Monday, 3 July 2017

Spanish Diaries 2 - Not a Belieber

For audio click here
That horrible realisation, just as you are about to board, that all those Justin Bieber fans milling around the airport are getting on your plane. All the fourteen-year-old girls wearing ‘Purpose Tour’ t-shirts with their frazzled looking parents and bored younger brothers. The eighteen-year-olds travelling alone with the hilarious, ‘If lost, please return to Justin Bieber,’ written on their t-shirts. The thirty-five-year-olds hoping Bieber has a thing for older Spanish women. The whole bleeding lot of them are all travelling with you to Cardiff. I closed my eyes and counted to ten. This was going to be a long flight.
It’s days like these I pray for turbulence, black, violent skies that rock the plane like a roller-coaster. I find nothing shuts up a large group of noisy children quite like the fear of impending death. But unfortunately, the skies were clear and the sun was shining and the girls were full of the joys of Bieb.
I took my seat at the back of the plane and closed my eyes. The engines hummed and then roared and we were up, up and away, climbing, climbing, climbing until we reached our singing altitude. The shrieks, the shouts, and the excited chatter gave way to my worst nightmare, song.
I guess I wouldn’t have minded quite so much if they had all agreed on the same song to have a sing along too, although that would have been bad enough. Maybe, I’d have been less annoyed if they had all sang along unaccompanied. But no, each group of Beliebers had a different song on their mind, and each group had a fucking Bluetooth speaker and they competed with each other to see who could top the Decibelometer.
Sorry from the front, What Do You Mean? from the middle, Love Yourself from just in front of me, and countless other songs swirling around the fuselage. I was trapped in this airborne Room 101. I half expected O’Brien to step forward through the haze of teenage hormones and start questioning me about my work with the Brotherhood and right then, I would have told him everything and anything.
The blood in my veins bubbled and hissed, my face burned red, my fingernails were gnawing holes in the palms of my hands. I wished I had sat in the emergency exit row because I would have pulled the handle. I counted to ten, I counted to fifty, I was now on ninety-nine, but I was further away from calm than when I started. I stood up.
“Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhh,” I sounded like a wounded lion.

The cabin fell silent. Heads swivelled round. Eyes fell upon me. I sat down, closed my eyes, released my grip and didn’t hear another peep out of those Beliebers for the rest of the trip.  

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