Monday, September 11, 2006

The other night I was doing a bit of cooking and listening to the television that was on in the living room. It was one of those British documentary series following a bunch of people around at work. You know the ones. And if not, the best way to describe them I think is, dull as hell. Which I like because you know, it’s real. Let’s face it, life for most people, for the most part is dull. And that’s how we like it, isn’t it? I mean if every time I came out of the house, I would have to dodge man-eating lions that were lurking about behind the Ford Fiestas and the wheelie bins, then yes I guess life would be a lot more exciting but as it is, the only thing lurking around here is the crazy guy who shouts at me from time to time and to be honest I would prefer it if this bit of excitement was taken out of my life too.
Anyway back to the documentary. It was all about following a few people around some airport.

Hussein, a cleaner in terminal five has a problem. ‘I’ve lost me broom. It were there a minute ago and now it aint.’ Hussein decides to do some investigating.
‘Excuse me, ‘ave you seen a broom lying about ‘ere.’
‘Well I don’t know do I? It were there a minute ago and now it aint and I need it to do me work youknowwha’imean?’
‘Sorry mate I haven’t seen it.’

Meanwhile Naomi has to deal with a very unusual package. ‘What is inside?’
‘It’s a doll. A very expensive…’
‘No no no, you must take it out of the box. You can’t put a dog in a box, it’ll die.’
‘Oh no it’s not a dog, it’s doll. A clay doll. They are very expensive.’
‘A doll?’ ha ha ha ‘I thought you said a dog.’

At the same time on the other side of the airport, Ben is on Bird duty.
‘Birds land on the runway from time to time and it’s not usually a problem but when you get a lot of them…’
Radio, ‘khhh…How are things looking down there?’
‘Not good. A group of seagulls are blocking runway 14.’
‘Kaa kaa’
the birds chat in the background.
‘khhhh…Roger that.’
Ben attempts to shoo off the birds.
‘Shoo shoo.’
‘Kaa kaa’
(‘Is that guy pretending to be a bird?’)
‘Kaa kaa’
(‘Shoo shoo? What does that mean?’)
‘Kaa kaa?’ (‘He is making sea noises. I think he is trying to ask us where the sea is.’)
‘Kaa kaa’ (‘Are you sure? I’d always thought that was human for ‘shit on my head.’’)
Unfortunately the shooing does not work but Ben has another trick up his sleeve (apparently the unsuccessful shooing counts as one trick!).
‘This is a tape of a seagull in distress. I’m going to play this now and the seagulls will fly away thinking that there is danger in this area.’

‘’ave you seen me broom?’

No no no stop! Don’t cut to the broom guy! The seagull story was just getting interesting. A tape of a seagull in distress! I just have so many questions about that. For starters, how do you go about making a tape like that? Do you strangle a seagull and record his dying screeches? If yes, does the RSPCA know about this? Do your family know you strangle seagulls for a living? Is your mother proud of you? Perhaps you can buy this tape from HMV or Tower Records. In that case, do you think I could get one that says, ‘Please don’t shit down my collar?’

‘…a broom. ‘ave you seen it?’
‘Why are you looking for a broom?’
‘Cause it’s lost init?’

On the other side of the airport Zohoor has problems of his own.
‘Sometimes a swan gets lost and lands in the airport. You have to be careful with them because they’ve got a nasty beak on them.’
‘Ouch. See? He just tried to go for me there. They’re vicious little things they are.’

Meanwhile runway 14 is still blocked by seagulls.

Yes! Back to the seagull story.

‘Khhh…has the runway been cleared?’
‘No not yet. I’m playing the tape of the seagull in distress at the moment but it doesn’t seem to be working.’
Turns out the tape is just of a bird doing a jazz version of ‘O Sole Mio’ and the seagulls seem to enjoy it.

No it didn’t say that and I don’t think that’s what it was. It sounded more like the seagull they had strangled had some sort of speech impediment that made it hard for other seagulls to understand him. They sounded quite confused, ‘Kaa kaa?!’ (‘Is he saying ‘Help me, I’m dying.’ or ‘Jeffery, I’m in love with Marlene.’?’)

Now Ben needs to think of another way to clear the runway.

Hussein’s shift is coming to an end and he has not been able to locate his broom. He is considering discussing the matter with his supervisor and asking for her advice.

Join us again next week for another episode of Airport where Hussein will undergo hypnosis in an effort to find his broom and Ben struggles on Bird Duty.
‘As you can see they are starting to get a bit aggressive now.’
‘Kaa kaa’
(‘What do we want?’)
‘Kaa kaa’ (‘O Sole Mio’)
‘Kaa kaa’ (‘When do we want it?’)
‘Kaa’ (‘Now’)
‘Kaa kaa’ (‘Che bella cosa na jurnata 'e sole,
n'aria serena doppo na tempesta!
Pe' ll'aria fresca pare già na festa...
Che bella cosa na jurnata 'e sole.
All together now’
‘Kaa kaa’ (Ma n'atu sole
cchiù bello, oje ne'.
'o sole mio
sta 'nfronte a te!’)
Ben, ‘I think I might call for backup.’

Now I’m off on a fun-packed week in London and Paris tomorrow where I’ll be meeting many old friend and three new babies and all I’m thinking about is, ‘Damn, I’m going to miss next week’s episode and will never know what became of Hussein’s broom or the jazz loving seagulls!’


Anonymous said...

Supi, I liked this! how can you say its dull? an airport left dirty and stubborn singing birds on the runway... after all news and these frightening airport shows, things are putting me off flying. So much that I took the eurobus to Paris last week. You can't imagine how exciting it is to travel in there with bagpacking students and tanned immigrants, not knowing how to queue. Specially the british passport control on way back had it in it. lucky me having smelly french cheese, saved me of opening all bags. What a pity I missed you by one week in Paris..enjoy your trip!

Shirin said...

Saved by smelly cheese ;-) brilliant! I must remember to pack some of that. I’m just leaving in a minute for London and then I’m off to Paris tomorrow. Would have been cool to meet up there.

Amir Sharifi said...

Hi Shirin,
That was a very funny piece, it cracked me up; Thanks for that.
I envy you going to the City of Lights...I wish you a very nice trip:0)

Dodo said...

There is a guy in NJ whose job it is to shoot the birds on the runway, but I guess the brits are a bit nicer and don't want to shoot the birds.

Shirin said...

I’m glad I made you crack up Amir ;-) my trip to the city of lights was cool. Just got back all tired and hungry :-)

O no way Dodo! The Brits would never do things like that. They prefer a softer approach like strangling one bird so (beh gholeh yaaroo) darseh ebrati besheh barayeh digaran. However that tactic does not work for seagulls apparently.