Monday Morning Life

I don't know what it is, but there seems to be some correlation between people who chain-smoke and party monsters

Something has gone hideously wrong at the Emirates' check-in desk. Drink can't be involved, as we're talking Dubai here, so the only possibilities are that it's 4am or that the girl behind it, who sulks enough to qualify for a grant, is employed under some equal ops umbrella. Either way, my temper after four hours on a dry flight, with four more hours in a dry airport and another seven getting home, isn't improved by being put smack in the centre of smoking.

I love to smoke, it's one of my hobbies, but smoking sections are hell. They're worse on trains, of course, especially trains to Scotland, but these "which would you rather, Rwanda or Cambodia" discussions are pointless. Anyone mad enough to volunteer for smoking will be a chain-smoker by definition. And if, they give their lungs a rest, someone from non-smoking will take their seat and light up, doubling the amount of smoke any individual could produce. And I don't know what it is, but there seems to be some correlation between people who chain-smoke and party monsters.

We get the off-duty trolley dollies on their way home to Swansea. The plane takes off at 7.45am and they pitch into the free drinks before we start taxiing. I have to hand it to trolley dollies: they work hard, and boy, they play hard: shagging on conference suite pianos and so forth. I close my eyes, but through the wail of Arabic music over my headphones, I hear their voices: "You never been to Swansea? It's lovely in Swansea. Ever so nice. You go to Bristol and then you take the bus. Oh, there's everything. The people are lovely..." And talk a lot, too.

Chat, howls of laughter, seats bouncing every time they go to empty their bladders. The people on my row are wide-eyed and pale. I fall into slipstream smoking, lighting one duty-free Cartier after another, feeling nauseous with nicotine overload. After five hours, I doze off, and dream that I'm being savaged by a curly-haired ewe in a yashmak who sits on me and screams "Baa-ksheesh! Baa-ksheesh!"

The bing of the seatbelt signs. We are descending. The guy next to me puts his seat upright. A shriek from behind. "Now look what you've done!" He looks back. "You've knocked my champagne over. Can't you be more careful? Now look. It's all over my skirt, and all over my jumper, and all over my table, and all over my boots...". She rants on as the undercarriage clunks into place. As we hit the tarmac at Heathrow, the voice is still shrilly listing: "...and all over Kerry's cigarettes, and all over the carpet, and all over..."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Systems and Network Support Analyst

    £26000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Systems Support Analyst

    £20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

    £20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

    Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker / Trainee Broker / Closer - OTE £250,000

    £30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker/ Trainee FX, Stoc...

    Day In a Page

    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
    Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

    That's a bit rich

    The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
    Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
    Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

    Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

    Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
    A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

    Britain's Atlantis

    Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

    David Starkey's assessment
    Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

    'An enormous privilege and adventure'

    Oliver Sacks writing about his life
    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
    Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

    Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

    Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
    Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

    Orthorexia nervosa

    How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
    Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

    Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

    Set a pest to catch a pest

    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests