by RICK MORTON
I had a flatmate who insisted on serving dinner on airplane crockery, with airplane cutlery on those little airplane trays.
He was, let’s be frank, a plane buff.
We ate it in authentic ‘off-the-back-of-the-truck’ Qantas business class seats with fully functioning electronics. We had a normal television but this would not suit our in-flight experience (of course!) so we had to watch our programs on individual tiny screens that folded out from within the arm rests in our seats.
It was just like travelling business class except we were in our apartment building which didn’t go anywhere and the uncomfortable, sporadic clink of cutlery on cutlery permeated the curtain of silent discomfort in which the rest of us had learned to live.
We had evolved to bear it in the same way an armadillo learns to roll into a protective ball when its peaceful existence is threatened.
The flatmate eventually spent tens of thousands of dollars converting our spare room into a full-sized flight simulator with actual Qantas cockpit chairs, two main 42-inch plasma screens and seven smaller computers running flight instruments. His cockpit had the proper steering columns (or whatever you call the darned things) and unfortunately enough room for one of us to sit by his side on a seven-hour flight to Singapore.
The only whiff of something being slightly amiss were the sheepskin covers on the pilot and co-pilot’s chairs, something I’d only ever associated with being behind the wheel of a Torana.