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Wow, marijuana is the new circumcision it would appear, in terms of popularity to the blog. If I was circumcised while stoned I think I would have a million hits.

Anyway thanks for  all the interest yesterday. I will answer the comments later. I will endeavour to find more hemp related stories while I am in the US.

Currently in Toronto airport and technically I think I am in the States as I have passed through US customs. Not nearly as much problem as last year though LA is clearly an easier process, probably cos they process so many people. The Toronto custom official completely flummoxed me by asking me how long i had been in Toronto. I kept saying I was in transit. Evidently the answer of twenty minutes was acceptable but I could feel another strip search coming on.

Anyway I am about to board a really tiny plane to go to Charlotte. It is a plane with propellers so if I die, avenge my death. More later, God willing.

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Since I wrote yesterday I flew from Toronto to Charlotte with Air Canada. This was an experience. Smallest aircraft I have been in for forever. A CRJ 100/200. So old it had propellers. Not really but it was very old. The flight was quite delightful with a very sweet stewardess who told me I was her hero for the flight… ie I was sitting in the emergency exit.

She very kindly explained to me how to open the door in the case of an emergency, pull lever down, pull door in towards you, throw door out the hole, follow the door. I smiled sweetly and told her I understood her instructions and would be able  to handle myself manfully in the event of a crisis. All the time she was talking to me thought I was thinking, “Sweetie, if there’s a crash my plan of action is to run up and down the aisle screaming and grabbing everyone’s oxygen mask and inhaling deeply.” Fortunately there was no such event.

Charlotte is really pretty from the sky. It looks like it’s populated with monopoly houses.

I then had to travel to Murrylund ( Baltimore airport) flying with US Airways at technically 2000 hours. The flight was late. We left the airport terminal (note the use of the word terminal) at 2020. We coasted to take off and were revved up to go. Then the storm hit.

The plane was packed. Literally sardines in tins. The seat pitch of US  Airways flights is non existent. My knees were in the back of the seat of the person in front. To stretch your legs you have to dislocate your knees and slide them under the chair. And to add to the joy there were two very loud jokers behind us who regaled us with their humour. “There was this one time. In Band Camp.”  (Yes, American Pie – hysterical. That didn’t get old quick at all!) “Lets get going cos I’ve got to f*** my woman” – (hold on to him sweetie – he’s a keeper)  “If I don’t get a smoke soon I’m going to go Postal” (Surely he should have been chucked off at this point – I could have joined him.)

We were stuck on the tarmac for 2 hours and 40 minutes. 2. Hours. And. Forty. Minutes. It is technically possible to go insane under duress I discovered.  I don’t blame US Airways at all. I am all for flying safely and not flying if it’s not safe. My beef was that we were being held hostage on the plane and after, say, an hour they should return to the airport and allow people of the option of staying or leaving and pursuing other avenues. There is evidently law that states the plane has to return to the terminal after three hours but, with the greatest respect, that law was written by someone who had never endured being stuck on the tarmac in a sardine can with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum for five minutes let alone three hours.

I spent the entire time willing the flight to be cancelled so I could get off the plane and  beg sanctuary from Wesley in Charlotte. My friend Ray was picking me up from Baltimore airport. I had rung him to advise him of earlier delay and my anticipation that the flight would arrive near 10. As the flight got more delayed I wanted to ring him to tell him to go home but,  due to my mobile not working in the US, I couldn’t get through. I eventually asked the irate woman next to me to borrow her phone which she kindly allowed. At that very second of getting the phone it was announced we were leaving and had to take off. Turn off your phone please, Sir.

The plane eventually took off at 2240 and we got into Baltimore after midnight. Everyone was exhausted and defeated. Even the jokers had shut up. I was so stiff and sore. I limped off the plane to ring Ray who, by rights, should have gone home to bed but (God love you sir!!!) was still waiting for me.   I have never, ever, ever been so glad to see someone in my life.  Seriously  the Knight in Shining Armour award goes to Ray for services above the call of duty. He was waiting at the airport for hours.

He picked me up and found me a hotel and made sure I was safe and settled in the room before leaving me to get some sleep. Complete and utter thanks buddy. You have no idea how much you saved me. I am forever in your debt.

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Not sure when this will be published. Apologies for missing yesterday but it was crazy busy with getting to Heathrow and getting back from Paris on the Chunnel. In the ridiculous way of the traveller I have been in four countries in the past 24 hours. I am completely manky with sweat as American airlines now only allow one item of luggage per flight (so I elected to take the laptop and sacrificed the hand luggage which had the gear for a shower.)

I am writing this in Toronto Airport on word 10 with the view of transferring it when I get wifi connection.  Got up super duper early at 0530 which was really 430 as the clocks went forward this morning. Had a nice trip on Air Canada next to an irish teacher who likes his drink and other things. Arrived in customs in Toronto and the guard was itching to strip search me. The questions you are asked and the sneer with which every answer you gave was received made it so special to arrive in the country. Honestly do they train Border Security to be so rude. I talked to the Irish guy after we got through customs and he had received the same treatment.

We were fingerprinted (more eye rolling), picture taken (eye rolling and tutted), stood on an inexplicable mat for no apparent reason, had our hands and bags and laptops swabbed, shoes removed. Thank god they didn’t make me take my belt off like they did in Heathrow as these trousers are ridiculously too large for me and I almost mooned  Customs. It was however the only thing they didn’t ask of me. It was a ridiculously humiliating experience. I am all for border security and want to fly safely but do they have to be so mean spirited with it? As the Irish Guy said, “You are called Sir twenty times and it is meant zero.”

We discussed our experiences over a $11 pint of beer!!!! $11!!!!!!!!!! Even the alcoholic Irishman thought that was crappy and bought duty free wine and drank that. Ah, you crazy Irish.

Anyways I am off to Charlotte and then Murrylund ( the pronounciation of Maryland evidently and you’ve got to deepen your voice when you say it) and back to Charlotte for the rest of the week.

The pilots who are transporting us to Charlotte are discussing what has happened on The Young and the Restless. I am not filled with confidence.

My English Readers… Ie Rachel. Can you let the fam know the mobile isn’t working here. Thanks!

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