Thursday February 13th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the transfer.

Kat and I are both sick, though I seem to have been gifted with the worst of it. I'm certainly bitching and moaning more, at any rate.

Trying to get to bed early tonight, hoping that some extra rest will help hurry this one out the door.

You know, in case you were wondering why today's prompt is up so (relatively) early.


When our plane arrived at its destination personnel from the Centers For Disease Control were already in place. In fact, they had been waiting for nearly a day.

The wing of the airport containing our gate had been evacuated, with passengers replaced by men and women in hazmat suits. Three large tents had been installed in the hallways; there was no possibility of getting around them.

So we passed through them. In the first we stripped down. I found it awkward and uncomfortable, but I understood the risks. In the second we had our showers. The water could have been a little warmer. And in the third we were given fresh outfits. They were kind enough to provide stacks of shirts, socks, underwear, pants and shoes in varying sizes. Everyone found something that fit their bodies, if not their sense of style, and carried on.

In the end, none of our clothing proved to be contaminated. Which made all that hassle entirely unnecessary, but nobody thought to complain. We were too busy being relieved.

If only that group of tired vacationers and businesspeople and flight crew had made up the entirety of that plane's occupants.

I wonder, as they raced across the tarmac and into the surrounding woodlands, if those two rats were aware of what those first bites and scratches would bring to our continent. They couldn't possibly, I suppose.



Greg said...

I think it works the other way round you know, the one who's capable of bitching and moaning is the less ill of the two ;-) After all, they've got the energy to complain about how they feel! Still, I hope you get better soon and that Max is enjoying being in the little plastic bubble you've undoubtedly put him in for protection!
I like how all the apprehension in that piece is delivered right at the end by the least expected vector. And a nice choice: I remember from flying back from South Africa that they pass insecticide through the cabin just after take-off to ensure that there are no unticketed insects on the flight, but I doubt that would kill rats.

The transfer
Transfer,n. from ye olde Latin trans meaning cross and fer meaning iron. With Latin's obliviousness to anyone's reasonable expectation of word order (in what sensible language are "iacta alea est", "alea iacta est", "est alea iacta" and all other permutations granted the same meaning?) transfer simply meaning iron cross.
The railways of ancient Rome were known as chemin de fer and those points where two railways crossed (no-one said that the Romans were good mechanical engineers; give them stone and you couldn't beat them, but titanium alloys? No signs of their use!) were therefore transfer points. Coincidentally it's also where the most accidents happened, so the transfer window was the period of time in which something horrible could happen, and transference is the happening of that horrible thing.
It's not surprising therefore, that the Romans were popular supposed to have walked everywhere.

Marc said...

Greg - bah, I suppose that's possible :P

Wait, like through the air of the cabin? I'd find that... I'm not sure, actually. Comforting in one sense, disturbing in another... assuming Max were to be with me. I'm surprised I've never heard of that before.

Hah, love the commentary on the Romans you slipped in there. And I did enjoy the summation at the end there as well :)