Jack Diamond
Military jet escorts Qatar Airways plane to Manchester Airport
This was a news story recently in the UK and I’m sure it happens in some other countries too. A Royal Air Force fighter jet was scrambled and escorted a commercial airliner into Manchester airport after a note was passed to the aircraft captain saying there was an explosive device onboard.
There’s also amateur footage of the Typhoon jet circling around the Airbus 330.
Now, my question is – what is the purpose of the fighter jet ‘escorting’ the commercial airliner to the airport?
It can’t be to reassure the passengers, many were quoted as saying they were terrified and thought they were going to die when they saw the Typhoon jet alongside their aircraft.
If there was a bomb and it went off, what would the Air Force jet do? At best nothing, at worst it could get caught up in the explosion.
Or is the policy to shoot the commercial jet out of the sky if the situation worsens? I can’t think of any other reason for it being there apart from this. And would a RAF jet really shoot down a commercial airliner over the UK? Would this be sanctioned by the government?
There’s a huge outcry from some quarters in the UK when the police open fire on armed criminals etc. Can you imagine the reaction if a commercial airline was shot down by the RAF?
So, given all this, why is a military jet sent up to ‘escort’ an airliner?
A Monster in the Vegetable Patch
There’s probably a number of plants which could make a claim for being the most vigorous in the growing department but I’m going to make a nomination here for a plant, a vegetable in fact, which we grow here in the UK, and it’s a pretty common one too. My vote goes to the humble courgette.
Surprised? You probably wont be if you’re a gardener and grow vegetables. Anyone who has grown them knows how rampant they are. They start off as innocuous little seedlings but, given a month or so in the ground, they turn into rampaging monsters.
And never, ever turn your back on them and go away for a week’s holiday (God forbid you go away and leave them for two whole weeks) because in that short time you’ll come back to huge monstrosities lurking in your vegetable patch.
It’s not only the size of the plant, it’s the fruit (yes, the part of the courgette plant you eat is actually a fruit) which grows to massive dimensions if left unattended on the plant. And, unless you have a family of twelve to feed, then don’t ever be tempted to grow more than one courgette plant. These things throw out new fruits each and every day, sometimes several appear on each plant overnight. So, unless you and your family are on a serious courgette only diet, then just plant the one. And don’t be tempted to go away on holiday and leave it to its own devices. You’ll need a machete to deal with it if you do.
Ok, I’ll own up straight away, it’s mostly McDonalds, Burger King, Wimpy and the like I’m talking about here. It’s fair to say that these are fairly relaxed establishments – the food is cheap as is the decor. But, is it reasonable, even in these restaurants, to allow your children to run around screaming and annoying everyone else or, as we saw recently in a Wimpy restaurant, two kids around 7 or 8 years old lying on the tables? Yes, I did say lying and not leaning. I’m talking about getting up on the table and lying flat out. This was with the mothers of the little brats sitting at an adjacent table and taking absolutely no notice. Or, probably more accurately, not a case of not noticing but either not bothering to tell the kids to get off the table or finding nothing wrong with what they were doing.
Now, obviously, every child plays up from time to time and tries to push the boundaries, but what is the mentality of the parents who simply let their children do whatever they like? Or is it something in the set up of these places which makes parents feel it’s ok for the kids to act like this? I don’t know. But what I do know is that none of the 6 or 7 staff actively on duty, and not particularly busy, felt compelled to go over and speak to the little angels or their parents.
So, is this sort of behaviour simply accepted these days? Or, should we as the other customers, the general public, intervene and tell them to get down off the table or to stop running around screaming or throwing their food around? Would you?
If you did speak to them I’m fairly sure you’d get a mouthful of abuse – and not just from the parents either.
And, while we’re on the subject of eating out
What is it with computerised ordering systems in restaurants that make them so inflexible, or is it simply the waiters?
And why am I even bringing the subject up?
Whilst travelling a little while ago, it was convenient for us to stay, and eat an evening meal, at a Travelodge hotel. No problem and everything started ok with the soup course. Unfortunately, the roll provided with the soup was of the miniature variety. Again, no problem, just ask for another one. Or so we thought.
But, it seems, with the computer system they use, you can’t simply order a roll. It can only be served with soup.
So, what would most waiters do in this situation? Easiest thing, you’d think, would be to go to the kitchen and bring a roll to the customer. But no, apparently they can’t do that. It has to go through the computer and the computer says you can’t order a roll on it’s own.
Yes, I know, it’s only a bread roll and nothing to make a fuss about. And we didn’t. We were just a little perplexed by it.
The worst thing really is that this Travelodge was at one of Britain’s main airports. Somewhere that many hundreds or, more probably, thousands of foreign visitors pass through each year. What, we wondered, would someone from Italy or France or anywhere else make of this? It’s not the best introduction to a new country when you request some extra bread with your dinner and the answer is a straight ‘No’.
Either the computer system needs a kick up the backside or the waiter does.
(The views expressed in our Guest Blogs are personal opinions only and do not necessarily reflect the views of PCGraphics)
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