8 June 2010

Revisiting the Fokkers

My PC is still in its death throes so in order to keep my Google account active and keep any readers I have, still interested, I'm taking the easy way out and reprinting some of my older and, dare I say it, more popular postings. This one is from August 2008.

Julie and I left for Normandy today. We’re off to stay with Brian and Lynn, our friends who also have a place in St Paul and whom we know from St Paul’s Baptist church. The trip’s been arranged for months but despite this there is always the last-minute panic that sets in before the dash to the airport. Watering plants, organising cats and dogs, cleaning the place up for our house guests and then ….oh yeah – I’d better have a shower. Never know who I might sit next to on the plane.

At the airport, with of course, no cheap parking available, Julie spending money like she’s just won the lottery and me desperately trying to get airside so I can just sit at the gate and relax, we realised that for the first time we’d be flying Air France, that industrial bastion, so beloved of the French government that it is habitually provided with billions of taxpayers euros to the extent that they had enough last year to go out and buy KLM, the Dutch carrier. Anyway that’s an aside – so as we sat there patiently waiting to board Julie asked me what plane we’d be going on. I looked over to the end of the air bridge, saw the plane and said, ‘Fokker’. ‘Excuse me’, she replied, reminding me with her supercilious tone that for the last few days my language has been basic to say the least. ‘Fokker’ I said again. ‘Who’s a fokker’ she asked looking around to try and spot the person who might have annoyed me. I said ‘there’s loads of Fokkers over there so it’ll be one of them’. She turned away in disgust and we boarded and took off. When we arrived at Lyon there were loads more Fokkers, in fact there were Fokkers everywhere, and they were all French. A whole load of French Fokkers.

Trying to impress my wife, I said ‘I’ve never seen so many Fokkers, France must have most of the Fokkers in the world. Just think of that – all the world’s Fokkers in one place’. By this time Julie had gone off in disgust in a vain attempt to find yet another retail establishment where she could try and melt her plastic but in fact could only find a ‘ladies’ and, never one to pass a ladies, in she went.

I wandered off to the departure gate and was looking out of the window when she sauntered up. ‘What you looking at darling’, was the question, obviously having forgiven my previous bad language. ‘All those Fokkers’, I said. ‘Well I hope those French Fokkers have transferred our bags onto the next plane’, she said surprising me with her grasp of aviation terms so quickly.

Now – this is plagerism of the most blatant kind. Eons ago I was sitting watching the Des O’Connor show on TV (yes I know but I always switched off when he sang) when he introduced a new comedian unknown to British TV. I watched this guy lamely try to get more than polite laughter out of the audience when he suddenly started telling this story of a British First World War fighter pilot surrounded by Fokkers. When he mentioned the word at first, the audience were a bit quiet and poor old Des didn’t know where to look but gave a quick snigger which only encouraged the comedian, Stan Boardman, to continue his story. It was an absolute classic. Find it here on You Tube and enjoy it.


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