There’s been an awful lot of complaining lately about additional fees charged by airlines and tighter and far more intrusive security screenings.

There’s been an awful lot of complaining lately about additional fees charged by airlines and tighter and far more intrusive security screenings.

Now, let me assure you I am not one to be willingly flaunting flab at the drop of a hat, but if it’s going to get me where I want to go without being blown up by a loony, then by all means, have at it. All I ask is that you do it quickly and don’t snicker.

These extra fees, though, are another matter. If it’s going to cost me $400 to fly somewhere, then tell me. I can take it, I’m a grownup with a bank account after all. Don’t lead me on with a fare of $250 and then nickel and dime and dollar me to death between here and there – there being where I want to end up, still gripping tightly about me the fleece they so obviously want to remove from my person.

In my research, I have discovered these two phenomena are actually eons old. I can prove it to you, from this article I unearthed in my back garden as I was planting geraniums. It was a big job, unearthing several large stone tablets, let me tell you – and getting them translated cost me an arm and a leg, but one cannot put a price on public service, now can one?

Dateline:  Red Sea (or thereabouts)

Weather: Threatening rain

Chaos was narrowly averted this morning as hoards of passengers grew increasingly frustrated with the long lines they endured whilst waiting to board their craft, promising 40 days and 40 nights of luxury cruising.

According to eyewitness reports, scuffles broke out by the score as ticketed passengers were charged additional fees, allegedly in a bigoted manner.

“I mean, really,” huffed Mr. & Mrs. Jumbo, “we were told we weren’t allowed to bring our luggage on board and it had to be stowed in the hold. We asked why, naturally, and that snitty man at the counter accused us of having oversized trunks. When we pointed to the kangaroos, he sneered at us and told us all the Australians were exempt as, according to him, those bloody marsupials had automatically qualified for carry-on bags, what with their pouches and all. Just because we’re a little on the heavy side, we’re penalized. And to top it all off, even before we got onboard, he had the audacity to tell us that peanuts would cost extra. Extra! Those awful pretzels are free, but peanuts? No, everyone likes peanuts, so the rotters charge for them.”

“The fleas and ticks got away with it – they didn’t have to pay extra for food – they just ate everyone else. The pigs are already scratching. This is a ripoff – we’re never going to book with these people again, we can tell you that for nothing.”

This reporter then managed to push her way through to the head of the security line to see what problems were brewing there.

Having escaped the problems with overcharging, the kangaroos were irate. Not only did they suffer the indignities of having their tails scanned as possible weapons, they and their native friends – koalas, opossums and wombats alike – had to empty their pockets for the world to see.

“There was so much lint,” exclaimed Mrs. Roo, “that we were so embarrassed.  It was an affront on our fronts, I tell you”

The giraffes were no happier. Naturally, gentle creatures that they are, they mildly succumbed to the body scanners, only to find that the scanners were not made for those of unnatural height.  

The horses were up in hoofs about having to take their shoes off. “Do you have any idea – any idea at all – how long it takes us to get four shoes back on? Bloody right, not a blacksmith around when you need one, just a bloody boat builder,” muttered Harry H.

And finally boarding the craft itself, with the squeaky clean little know-it-all, the little mousey stewardess, Angelina Rodent, managed to irk a number of passengers. The pigs were wildly disgruntled.

“This place is a bloody sty,” they snorted with derision.

The flamingoes were complaining that their meals were not served upside down, and there was not enough leg room.

The wildebeest and zebra couples appeared very nervous, being seated as they were next to the lions, and the monkeys were creating absolute havoc, swinging from the oxygen masks as they were, upsetting drink carts and thumping the backs of seats.

The porcupines were trying to be helpful by offering writing quills and/or toothpicks to all the passengers, but came to an ugly end when confronted by both the owls and coyotes.

So you see dear readers that we really don’t have a whole lot about which to complain.

After all, consider yourselves lucky.

Do you know why the unicorn never made it past the flood? Concealed weaponry, don’t you know. They were escorted off the premises, never to be seen again.

A spokesman for the travel agency, Mr. N. Oah, refused to comment.