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26.6.10

Choosing an aircraft





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Staggering back to aunt Humperdink's residence, we call in to one of her aircraft construction sheds to see if we can find a suitable craft for Sancho. We find one of aunt's engineering teams working on a new airship that, they tell us, will be ready in a few days; Juan is very excited at this, as he believes that he is a wonderful airship pilot. The truth is that everyone knows that a root vegetable can fly an airship better than Juan, and the engineers are not happy that he wants to take their new airship to Europe; they recommend we take an old flying boat instead. Juan looks at it doubtfully and says that it doesn't look as if it can fly; I explain that it was never meant to fly, it's a boat. However, there are taps at the bottom of each of the pipes that lead down from the four copper balls, each of which is filled with Vintage Glenlossie, Balvenie, Tullibardine, and Mortlach Private Reserve, respectively, so it's easy to access the malt, this guarantees that, although the ship doesn't travel through the air, after a short while, you definitely feel as if you are flying.

Juan says that this is perfect and the craft must have been created by a Highlander, but when I tell him that it was designed by Francesco de Lana, an Italian, he says that, although the Italians design wonderful shirts and very nice handbags, he doesn't think they're very good at designing anything else. I remind him that the Italians designed the Coliseum and the world beating design on the Sistine Chapel's ceiling was painted by Michelangelo, an Italian artist. Juan retorts that the Coliseum doesn't fly, and aeronautical engineering requires more than the ability to sling paint at a ceiling.

The engineers point out that, if we don't want to take the flying boat, there are plenty of other aircraft to choose from. We are sodgeringly behind schedule and we will be travelling a long way, so choosing the correct aircraft is a difficult decision; to help us decide, Juan opens a barrel of his Special Reserve, which we share with aunt's engineers and, after offering toast after toast to the wonders of human flight, and singing 'Why Hangs that Cloud' and 'The Highland Balloo', we stumble around in ramfoozled circles, as fast as we possibly can.

Professor Humperdink's Diary