On the flight to England, we were sat right in the middle of a 747 aisle – after being told by our English-bereft ticket checker that our seats were “yeah, dey’a on-a ay-il… have a goo’ flight Mr. Brundal” – so it was rather cramped and the next half-day looked bleak. Luckily, we had Christina, a nice old, worldly, well-travelled British woman to talk to. Her son was an actor in Los Angeles and she’d been visiting for a month, now very glad to get out. She was interested in my Pakistan/South Africa blood connections, and told us about her own extended family adventures – discovering that her ancestors had procreated all over Spain, thus bestowing her with a lovely new free place to visit in the summer. We managed to hold a three hour conversation with her – covering topics as diverse as the origins of speech to business enterprises we should undertake in India – without resorting once to dick jokes; I was very proud of us.
Then, with about six hours in the flight left, she just clocked out of the conversation, saying, ‘Well, thank you for that, I didn’t have to watch a bad film!’ and went to sleep. In that period of time, when Devon wasn’t crawling over her to get to the bathroom, accidentally kicking her, we must’ve regressed somewhat, because when she awoke we were wearing cat shirts, making fart noises, and eating beef jerky sticks that we’d found on the floor.
And it’s all been downhill from there.