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Missing Philadelphia


Just before crashing, Barry and Tam, two young stewards, crawl onto the flight deck shouting that they could help.  I asked them if they could fly the craft, they said that they could certainly fly it better than Juan.  Juan, hanging on to the wheel, claimed he just needed a few more minutes to get the hang of it, I tell him that, in a few more minutes, he won’t need to know how to fly as we will be a tangled wreck in the middle of Philadelphia and I relieve him of his command with a sharp blow to the head. 

The two young stewards are as good as their word and immediately turn The Lion the right way up.  Juan, regaining consciousness, complains that our new pilots might have the aircraft under control but they weren’t flying with any exuberance or passion.  I tell Juan that that sort of thing is for playing Scottish reels, rather than flying a huge aircraft, and tell him to stop complaining and thank the two young aviators for saving our lives.  Juan is not entirely ungracious and promptly opens a barrel of vintage Laphroaig.  Raising our glasses to salute the skill and bravery of our new friends, Juan says he will definitely arrange for them to meet some beautiful Philadelphian women, but they tell us that Juan must have smashed the accelerator as we can’t slow down, and we aren’t over Philly any more.  I tell them not to worry, for, as we are cattishly behind schedule, the faster the better, and, as long as we flying over, rather than on, the ground, there is nothing to worry about.  However, Barry and Tam, wildly pointing ahead, shout that there is something to worry about.  Juan and I look out of the window and can see we are heading directly for a very high building.  Juan shrugs and says they shouldn’t build buildings that high so it’s not his problem.  As I am not flying the aircraft I don’t see that it’s my problem either so, leaving Tam and Barry to deal with the situation, we blow up our bagpipes and, considering that we are about to make a high building somewhat shorter, we play The Jacobite Sword Dance with as much passion and exuberance as we can muster.

Professor Humperdink's Diary