The Dangers Of Reading The News

The Rugby World Cup tournament ended last weekend and I’m pleased to report that the New Zealand All Blacks have won for the first time since 1987!  It’s safe to say that the whole country is pretty much in a state of euphoria.

Everyone has been predicting that one of these days, we’re all going to wake up with a giant hangover and realize that we have to get back to reality.

Today that happened to me.  Stories about the All Blacks are dropping from the front pages and now we have to contend with, well, reality.

I think I prefer the alternative.

Maybe I’m feeling indestructible because of having watched some rugby, but I just wasn’t prepared for the news stories today that talked about what a dangerous place the world has become.

For example, there’s the story about the dangers of germs on petrol (gas) pump handles.  Who knew?  And as if there is anything clean at a gas station.  In the article, there was a demand for sanitary wipes at gas pumps so users can sanitize them before they fill up.  But that is only if providing rubber gloves is deemed to not be cost effective.

I hope you don’t lose too much sleep now that you know the risky behaviour you’ve been engaging in all these years.  It might help you put things in perspective when you learn that the study that found all those nasty germs on the pump handles was commissioned by Kimberly-Clark, the company that makes Kleenex and sanitary wipes.

But when it comes to living on the edge, nothing can top the tale of a woman who was flying from Canada to Australia with her two kids, aged four and two.  When they arrived in Australia, they went to board their domestic flight home and because the two year old wasn’t wearing shoes, they weren’t allowed on the plane.

I’ve flown from LA to Australia before and I can tell you that is one of the last things you’d want to hear when you are on the last leg of your trip home.

The airline said that it was their policy, for safety reasons, that anyone who can walk must be wearing shoes to board the plane.  It’s OK to take off your shoes
once you’re aboard.

The airline people were nice enough to go to the lost and found and find a pair of shoes for the kid and they nicely rebooked the trio on the next flight.

But then.  The woman for some reason missed that flight (shopping for shoes, perhaps?) and this time the airline wasn’t so accommodating.  They made her buy tickets for another flight.  And didn’t refund the cost of the original flight.  She claims she’s out $1,200 and is outraged.

I must admit to mixed feelings about this story.  I can’t help believe that if the woman had been carrying the kid he would have gotten on the plane without a second glance.

And let’s face it.  How much more safe is a two year old on a plane when he’s wearing shoes?  I don’t know the answer to that.  But you have to wonder about the other part of the story which is that the kid’s shoes were “misplaced” on the
flight from Canada.   I’ve been on long haul flights with two year olds before.
Lots of times.  And I can easily imagine a scenario where by the time the plane landed the mother wouldn’t have even noticed, or cared, that the shoes had been “misplaced” because of the excitement the kid had created on the flight. I’m glad I wasn’t there to know the truth.

 And speaking of excitement, the Occupy Wall Street movement got a huge boost in the Southern Hemisphere the other day.

The Queen is in Australia for a Commonwealth conference and during a public appearance, a guy who claims affiliation with the Occupy movement mooned Her Majesty.  Not only that, he was “clenching” an Australian flag “between his cheeks.”

He’s been charged with public nuisance and wilful exposure.  His defence is that nowadays you even see bare butts in PG programming so it’s no big deal and that he was careful to limit his exposure:  “Not the front at all. There were loads of people there to see the Queen. I wouldn’t want all of them seeing (that).” He has pled guilty, proudly proclaiming:  “I mooned the Queen!” and is going to be sentenced on Friday.

When’s the next Rugby World Cup?

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14 responses to “The Dangers Of Reading The News

  1. I’d like to know why Shoeless Joe’s mom missed the 2nd flight, but, still, what a stupid, arbitrary rule. No, strike that. The rule is fine. Rule of thumb, you shouldn’t wander around an airport barefoot. What a stupid flight attendant, for insisting the 2-year-old wear shoes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 2-year-old actually walk aboard a plane and walk down the aisle and find his or her seat. They’re always being carried. It’s like a school expelling a pupil for drugs because he took an aspirin.

  2. I think after Sunday our Miami Dolphins will be 0-7.

  3. It’s logical that those gas pump handles would be crawling with germs. I had never thought of that one….great….Thanks, Tom.

    And don’t get me started on the airlines. After my suitcase went to Jordan from Chicago, instead of to San Francisco, I bought a carry on size and carried it on to a flight to Phoenix last weekend. Getting that sucker into the overhead bin was a trick, but I felt great knowing my stuff was indeed, with me.

    Can you send me the link to Cue Haven?

  4. Never mind. I see it now right there on your blog.

  5. “I mooned the Queen” would make a cool t-shirt.

  6. “Not the front at all. There were loads of people there to see the Queen. I wouldn’t want all of them seeing (that).” That that is priceless!

  7. Hooray the rugby is over and we can get back to some semblance of normality. But now the news as you say. And Thomas did you see that yesterday ANOTHER container ship hit a reef in Tauranga? And ugh all those germs – well done Kimberley Clarke for pointing that out to us. And all in the name of generosity and human kindness! What a profit to be made?
    Thanks Thom for another entertaining post. :D

  8. You know, germs are going to be everywhere regardless. Even more so than two year olds, whom I place in exactly the same category. But does anyone offer me wipes to deal with them? Ohhhnooo…..

    I don’t even fancy sport in the slightest, however weird that sounds when said by someone whose life revolves around chucking big plates about. But I do like the All Blacks just because of the scary haka thing. So props.

  9. Love the wiggling butt (arse) graphic. I’m a big fan of unreality. Much more preferable to the alternative these days.

  10. News isn’t only dangerous. It is also annoying.

    The other day, while on my exercise bike, I watched Larry King interviewing Johnny Depp on CNN International. Johnny Depp had just introduced something Marlon Brando had allegedly told him as the best quote on acting he’d ever heard.

    Naturally, I was eager to hear the quote.

    That moment, CNN went to a breaking news flash: some “All Blacks” had won a game in New Zealand. For the next ten minutes they showed an ecstatically celebratory crowd in Auckland going nuts.

    So I never learned what Marlon had said about acting.

  11. I’m fairly certain this is a case of small children being phased out of airplane travel. And I think I’m OK with that.

  12. did you hear about the game in the USA where visiting kiwi relatives of a player started doing the haka to encourage him in his play….and someone called the police ;-)))

    methinks a 2yr old carries and spreads more germs than any petrol bowser pump handle might, and having to sit near one for such a longhaul flight would be a major health hazard

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