Where's your pistol Claudine?

Triple P had just written his rant against Andy Williams' Christmas song last night, whilst our companion did complex things to her hair, when we decided to go to the hotel bar in search of a drink or three. The main bar was closed for a private party (I hate it when hotels do that; stick them in a conference room!) but the number two bar here is also, unusually very nice (we like this hotel as it has no less than three bars). No sooner had we sat down then what should come lilting through the speakers like a nasty outflow from a sludge farm? Yes, It's the most wonderful time of the year by Andy fucking Williams. We were apoplectic and made comments to the barman and he did at least turn it down. Our companion was most amused (we are afraid she is having a negative effect on our language).

When we were little the Andy Williams show was a staple of our Saturday evenings. Apart from the oleaginous Andy it also introduced the world to the Osmonds, for which it can never be forgiven.

Also slinking around was Williams' French wife, Claudine Longet who was fifteen years younger than him. Longet was a Las Vegas "dancer" who Williams literally picked up at the side of the road when she was 18. They seperated in the mid seventies and she set herself up with a skier, Vladimir Sabich, who was later shot dead by Longet in what she claimed was a tragic accident while he was showing her how the gun worked. This despite the fact that the autopsy showed that he was shot in the back from over six feet away. Amazingly, Longet was only found guilty of criminal negligence and served only 30 days in prison on the grounds that she had to look after her three young children.. Williams supported her throughout financially and emotionally but after her short sentence she dumped the children and hopped off to the Caribbean with her defense attorney who she later married. What a bitch!

If only she had used her pistol on Andy instead...

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The Return of the Baggage

Calgary Airport. It's not exactly huge, for heaven's sake.

Agent Triple P has been whizzing about North America for two weeks now. Beverly Hills, Anaheim, Atlanta, Tallahassee, Miami Beach, Dallas, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto. We have been to a lot of airports. Given the length of this trip (we still have a week to go) we were anxious about our case arriving from airport to airport, particularly on the two multi-flight legs.

But no, it was the perfectly straightforward flight from Calgary to Toronto where Air Canada lost Triple P's case. Reporting it was perfectly straightforward but then following up on the phone was a nightmare as we tried to describe it to someone in India who had never heard of Ralph Lauren and couldn't spell anyway. The reaction from Canadians was: "Oh, Air Canada, of course they lose your bags. Happens all the time, eh?" Air Canada is one of Triple P's least favourite airlines on account of it being generally rubbish. In the days before it was taken over in 2001 we much preferred Canadian Airlines.

Anyway, we waited and waited anxiously for our missing suitcase. We have only had bags go missing twice before. Once when flying from London to Korea via Bangkok and Korean airlines got the missing bag to our hotel in less that six hours. The other time was when flying to Tripoli. We never did see it during the trip and even had to go and collect it ourselves from Heathrow. We don't think it ever actually left London.

Triple P's suitcase (the blue and yellow one not the other one which belongs to our companion)happily back in his hotel room.

We had been waiting four days for our suitcase on this trip and had given up on it. Today should have been devoted to buying some replacement clothes but, hooray, it turned up overnight. We are so relieved that we don't have to go through all the turmoil of claiming from insurance etc. Celebrations tonight!
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It's not the most wonderful time of the year, actually!

No more! Please, no more!

Triple P doesn't like Christmas, or at least all the increasingly elongated commercial nonsense that surrounds it. We had hoped that we would miss all the ghastly build up by travelling around the US and Canada for three weeks. We had mistakenly believed that our North American cousins put all their efforts into Thanksgiving and Christmas was a lesser affair. Oh dear, how terribly wrong we were. There is tinsel, lights and trees everywhere. Ghastly!

But worse, much, much worse, is the endless Christmas music. We have had breakfast lunch and dinner to cloyingly awful Christmas music for more than two weeks. We can't stand any more! The North American's appreciation for what makes good Christmas music seems to be forever stuck in the fifties and early sixties as well. No carols from Kings or even Slade; here it's all Perry Como and, worst of the lot, Andy Williams! We are hearing Andy Williams' It's the most wonderful time of the year at least half a dozen times a day. Hotels, shopping malls, government buildings, airports. It's everywhere, like a sort of aural Black Death. There is no escape.

Triple P does not usually swear but if we hear that fucking song one more time we are going to start pulling the wires out of loudspeakers.

Arghh!!!!! Time for a Martini in a, hopefully, Christmas free bar. We are hoping our friend C will know of one!
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