Stiff out of luck

10Apr10

 “He likes to sleep that way.”  The wife of a late German airline passenger at John Lennon Airport.

Imagine. The inert passenger, complete with sunglasses, being pushed up on a wheelchair to  the check-in counter at Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport. He was dead to the world. It was a senior citizen turning up rather late for his flight  to Berlin last Saturday.

On this occasion he’d been booked on Liverpool’s non-Flying Circus.  The slight problem was that this grandpa was more than resting.  Without simply parroting the words of others he was, in fact,  sadly deceased, demised, passed on, no more, expired. He’d fallen off his perch and gone to meet his maker.  Not to labour the point  he was indubitably a non-Norwegian ex-Grandpa. And thanks to vigilant Liverpudlian airport staff, who know a dead cert when they see one, he was stiff out of luck.

But in extremis or worse he certainly couldn’t be labelled a nobody. He was definitely somebody: an old ‘un from Oldham, Willi Jarant-a 91 year old German national and a former airline pilot who, at his age,  just may have got a flying start in the Luftwaffe, but don’t mention the war.

His somewhat  new widow ( and one of the two wheel chair pushers)  Gitta Jarant, age 66,  protested that she wouldn’t have tried to fool anyone. “My Willi is my god…”  Unfortunately, her Willi was no longer upstanding.

It seems that Herr Jarant had died a day earlier and that an attempt was being made to smuggle his body back to his homeland to use up pre-bought tickets and avoid the heavy costs involved with repatriating the deceased, partly incurred by the pre-requisite of a  zinc-lined coffin.

This is only a single aviation example, but it is in direct contradistinction to the Adolf (“I was an emigration expert”) Eichmann approach, in train seven decades ago, of moving large numbers of  living people, of the wrong religion or political views,  from Germany.

I’m not sure if their code-sharing arrangements extend to Liverpool, but the thwarted passenger would have been a great candidate for Air New Zealand’s innovative  sleeping class, which is really a great example of lateral thinking and a real sleeper.

 #Lyall Lukey 10 April 2010 

http://www.lukey.co.nz/  http://www.smartnet.co.nz

*BLINKS

The Parrot Sketch
Imagine
A day in the life   
You got to hide your love away
Ticket to ride 
Grow old with me  JL’s last unfinished song
Grateful Dead — Passenger lyrics

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