8/12/2004
 
I fly out of Heathrow Airport on the 5th of October. It’s a long journey and this will be my second time making it. Like last time I’m spending a few days in California en route and I’m looking forward to getting heavily frisked at JFK airport again. That was sure fun. And the part where I forgot the address of the place I was staying at and they yelled at me, like on COPS. That was swell. My favourite moment, though, has to be when I discovered the sign describing all the dangerous things that you weren’t allowed to take on the flight – guns, knives, bullwhips, a transformer robot… You know, the little toys that change from a humanoid robot to, say, a bug. I used to love them. How could they be a threat to National Security? I mean, whose safety is endangered by a kids’ toy that turns into a dragonfly? No ones, that’s who.

Ah, but what if the transformer turns into a gun? Let’s say, hypothetically, you ask for Megatron for your birthday and whine and whinge every time the Ads are on TV until your Mum finally gives in and gets you one, and it’s the best ever because the gun fires a little plastic missile and you take it everywhere, especially on trips, like flying to Chicago to see Grandma. Except that before you board there’s a lot of yelling. Dogs barking. You are wrestled to the ground by three armed guards who pry the Megatron from your 6 year-old grasp. You’ll probably get at least 4 – 6 years in juve-hall where you’ll think long and hard about the mistake you made. Like why the heck you didn’t ask for an Optimus Prime instead because all that does is turn into a stupid truck!

Karen is meeting me at the airport. She knows this guy who does the drapes for Frank Sinatra Jr so needless to say she’s pretty well connected. I’m going to use my Hugh Grant good looks to wow the locals and say “cheers” a lot and ask for cups of tea. They seem to like that. Trinity is also in California at the same time – she’s attending a wedding in Las Vegas – so I’m even going to have a posse. I might even suggest a drink with a certain blonde L.A. blogger. Tea, of course.

If I don’t get asked to write a pilot for a hilarious sitcom starring Aston Kutcher as a man bequeathed his neighbour’s 'Seeing Eye' dog (canine voiced by Kevin Spacey) called Blind Luck, I’ll be leaving Los Angeles on the 10th and arriving in Auckland on the 12th. Yes, you read that right. New Zealand is a long, long way away. Technically, it’s in the future. I’ve always found it weird calling my family where it’s already tomorrow.

But Auckland isn’t my last port of call. Oh no – From Auckland I get on an internal flight to Wellington where an A & E unit will be standing by in the very probable likelihood that I’ve developed deep vein thrombosis.



photograph courtesy of Jeremy Ginsberg

But it’ll be worth it. Take a look at this. I’m going to be living round the corner from right here. They’ve filled up this bay with white sand which I’m told is where the Wellington glitterati hang out over summer. The last time I was in Wellington there was no sand or glitterati. Things sure seem to have changed. My Mother and sister live a short walk away in a sunny apartment. That’s where I’ll sleep off my jet lag for the first few days before waking up and thinking to myself “right, so what the hell do I do now?”
 

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