Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Answer My Friend...

If you’ve been reading this blog during the last week or so you can probably - no make that definitely – skip over this column I wrote for the Daily Record today. Why not do something more constructive like visiting Amazon to buy the new Doves cd or checking out these fine specimens showcasing essential golfing attire for the fall season.

There is something immensely satisfying about packing a bag and flying off to a foreign land at the drop of a hat. Perhaps it’s the dizzying prospect of sitting next to a mysterious and available woman on the plane and charming her with my best chat up lines – both of them. Or maybe it’s got more to do with the fact that taking a week’s holiday abroad always ends up feeling more like a fortnight. (This, of course, is cancelled out by the law of nature that states that once you get back to work, it’s like you’ve never been away.)

Whatever the reason, this time last week I was shuffling around the house watching ‘Loose Women’ and tinkering with my light sabre - it’s a Star Wars toy not a pet name - but 24 hours and two phone calls later, I was on a flight heading to that most patriotic of American States, Texas.

On the surface, the plan for the week seemed perfect. Stay with my younger brother Keith at his palatial home on the outskirts of the State capital Austin. Kick his scrawny little butt over the course of a few keenly fought golf matches. Gorge myself silly on the delights of the numerous barbeque restaurants that populate the community. And render American women giddy and helpless with my exotic Scottish accent whilst pretending to be Ewan McGregor.

But as soon as I arrived at the palatial house, the grand plans were thrown into some confusion when Keith announced casually, “Em, it’s great to see you and thanks for coming but don’t know you know there’s a hurricane on the way?”

Sure enough, some sort of pesky weather front named Rita was brewing in the Gulf of Mexico and was on course to smash straight through our neighbourhood (and my plans for female seduction) some time over the weekend.

For two days we tracked the storm’s progress on television; not a difficult task given the saturation coverage by the media after the Hurricane Katrina debacle. President Bush appeared regularly to assure us he was monitoring the situation “pursnally” and local officials were swiftly off the mark to action their emergency plans.

Weekend sporting events were cancelled early, school closures were announced and shops and petrol stations were packed with anxious residents stocking up on essential supplies in case of disaster. Most remarkable of all was the sight of some three million people evacuating the coast and clogging up the highways in hundred mile traffic jams as they headed west towards safety and refuge in Austin.

Of course all of that meant that these self same evacuees managed to snap up all the available hotel rooms and unreserved tables at the barbeque restaurants as well as the attentions, no doubt, of the eligible Austin women on whom I’d had my eye. Talk about a disaster.

However, before you start dispatching food parcels and an endless list of internet dating sites let me reassure you that Hurricane Rita took a swift turn to the north on Friday and easily missed Austin by a few hundred miles.

We managed to muddle through the crisis with the help of a healthy supply of ice cold beer and a fantastic take away pizza place just down the street. We even managed to squeeze in a few of rounds of golf where Keith’s scrawny little butt got royally kicked. And when the President arrived in town on Saturday afternoon, we sighed with relief, exchanged a couple of brotherly hugs and knew everything was going to be just fine.

But the next time I head to the airport on a whim I’ll make sure I’ve packed my emergency survival kit – at least four chat up lines.


At 28/9/05 1:14 am, Blogger Green Glass Beads said...

Still read it, still enjoyed it, although you must be one of the only columnists to talk about seducing wimmin in every entry...in the paper I mean...but at least you´re honest!:)
Reckon you´d get more attention if you left the tinkering with light sabres to others? Just a thought.
Your mullet-loving friend...

At 28/9/05 5:07 am, Blogger carl said...

What the seat as a floatation device isn't GOOD enough for survival gear?


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