SIMON WALKER: Flights of not so fancy

NOT SUCH A GOOD PLAN(SIMON WALKER: Pet sitters are cat’s meow [4/5/13] here)
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LIFE has an uncanny knack of derailing common sense, if you plan it right.

And seeing as my mate and I had agreed to catch up that Friday night, it had made common sense . . . to us.

I’d drawn the short straw, you see.

I’d had to work that Friday while the wife and kids got the ‘‘luxury’’ of driving up to Queensland for our school holiday break.

By mutual consent, I’d fly up the next day, proving once again the universe can be an unfair place.

Out of respect for those less fortunate than myself (those in the car, as I’d foolishly assumed), I’d decided to make the most of my Friday night freedom.

I had thought about jumping into the extensive job list left behind, but figured, after much heartache and anguish, that it could wait.

Took me about a minute.

The extensive job list had been one of the trade-offs in determining who’d fly and who’d drive, and gave an indication of how extensive the extensive job list was.

And so it proved to be next morning from the moment the cats woke me . . . at 5am.

(Why can’t cats sleep in too?)

Having savoured the football with moderate vigour, morning wasn’t the only thing that appeared to have broken.

Still, I knew the drill: you do the crime, you do the time – that had been factored into the common sense plan.

What hadn’t been factored in was an arctic hurricane, ensuring everything on the extensive job list, including numerous outdoor activities, would be done under the weather, metaphorically, meteorologically, and medically.

Leading one to ponder on numerous occasions that day ‘‘wwwhhyyyy!?’’

Still you soldier on because, remember, you’re trying to pass this off as common sense.

And it wouldn’t look very sensible if there was a new life form mutating in the fridge when you got back from holidays.

Difficult to rule out when you’re parallel processing online check-ins with cleaning, bleaching, remembering to pack underpants and getting pneumonia.

All the while undergoing a journey within a journey from near-death to a place nearer to death the longer the job list dragged on.

Eventually, though, it was all done and I started to anticipate the warmth, comfort and dryness of air travel.

There was only one question left to answer: what shoes to wear?

I’d wanted to look a little suave at ground level to disguise how ordinary I was feeling from the socks up.

I opted for my old faithful leather boots – the ones with the small character splits.

So I made it to the airport and I was starting to hum Here Comes the Sun because I’d had communications with the road warriors and apparently there wasn’t a cloud in the sky up north.

I’d noted their ‘‘ain’t karma a bitch’’ tone as I’d described the tempest down south.

But I’d comforted myself that in just over an hour I’d be joining their smug butts.

Yet a look out the departure lounge window revealed this dusty day of drama was far from over. It was sheeting down, in that way that causes flights to be cancelled, or planes to tragically disappear off radars.

In fact it wasn’t just sheeting, the weather gods had thrown in pillow cases, doonas and the whole bedroom suite.

All well and good when you’re queuing up to show your boarding pass.

A different story when you slip through the looking glass.

Williamtown’s quaint like that: no cover from the terminal to the plane.

They’re talking about upgrading it in future but that was cold comfort for those facing the daunting run to freedom that evening. Emphasis on the cold.

Some of us held back hoping for a break in the torrent – or a wetsuit. But it just wasn’t gonna play like that.

Airport staff handed out limited numbers of umbrellas to less deserving types like women with babies and what not.

The rest of us prepared to become fish.

And when I took my first step onto

the wide blue yonder that was the tarmac

I felt water leak straight into the character splits of my old faithful leather ankle

boots. That didn’t feel suave.

I wished I’d worn thongs. I swear I could hear the gurgle.

The flight was going to be dusty and musty.

As far as derailing common sense, everything about this day had gone to plan.