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Tragedy in Heathrow Terminal 3

Written at 11:00am GMT on Tuesday at Heathrow Airport. My instinct is not to post it. But then again my instinct was to go to England so clearly it cannot be trusted with decisions.

Heathrow terminal 3 security screening staff are a bunch of miserable twats*. This is what I wanted to tell them after I finished repacking my bag which they completely unpacked, swabbed and fannied about with on the claim of a suspicious object being viewed on the x-ray scan.

But as my dear friend Caroline pointed out, ‘airports are no place to suddenly find four and a bit decades of unexpressed assertion.’

The suspicious object turned out to be a round container of Aveda loose face powder. This was found early in the search but that certainly didn’t deter the security staff. It seemed to given them added impetus to completely dismantle my luggage. Perhaps they thought the powder was just a distracting decoy to something more dangerous. Because that would make sense.

Standing watching this grim-faced bint slowly remove each item from my bag and place them in a tray I was reminded of our aging and slightly senile family dog, a black Labrador called Squash, who at night would methodically remove individual cans of baked beans, spaghetti hoops, sweetcorn and whatever else was at her eye level from the cupboard in the kitchen. She would carry each can over to her bed and go to sleep and in the morning we would put them all back for her.

At the end of the search the woman dismisses me with a ‘thank you madam’ which I rightly ignore as I find it offensive to be called madam before I’m 50 and hypocritical to thank someone for destroying my careful packing for no proper reason. Not hearing a response from me, perhaps wondering if my ears are clogged with crack cocaine/Ponds face cream, she repeats herself in an even more pointed fashion ‘THANK you madam’. I pointedly put on my headphones.

I was planning to stride away blasting some sex pistols or other angry music but remember that I just recently pulled most of my music off my iphone intending to start over. I had a few podcasts on there but this was no time for Ira Glass. Luckily I had kept Queen’s Night at the Opera so was at least able to play Death on Two Legs and loudly shout (anger-whisper) the lyrics to no-one in particular. But for some reason I’d only kept part of the album so after DOTL I was left with You’re My Best Friend, the worst track Queen ever recorded, and Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon which was far too whimsical for the occasion.

Also still on my phone is the Ultimate Bee Gees Collection vol 1 & 2 (no idea how either got onto my iTunes). I was successfully channeling a Reservoir Dogs style menace-walk through the Terminal but then the opening to Staying Alive came on. It’s impossible not to swagger like John Travolta when this plays. So I am now sitting down and have spent the last 4 minutes silent-crying to Tragedy. The seating area is quite crowded but there’s a lot of empty seats around me.

Was thinking about cleaning up a bit and putting on some face powder on but wouldn’t it be more fun to tip a little bit onto my laptop cover, roll up a five pound note and start pretend-snorting? It’s Aveda powder so it’s made of lovely mineraly things which are probably very good for me.

My foot is now throbbing. I was so angry and tense when I left the security area that I kicked a pillar. I was going to kick the stupid Welcome to Terminal 3 banner but I am still sensible enough to see the potential peril/arrest in that. It would have been better if I wasn’t wearing Converse.

I’m going over to Café Nero now to see if I can score a sympathy coffee. This has become a new thing for me. On Sunday I had just arrived in London from a week at the home for the crazies in Kent. I was neither looking nor feeling my best when I popped into Pret A Manger for a coffee. The man looks at me, hands me my drink, smiles and says ‘no charge’. You might think that I would thank him and smile but no, I said ‘what’s that for?’. Because we both knew. I have now reached the age of the sympathy coffee. The man was young, I probably reminded him of his Polish mother after a back-breaking day of digging up potatoes. The sympathy coffee is the middle-aged version of a sympathy fuck. It’s done out of pity. Not that I wanted a sympathy fuck at 11:30 am in Pret A Manger but it would have been nice to be offered the choice.

Just back from Café Nero with coffee that I had to pay for. I am a red-eyed, tear-streaked, powderless hag. Just how bloody miserable and desperate do you have to be Cafe Nero? You heartless bastards.

This is all British Airways’ fault. I shouldn’t even be at this bloody Terminal. I was booked to fly direct to Austin on BA but for no given reason (shimmery eye shadow found in a seat pocket?) that flight was canceled and I got shunted/shafted onto American Airlines going to Chicago.

I go out of my way (though not to Chicago) not to travel on AA which is a dismal airline by comparison to my BA. I am now on the AA flight which looks the airline equivalent of something that was left in a back room to die. Old, shabby, worn down, rickety — and that’s just the plane’s interior. haha, I am a comedy subvert.

There is no working entertainment (except for the Julie Walters comedy characters masquerading as cabin crew) so am playing my album of 150 great British hymns and hopefully annoying everyone around me with my off key humming to Jerusalem. For another 8 hours.

*Not my first word choice.

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