Virgin Atlantic and The Green Wing

The journey back to the UK was largely non-eventful. Virgin Atlantic both impressed and annoyed, and helped me get back into the UK swing of things.

First of all the annoyance. There was a steward and a stewardess with whom I had to deal, sat as I was in a cattle-class aisle seat (58G). Both seemed to be doing their best to annoy the shit out of me, and doing a fine job to boot. The guy was an overly camped-up stereotype, who I can only liken to the over-protective, gay father in the Les Dennis episode of Extras.

The girl was similarly stereotypical: young, blonde, made up to the nines (not in a good way) and with an Essex accent that stalled on the last syllable of each question asked. "Is there anything I can get youuuuuu?" "Do you want to give me a smack in the mouuuuuuth?" You get the idea.

During the breakfast hand-outs (feeding time at the zoo), she dropped a pre-packed muffin from one of the trays on to the floor. I had neither the will nor the inclination to tell her about it at the time, such was my deep level of frustration towards her. She later noticed the muffin next to my chair, and indicated that I had dropped my muffin, handing it to me. "No I haven’t", I replied, pointing at my own muffin’s empty carcass, to which she said that I could have it anyway. My indication that I had no interest in the aforementioned muffin fell on deaf (and stupid) ears, as she made her way even further back than my lowly seat. (My note to self to post about this experience comprised three words: Virgin muffin bitch.)

I think stewards, male and female, are trained to be stupidly nice at all times, irrespective of the mood of the passenger. Way more empathy needs to be included in the training: it’s not always (ever?) appropriate to reply to an angry, frustrated passenger with a nauseating faux-caring whine.

On to the good stuff: on-demand entertainment. Choose what you want to watch, when you want to watch it, and pause when you want to go to the bathroom. My hand-set had a few technical issues but all in all, it was a huge step forward. Although I tried to get as much sleep as possible, I did cram in a previously unseen (by me) episode of Little Britain, and the first two episodes of The Green Wing, which brought me sailing back into the wonderful realms of British comedy.

I’m not sure how big The Green Wing is in the UK (it’s not made it to the US), but it makes for fantastic viewing. It was also joyous to see the unabated use of questionable language to aid comedy: the F-word was common-place, and the C-word even got a mention. This contrasts starkly against the purity of most American comedies, but it helped bring The Green Wing to life, just as it did with the UK version of Teachers before it. (The American version of Teachers is geared for the "8/7 Central" audience and is thus lacking in innuendo and filth.)

My favourite line of the two episodes involved one of the doctors shouting to a corridor full of people: "Martin’s having a wank in the cupboard". Martin was not having a wank in the cupboard, and instead tried to profess his innocence to the audience. Childish? Undoubtedly. Funny? Ditto.


2 Responses to “Virgin Atlantic and The Green Wing”

  1. Mum on May 17th, 2006 04:52

    Nice to find out that you are back in the UK!

  2. elise on May 17th, 2006 08:12

    dan, you didn’t even tell your mum?! for shame.

    i look forward to seeing how your blog evolves, now that you’re not knee-deep in Yankees to whinge about. 🙂

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