John Walker's Electronic House

The King Is Back

by on Feb.03, 2006, under The Rest

The journey to Americaland is often a fraught one. Airports are filled with horrific queues, customs is terrifying, and sometimes a crazy lady will steal your bread.

It didn’t begin well. Getting on the Heathrow Express, 30 minutes late due to the train from Bath having to stop randomly all the way along because of “Mmmff mmfff mff smmfff ffmsff ffsmm,” apparently, it was then announced that no trains at all were running to Heathrow due to a suspect package. After getting halfway through the long line for a taxi, a man came out and told us all that it was running again. Walking back, the tannoy informed us, “All trains to Heathrow are suspended.” Everyone did a special walking-in-two-directions dance, until eventually magical pixies flew us there. Late, despite having allowed an unrealistic amount of time for being early, I assumed it would be crapsticks all the way. Until the lovely check-in lady, to whom I did not complain even a tiny bit, decided I deserved a ‘fasttrack’ sticker allowing me to walk past the enormous queue at check-in. Thus affording me time to buy all the various items I had resigned to living without, and arriving in time to drink half a coffee before getting on board… to a half empty plane.

A row behind where I was sat, the middle section of four seats was completely free. My plan was made. My stuff was ready. We only had to take off. Interminably we waited on the runway, painfully slowly we climbed, and then finally, finally, the fasten seatbelt light went off and I leapt gazelle like. It was perfect. No one in front, no one behind, so no one to crush me, and no one to crush with tilting chairs, and four glorious seats to myself. Sleep was possible. And welcome after the 2 hours of it the night before. Then in customs, no vast line in an un-air-conditioned chamber. Then most remarkable: rather than the usual grilling about why I would DARE to enter their precious country, the questions went like this:

How long are you here for?
What is the main purpose of your visit?
What business are you in?
When do you think the PS3 will be out?

A peculiar conversation ensued as the armed man asked me what I thought of the 360 launch titles.

However, all this good was undone when learning that Jimmy Carr presents TV programmes here as well.

12 Comments for this entry

  • Andy Krouwel

    > A peculiar conversation ensued as the armed man asked me what I thought of the 360 launch titles.

    Did you tactfully enquire if he had bought one before answering, or did you hope a SHIELD OF TRUTH would protect in the case of potential disappointment?

  • Leo

    Bermudan customs stopped me and searched all of my stuff. They asked what I did and then took me into a back room to see the supervisor, who then asked me if I could get his little brother a job because he loved videogames.

  • bob_arctor

    I’m glad you had a good time John. After the last rant against airports it’s good to see it goes the other way sometimes.

  • Tedi Worrier

    What are you doing back already?
    Are you due yet?

    Did they miss you from your seat when you weren’t in it … or did they manage to work it out?

    How did you pass the time without the inflight crazy person?
    Did I tell you about the LARGE gentleman who sat next to and in much of my seat plus his guitar … who takes a guitar on holiday?… to Crete?? Why? Why not? I didn’t like to ask.

    Who is Jimmy Carr?

  • DaveT

    “Who is Jimmy Carr?”

    You are a lucky, lucky person.

  • David

    No no, everyone. John has arrived in America – he’s not back yet.

    You see, he is King of Americaland. Therefore, the King is back. In Americaland.


  • pharoahe_monch

    i am a happy person, too, because i don’t know jimmy carr. but i’d like to know.

  • Nick Mailer

    Videogames. Tsk.

  • Tedi Worrier

    Hmmm? King John of Amerigoland, huh? This reminds me, I believe I’m dead … thus I presume immune from responsibility for anything I say. This is liberating.
    Alas, I bear a heavier burden of responsibility …. at the root of it all IT’S ALL MY FAULT

  • admin

    You can only take 50% of the blame.

  • Tedi Worrier

    So I could take 100% of the blame every other day, maybe? (but you#ll never get the other half to stick)

    So, does the White House go all the way through or is it just a caravan with a cardboard facade?

  • Tedi Worrier

    “You are a lucky, lucky person.”

    …more than you might ever imagine