Saturday 3 December 2016

Hi Joe, now about that volcano

Gemma O'Doherty

Published 24/04/2010 | 05:00

Iceland. We're officially sick of you. First your economy goes bust and similarly named countries like us become the butt of all sorts of nasty jokes. Then you go and let off one of your stinky volcanoes, leaving us high and dry in dreadful dumps like Barcelona and Bordeaux or stuck at home in the middle of a blooming heat wave. Some neighbour you turned out to be. Nearly as bad as the lot on the other side. Don't get me going on those 800 years.

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Of course, those useless airlines have a lot to answer for too. I mean, imagine having to miss your second-cousin-twice-removed's wedding in Worthing just because they're worried their engines might go pear-shaped at 30,000 feet.

Never mind the €200m they stand to lose in this aviation Armageddon, or that the most vulnerable of them will go out of business. I want to know why I didn't get so much as a cheese sandwich out of them when I was stuck at Gatwick, though God knows what I was doing there without the cash to buy one myself in one of their 16 restaurants.

Anyway, there I was stranded in the middle of nowhere and not a number for Liveline to boot. I tried calling the Irish embassy to see if they could rescue me or give me a handout at least, but the number was engaged. So that's what I'm paying my taxes for.

Then you won't believe what happened next. I had to dig out my plastic, get on a train and catch a ferry -- a ferry of all things -- across the Irish sea. Now where's that number for Joe Duffy? Life is just so unfair.

But if you think I'm in a bad way, my poor neighbour is only beside herself with the nerves. She's been trapped in Lanzarote for the week. The weather was bliss, her tan is only gorgeous and the hotel put them up for free, but that's no consolation. That same woman had to stand on Molesworth Street for six hours the other week because the bunch of losers in the Passport Office decided to have their go-slow.

Okay, so the holiday was booked about a year earlier and she hadn't bothered to get her passport until the last minute, but the poor girl was at her wit's end after the ordeal.

Thank God for the local Spar. At least they had the wherewithal to put on a few sandwiches and MiWadi for the poor starving people outside on the street with nothing to look forward to but a few weeks in the sun.

But then, misfortune strikes again and she ends up getting a free week of holidays when everyone back home in Namaland is living it up and waiting for the next pay cut. It's an absolute disgrace.

Tibetan earthquake, how are you? This is the worst natural disaster I've ever seen.

Of course, that Mother Nature one has a lot of explaining to do. She should be ashamed of herself setting that volcano off and messing up everyone's travel plans. Doesn't she know we're on our last legs over here?

I mean, all we needed was a bit of rain and wind and that cursed ash cloud would have slung its hook but no, she sends us blue skies and sunny days. She's a right one!

Look, we've heard all of the excuses and none of them works. Get over it. Get on with it. And the next time you go to the airport, bring a contingency plan just in case the sky falls in or at least enough money to get yourself a cup of tea and a train fare home.

Or, in the immortal words of Michael O'Leary, shut up and go away.

Irish Independent

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