Bob’s Banter: Walking Past the Trolley




A nightmare faced by air hostesses quite often, other than hijackings and terrorist attacks are people who want to walk past the food trolley to the toilet when food is being served.

I was talking to Anne, a pretty young flight steward, and she swore people did it on purpose or out of habit.

I sat on a flight the other day and decided to watch.

Nobody stirred while the plane was taxiing to the runway, and nobody dared get up while the aircraft took off. There was a general calm as the plane leveled off and my neighbor, who I had never met before, told me the news in his paper was better than mine.

“How do you know?” I asked surprised.

“I buy the paper,” he said, “and it’s sensational! Rapes, murders and that sort of thing! You like stuff like that?”

“I’m not sure,” I said and settled down to hear a long monologue on the subject, when suddenly his ears perked up.

“Food trolley!” he whispered.

“Yes,” I said, “I hope it’s something tasty.”

“Food trolley!” he said again and I swear his eyes lit up like a BMW’s headlights on a moonless night.

“You hungry?” I asked.

He did not answer as he got up. I got up to let him out and was in time to see the dismay in the poor air hostess’s eyes. “Sir, can you wait a few minutes?”

“Wait?” he asked, “you want me to wait? I’ve been waiting enough! You took a little longer today!”

“Why don’t you wait till she’s passed us,” I said quietly.

“I have to go to the toilet!” he stage-whispered and all the other passengers looked at him sympathetically and stared daggers-drawn at the air hostess and me.

“Maybe he’s diabetic!” said one.

“They should be more considerate!” said another.

The man brushed past me and tried to sidle past the trolley.

“Sir you can’t…”

“I will!” said my former companion. “You’re stuck!”

“You did it on purpose! I just want to go to the toilet! I will sue the airline! What is your name?”

Another attendant rushed in and together they managed to pull the trolley back to the end of the aircraft while my companion walked regally behind. He came back later flushed and happy.

“Couldn’t you have waited?” I asked.

“That’s not part of the rules!” he said. “Rules?” I asked.

“Walking Past the Trolley Club! We have our rules” he said, “want to join?”

I met Anne who had told me about such people and told her about the club.

“We broke the club!” she said a week later.

“How?” I asked amazed, “What do you tell them when they want to walk past the trolley?”

“Sir!” she said, “will you please sit down; here’s a bed pan for you if its really urgent..!”

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.


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