Tending bar at the safari guesthouse, I overhear the humans debating the safety of air travel. They agree that flying is the safest form of transportation, unless there is an accident or some crackpot terrorist sneaks on board. In either of those lamentable scenarios, they liken boarding an aeroplane to a death sentence with no possibility of reprieve. Hence the best thing for passengers to do, they conclude, is intoxicate themselves with alcohol to ensure they are suitably zonked out if the worst happens.
This coping strategy seems to be a popular one, judging by a spate of alcohol-induced incidents on commercial jets. A recent one involved a comely young woman by the name of Katherine Goldberg, who drank a pint of whisky on a return flight from South Africa to London. Unfortunately, the quantity of liquor she consumed had the effect of liberating her inner hussy rather than rendering her senseless. One assumes she’ll learn from her mistake and drink two pints next time.
What happened on the flight was this: Miss Goldberg clutched the private parts of an air steward and demanded his sexual favours. Caught by surprise, the man appealed to his co-workers for assistance without responding to her request. The cabin crew then harried the disappointed woman back to her seat and informed the captain of her misconduct. She was later reported to the authorities, who promptly charged her with sexual assault.
After reading about this sorry affair, I got in touch with my old friend Smacker Ramrod, the circus vet, to acquaint him with the facts of the case. Although critical of Miss Goldberg’s behaviour, which he described as “futile” and “inopportune”, he was adamant that he wouldn’t have pressed charges if he’d been the air steward.
“A man who prosecutes a woman for groping him is a pussy,” he declared stoutly.
Smacker said that he would have grabbed Miss Goldberg by the wrists and escorted her to the galley for a private chat. After giving her a stern lecture on the etiquette of making propositions, he would have sent her back to her seat with her cheeks flushed red with shame. He added that he would have given her his business card so she could contact him if she needed further advice.
I must say I prefer Smacker’s “tough love” approach to putting the woman on trial. She seems like a good-natured girl who made a mistake because her brain was befuddled by the demon brew. How will the public interest be served by raking over the coals in front of a haughty judge and a smirking jury? Far better to deal with her issues informally with a friendly pat on the backside.
In the general scheme of things, of course, there is nothing wrong with a woman grasping a man’s todger. I am certain that the world would be a happier place if it happened more frequently. Once Katherine learns there is a time and a place for everything, those who cultivate her acquaintance will surely be touched with many blessings.
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