Monday, 27 March 2017

Why Me?

For audio click here 

The woman beside me fiddled with the screen and then set back. She sighed so heavily it sounded like her pillow collar had a leak. She touched the screen again and then tutted. I couldn’t exactly locate what her problem was. I checked I was not manspreading into her space and that my bag was beneath my own seat and not hers, but the tutting continued. I thanked my lucky stars I was not her husband and closed my eyes hoping I could get some sleep despite the woman doing her best dripping tap impression next to me. 
“It’s not right, you know?”
I opened one eye to see if she was talking to me. She was playing with her screen again, looking at the map that was showing us the route we were about to take. I looked around to see if there were any spare seats but the flight was chocka, there was no escape.
“It’s not right at all.”
“Long journey isn’t it,” I said, thinking that was what she was complaining about. 
Her eyes lit up with pleasure. Her tuts and sighs had obviously been part of an elaborate mating ritual, designed to lure the unsuspecting male. 
“Oh, I don’t mind that,” she said.
I took a deep breath. 
“It’s this I mind,” she flicked the map on the screen. 
“You can turn it off. Look.” I pressed the button on the bottom of the screen. She immediately turned it back on again. 
“It’s wrong,” she said. “Do you know I’ve written to them about thirty times and they never do anything about it. 
“What’s wrong?”
“The map.”
“It looks fine to me,” I said.
The woman tutted so hard I thought her false teeth might fly out. “Look closer young man,” she said. 
Now, I’m not the best in the world at locating places on a map but everything looked in roughly the right place. I guess she came from some little place like Wales that often gets put in the wrong spot. 
I had to ask. “What’s wrong with it?” I said. 
“It’s the earth.”
What was she expecting? We were flying from Dubai to Manchester not from The Kennedy Space Centre to the Moon. 
“It’s the wrong shape.” 
What on earth was she talking about?
“There should be two maps,” she said. “this one for the gullible,” she flicked the screen, “and one that shows it flat, like this.” she unfolded a piece of paper and gave it to me. It was a flat map of the world. 
“But the earth is round,” I said. 
“We are told that,” she said, “but they lie.” 
“Who lie?” I could scarcely believe I was having this conversation. 
“They do. But I know the truth, and now with a proper president in the White House, the truth will out, God will see to that.” 
I looked at her properly for the first time. She was older than me, by about twenty years, but she looked normal enough. 
“Okay,” I said. “You believe what you want to believe. But please, never speak to me about anything ever again, you’re obviously batshit crazy.” 
I’m pleased to report, the rest of the flight passed in silence. 

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