My ambient paranoia has become such that, just like Chicken Little, I feel that my life is like an imminent disaster movie just waiting to happen. All the ingredients are there: low flying jumbos, a spate of local fires, a cut in funding for the local emergency services and more oddballs wandering around the streets than you could fit into the Casualty waiting room (and I’m talking about the BBC medical-soap series here, not the A&E reception of the local hospital which, let’s face it, tends to be bad enough).
Take the plane thing.
Now it might be I have just become more sensitive since having a little ‘un arrive on the scene but I swear to God they are flying lower and in greater numbers than ever before. So low I could slash their tyres with a kitchen knife as they pass overhead. Has Birmingham Airport re-arranged its flight lanes I wonder? I don’t recall this volume of air traffic ever occurring when I was a kid, teenager and young adult.
And I know the chances of one of them falling out of the sky is so remote I’d stand a better chance of winning Strictly Come Dancing than witnessing a plane crash on my home town but even so. The paranoia is there and kicking like a mule.
Every time a jumbo strains overheard I find myself listening closely to the engine sound just in case, you know, I can hear if something is wrong. Not that I’m a flight engineer or anything but I’d imagine hearing a rattle or a coughing exhaust at 3,000ft isn’t going to spell good news for anyone.
And then there’s the flight path itself. I find myself triangulating it mentally, breathing a sigh of relief when I realize it does not pass directly over my boys’ nursery and school buildings. Or my home. My place of work I don’t care much about. To be honest a good plane crash would sometimes relieve the monotony – provided, of course, no one was actually in the building at the time (I mean, I’m not completely callous).
More and more I find myself objecting to this invasion of my family’s personal air space. Who are these people who are endangering the lives of my loved ones with their holidays and their business trips? Why can’t they catch a bus? Or better still, walk?
Haven’t I got enough to worry about with the dying economy, the permanent risk of terrorist attack, food shortages, global warming, misleading food packaging, the war in Afghanistan, the UK’s underage pregnancy rates, swine flu, an increase in the Bank of England’s base rate and the Tories getting into power at the next election?
It’s all too much.
Come on, air traffic control! Give me a break! Send them over Coventry. It’s not like anyone would miss the architecture...