China syndrome

I can’t understand why a Chinese airline has introduced a smelly armpit test for its pilots. Hainan Airlines will not allow anyone with a malodorous underarm to fly its jets. Why in the name of Confucius did they not introduce this test for the flight attendants, who unlike the pilots actually mingle with the passengers? All too often, my blameless olfactory organ has been offended by human body odours while travelling in a commercial jet. These unwelcome aromas were usually emitted by the cabin crew, extending their arms to open overhead lockers or leaning across my seat for no good reason.

It is possible, of course, that Chinese pilots make a habit of hobnobbing with the passengers. I remember being accosted by one such character on a flight from Hong Kong to Taipei – he burst out of the cockpit when the plane had reached cruising altitude:

“Ho! GB!” he exclaimed. “Tell me about your life in jungle. You gorillas always fucking eh? Haha!”

“Shouldn’t you be flying the plane?” I asked.

“No worry about that!” he replied jovially. “Autopilot fly plane and co-pilot keep eye on everything. Unless he playing with his dick! Haha!”

“That’s all well and good, but I’d rather you were in the cockpit doing your job,” I said. “After we land, I’ll be more than happy to grant you an interview.”

So he returned to his post, muttering something in Cantonese which I could not translate.  

I shouldn’t give you the impression that I view the Chinese as ninnies, because they’re coming up with some brilliant innovations that ought to be copied in the West. One such idea is the angry room, invented by restaurant owner Zhou Jun, which is a place where staff can abuse pictures of their boss. It is hoped this will defuse their pent-up frustrations and diminish the urge to empty a pot of hot soup over Mr Zhou’s head. Note the pragmatic attitude of Chinese bosses, who don’t mind being hated as long as their workers are happy and productive.

The nearest thing to the anger room in the West is the Justin Bieber sex doll, an amazingly lifelike replica produced specifically for men who have “issues” with Justin. It’s a sad fact that Bieber’s macho persona makes a lot of guys feel puny and worthless, disabling their capacity to engage in manly pastimes. Some of them react to their low self-esteem by wearing ladies’ underwear. Others experiment with butt plugs. It is thought that acquiring an effigy of their bête noire (and sodomising it at leisure) will enable them to rediscover their sense of self-worth. This will allow them to return to their ranches and lumber yards to explore their virility with renewed vigour. 

Speaking as a gorilla who would pose no threat to Justin if we met in a dark alley, I welcome this attempt to deflect the animosity he inspires. Any invention that prevents Bieber from getting buggered is worth its weight in gold.

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