Accidental Business Class


Yesterday on my flight back from France, I found myself accidentally included in the perpetual feast that is business class. I assume that this was only a result of the fact that the plane was otherwise full and a friendly computer slotted me into the 4th row rather than the 44th, as usual.

In the many hundreds of thousands of miles I have flown over the years, never once have I been allowed to partake of this business class feast. I had not known how it would be. Oh, yes, I had dreamt, but only that.

I knew something was afoot when, though I had been seated in the middle seat, the elbow of the man next to me was not on my lap and my knees were not being gouged by the wire in the magazine pouch on the seat back ahead of me. Hmmm. Wider seats. Legroom. I knew I had slipped under the radar when the steward handed me a menu for dinner. A MENU! Dang! Hoo-eeee, Jethro! Next thang yore a gonna tell me is they’s indoor toilets on this here plane, stead of the bucket we all gotta share  back in coach!

And yes, Shirley, they brought out the food and lo, it was Salmon with Basmati rice, and it was Poulet Fumee with mixed veg, and an assortment of sweets. And it was really good. And there were tiny salt and pepper shakers, and……gasp, a cloth Napkin!! and metal cutlery!! and glasses made of…..GLASS! Damn! I jest about soiled myself, ma!

Prole that I am, deprived hillbilly spawn, I couldn’t help but be incensed that there is this disparity on the plane. I mean, after all, the poor sods in coach have paid something like €400 each to be strapped to the buckets back there. Why are they served some stomach-scorching acidic pasta and a chocolate wafer, noticing that they have swallowed a tine from their plastic fork, wiping the velveeta off their upper lip with the recycled paper kleenex which had been included in their plastic tool pack, together with their handy mini sachet for salt and pepper and some non-dairy white powder for the tiny plastic thimble of Nescafe they receive to wash it down? Why oh why, Auntie Beeb?

And so, I made sure that no one saw that, though I was seated in 4B, my boarding pass was clearly marked “economy”. I stole the cloth napkin as a souvenir. Wouldn’t you?