December 06, 2005
They practice an ancient art, I don't know if I've told you this before, the art known as hitchhiking. Now most people will tell you that this is just a hackneyed method of getting from place to place by asking people for rides in their cars, but Captain Kowalski, punkin, takes it to a whole new level.
Your Uncle Steve hitchhikes, you see, on aeroplanes.
Now air travel is very expensive for the masses. If you or I (well, actually, for the next year and a half, you travel for free), but if I were to turn up at a gate lounge, gaze longingly at a boarding 747 and ask very nicely if I could just come along for the ride, there's a fair chance they'd laugh at me right before they called security.
But Cappy, punkin, Cappy doesn't have these problems. Cappy and Vanessa just roll up, say hello, and more often than not, get ushered onto the flight with time to spare. This is the joy that is being an airline pilot.
Of course, it doesn't necessarily work exactly like that. Often, particularly during busy periods, there's no room at all on the flight, and so Captain Kowalski and his steadfast partner Captain Aunt Vanessa can spend an inordinate amount of time hanging around in airports waiting to find an open flight.
In recent memory, that has entailed them sitting at Los Angeles International (LAX for those of us in the know) for up to three days trying to get out to Australia. When your mum and dad got married, Unky Steve almost gave up hope, and hopped a flight to Taipei because it was the only one going west.
Suffice to say that, as of right now, we know that they're in Sydney. As to when they actually get going to head back to the land of the free, who can say. As to the route that they might take to get there, it could be long and convoluted. Earlier this week, they were considering going via Hong Kong, then Alaska. Looking at a map of the world, that is most certainly the Long Way Round.