Posted: 15 Feb 2011 10:22 AM PST
3 flights in a single night is enough to leave even the most Bransonian of travellers a touch jaded. But what really gets under my skin is not the 2 hour airplane transfer at 5am or being packed in so tight you keep knocking your headphones off with your knees, for neither of these irritations can match the ultimate humiliation of….The Curtain Of Shame.
You all know it. The plane makes its initial climb and the captain sounds one of his mysterious ‘bongs’ releasing the pack of high-heeled teeth from their jumpseats. One of them starts to abseil towards you, smiling like an expectant shark in a seal sanctuary. She stops a few rows in front of your face, leans over the seat-tops and starts to adjust something. What is this curious bit of material she is unfurling across the cabin? Is a puppet show imminent? Is Paul Daniels on board? But before you can say “complimentary peanuts” you have been segregated. The haves and the have-nots, the celebrities and the civilians, the nose-cone know-it-alls and the tail-end Charlies.
What is the point of this Berlin Wall of canvas? What purpose does this overt display of segregation serve? I would genuinely like to know. But in the meantime, and in the absence of any rational explanation, I offer the following 3 theories:
Theory 1: Protecting The World’s Economy
Business class people are incredibly important. They are both “businessy” and extremely “classy”. What if one of them was to casually glance over their shoulder and accidentally caught sight of a regular civilian behind? They might recoil in shock, swallow a Blackberry, and in the ensuing confusion absent-mindedly short all the stock of a major financial institution. The Curtain saves the world from economic meltdown. Respect The Curtain.
Theory 2: The Green-Eyed Monster
The Curtain is for our protection. Just imagine if we were to glimpse, just for a second, the better class of life taking place behind the canvas gates – the silver cutlery, the $6 bottle of wine, the one stewardess who actually cares. It would surely be too much to bear and we would be forced to wrench open the emergency exit and end it all. The Curtain protects our Economy-class eyes from this. God Bless The Curtain.
Theory 3: Mile High jinx.
If your name’s not down, you’re not coming in. There is an enormous party taking place behind The Curtain and, quite simply, you’re not invited. The cabin staff are all naked, the flip-down screens are beaming a live feed from the Sunset Strip, and the captain has got his guitar and harmonica out. There may not be a bouncer on guard but there doesn’t need to be. Just try to part the curtain and you’ll get a fully laden food trolley in the unmentionables.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Any alternative theories or actual aeronautical intelligence would be very welcome. Also – apologies for lack of regular updates recently, we’re currently restructuring Senor Suitcase’s media department.
Doors to manual and cross-check. I’ve always wanted to say that.