I bring news of joy and disaster from the latest Penman pilgrimage to see Bruce Springsteen.
As my regular reader will remember, one of Mr P’s midlife crisis-related obsessions concerns The Boss and I have been kind enough to indulge this obsession whenever it involves a long weekend in New York.
And so, straight to the disastrous element of this fairytale trip to watch Bruce on Broadway (for we all tend to skip to the bad bits first anyway): At the end of the weekend, we turned up at the airport where it soon became apparent that our flight was delayed. We wondered why.
Until a pilot came and had a chat with us. Yes, a pilot, in his uniform, with his hat on.
He patiently explained to various groups of waiting passengers that the reason the flight was delayed was because the pilot on the incoming plane had been “violently ill” all over the cockpit control panel, which was now out of action.
Luckily, the puking pilot had waited until the plane was landing to spray the controls so there was no midair emergency.
We settled down for a long wait. Rumours were rife, not least from the ground staff who seemed to have no idea what might happen next. At one point there was an announcement suggesting we were going to be flying to Manchester rather than London, which seemed to make no sense whatsoever.
Our friendly pilot later told us this had been because there was a possibility they could fly to somewhere “with no weather problems” without radar. Now I am not usually a nervous flyer, but What The Actual? No radar? Is this a joke?
The pilot then explained that after chatting it through with his co-pilot, they’d decided it was too risky. Phew.
Eventually we were put in an airport hotel and flown out the following evening. As Mr P pointed out, if we hadn’t had that extra day and night – miles from Manhattan – we wouldn’t have had the opportunity of enjoying the view of the bins from our hotel window.
Next week – the good bits.