Monday, May 21, 2007

Sense and Senility

Now that I’m back to my senses after a week’s holiday in Goa, maybe I can actually write a post for a change. One week of doing little but eating, drinking, making merry and learning how to say, “Do you do it doggy-doggy?” in thirteen languages. In other words, quite a fun time. Especially if you happen to be a [cunni] lingual enthusiast.

I returned by the overnight bus. Like most guys, when traveling single, I always hope that I am seated next to a pretty, young female. Well, as it turned out, I WAS seated next to a pretty female, it’s just that I got there about six decades too late! She looked about a gazillion years old, and moved like it too.

A lot is said about the horrors of sitting next to an overweight person on a flight/bus. But I think sitting next to an overaged person is almost as bad. (You get a 320-pound octogenarian next to you on a 6+ hour flight, and I wouldn’t even bet a potato on your chances of surviving it.)

To start off with, old people don’t trust young people very much. This lady looked at me as if I were a serial-killing rapist with a degrees in pickpocketing and thuggery. I could almost hear her say, “Oh dear God! Why did they have to put me next to this frightful piece of half-man half-monster?” I know for a fact that she kept one of her bags on her lap the entire night and used two more to build a fort-like wall between us, which kept falling on me all the time. If her plan was to suffocate me to death, it nearly worked. More than an asphyxiated demise though, what I was really scared of was that she might lose a shoe or something and that I’d get lynched for it.

Old people also don’t like to move too much. I’m the type who needs to stretch my legs when I get a chance. So every time the bus stops, I need to hop off. This meant a regular routine of first bringing down the fort wall, then seven minutes for her to stand up and then by the time I was off the bus, it was already time to get back in again. I’d crawl back into the corner and the ramparts would be slowly reconstructed once more.

And what if she just happened to pop it during the night? She’s old; old people die. I’m sure there was a non-zero chance of her passing away in that bus. I spent half the night with my ear pressed up against the wall of luggage to see if I could hear her breathing. I did NOT want to wake up in the morning with a dead body beside me!

Okay, okay! Don’t get all mad at me for saying such bad things about dear old ladies. I like old people, okay. Just not in the seat next to mine!

(Still, it was better than this.)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bush and the Queen

Queen Elizabeth visiting the United States was always going to be the perfect set up for a comedy show on T.V. I’m surprised no one’s decided to come up with one as yet. Of course, being President, George Bush felt he had to take the initiative.

His ‘tongue of slip’ on Monday is funny on so many levels that you struggle to figure out which part’s the best! Let’s see. First, he started to say “1776” and just about managed to stop and correct himself on the edge of the precipice. Now, ordinarily this wouldn’t be too funny. We all slip up during speeches sometimes and it’s okay. But remember, the woman he was referring to looks old enough to be Mick Jagger’s great-grand-mother’s nanny. Women don’t like people making fun of their age. George Bush almost added 200 years to hers. Funny.

After correcting himself, the wisest thing you’d think would be to -- uhm, I don’t know -- CARRY ON WITH HIS SPEECH? But of course, you and I are not two-time reigning champions of that elite competition -- The Presidency of the USA. These President types tend to think slightly differently. So what does Bush do? He stops, turns, gives the Queen a John Wayne like look and a WINK! Funny, funny, funny! And stupid.

The Queen then says something in the background. The microphones caught it but not very clearly. I couldn’t make out whether it was “Oh, dear!”, “Oh, yea!” or “Oh, Blighty! How frightfully daft can this bally Texan get?”, but it really could’ve been any one.

And that isn’t even the end. He turns back from the wink, grins impishly at the audience and says, “She gave me a look that only a mother could give a child.” Whoopsie. Is he trying to say she’s like his Mom? So he finally DID manage to insult her age. Well done! I bet she wanted to turn him over on her knee right then and give his little ass a nice spanking.

A lot people were fretting about getting the “protocol” right for the Queen’s visit. I’m not a big fan of protocol myself, except in cases where it makes things simpler for both parties. For example, I’d always stand in favor of a protocol for tipping. Figuring out how much I need to tip someone is just too darned hard otherwise. However, I can live without rules for how to pass someone the hookah pipe or how many times a minute I can breathe when I’m in the presence of royalty. That’s just stupid.

I’d like to see the Queen visit India. It would be even more fun. I bet some government official would do ALL of the following before shaking her hand.

1. Scratch his crotch.
2. Sneeze into his hands.
3. Pick his nose.

Anyone putting money on which who the lucky guy would be?