Thursday, 23 July 2009

The Little Red Button (Continued)

Yesterday, I told you about my escapade with the deranged Stella Artois fisherman from hell.

Today, I want to continue on the theme of anger management.

When people like my fishing friend in Broxbourne want to do bad things to our heads with blunt instruments, we all momentarily wish ill on them.

It's a pretty human response. 

The ill is normally scaled in accordance with the bad things being done.

A rude boater is often wished an early bath.

Somebody cutting you loose from your mooring in the middle of a night is wished a transmission failure at 2am on the M1 - a complete rear axle lock up at 70 mph if you're moored near a weir.

However, most of us get over it when the emotion leaves the incident.

However, somebody once said to me, imagine that somebody does something bad to you. 

You might not want to kill them, just maim them a little -maybe not even hurt them at all.

But, imagine that you have a little red button with a cover over it.

You can lift that lid, press that button and that person will disappear for ever - they will cease to exist.

Nobody else will know what you have done.

Their friends and families will wonder where they have gone, but never know the truth.

Only you will know the truth and you have to live with that for the rest of your life.


This week, I made a brave decision.

I decided to fly to Turkey on a Turkish airline that I'd never heard of.

With the boat still in dock and me living at our house in Essex, I decided that I wanted to fly from London Stansted.

My normal easyJet big orange bird doesn't fly from there, so I booked with an airline called Pegasus.
I knew it was going to be different when I checked in.

As I was standing in the check-in queue, I noticed a very British looking, dapper, middle aged gentleman with an "I'm important" Airport Staff ID badge looking at people's hand luggage.

He saw one of my fellow passengers with a laptop bag and as soon as he could get eye contact with him, said "is that a laptop" ?

The passenger nodded. If it's got lots of cables in it, the security won't like it - they're having lots of problems with cables at the moment.

Rightly or wrongly, I immediately labelled him a jumped up jobs-worth.

My bag is full of laptop and LOTS of cables. The security love to pull them all out over the examination table and then leave me to put them all back in, to teach me a lesson.

I resolved to ignore the jobs-worth and didn't make eye contact - it worked.

Security paid me no more attention than usual.

All went normally until it was time to board at the gate.

I noticed my dapper friend. He was receiving a customer complaint from a British farepayer.

I couldn't catch every word, despite leaning in their direction, but got the impression it was something to do with the size and weight of hand luggage that Turkish passengers were being allowed to take on.

There is a very strict and minimalistic allowance in force - clearly flouted by the Turkish. 

The British passengers, including me, formed an orderly line, waiting to board. 

The Turkish passengers, who have no word in their vocabulary for queue, charged the front desk in a cheese wedge of people - it was everybody for himself.

Luckily, seats were pre-assigned (unlike Ryan Easy), so I didn't care. 

Then it happened.

That Twilight Zone moment.

I was already uneasy about flying on an unknown airline - a Turkish owned and operated airline that I had no background or prior knowledge of.

Then, I saw what was written on the side of the aircraft.


It had to be an omen.

We were all going to die.

Luckily, my panic was quickly controlled by the sight of my trusty Jobs-worth, carrying a very stiff upper lip and adorned by the mantle of a tweed jacket.

He was waiting at the foot of the airstairs.

Up to that point, I had seriously considered pressing the red button on him.

Obviously having his dander dandered by the complaining passenger, he had sought his own personal crusade to stop the hand luggage offenders.

Single handed, he pulled peoples luggage out of their hand, with the battle cry "its too heavy - its going in the hold".

Unfortunately, all the inflicted were Turkish. The British play cricket - all their hand held bags were well within the rules.

The Turks were beside themselves with anger. He was stopping them getting on the aeroplane - delaying them from their rendezvous with Istanbul.

Undeterred, tweed gent persevered. The Turkish aircaft crew rolled their eyes as the bags were removed in the general direction of the Boeing's underbelly.

Now the Turks are a great spectator nation.

If there is a car crash between two cars in Turkey, not only do the drivers get out and argue in the street, the passers-by do as well.

Any public argument is considered to be a spectator or participation sport.

Its not unknown for complete strangers to pass opinions on the cause of car accidents that have nothing at all to do with them.

An accident between two drivers can quickly become an argument between 7 people.

The Turkish people in front of me, stopped moving up the airstairs.
They stopped, looked back, savouring the conflict.

Come on, I said, get on board, we've got places to go.

They sulked and wearily plodded up the stairs, miffed that they were missing the show.

I felt so proud to be British. Standards haven't slipped after all.

I was going to banish him into nothingness with my little red button, but in the end, I quite liked him.


  1. Hell yeah... I'd press the button LOL

  2. Are you sure you are managing your anger or just releasing it? :) Either way, sounds good to me Tillie x

  3. Me ? I don't have any anger - I just laugh it off. Humour is the best antidote to stress..

  4. You're not wrong there! I laugh about everything which unfortunately gets me into trouble quite often... I've yet to learn 'appropriate' laughter - still, my positive and comedy outlook keeps me healthy :)

  5. I would no doubt in the heat of the moment press the red button. Then on cooling down would regret my decision. So how about there being a green button for when you cool down? There would have to be a three strike rule, so that if you red buttoned any body three times they are out for good! Debbie Nb Tickety Boo


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