I have quite a few pet peeves while flying. One of the most ‘chia lat’ one is regarding newspapers. What could be so bad with newspapers you ask? Let me explain to you some of them which I ALWAYS encounter during my B737 flights;
a) The Newspaper Discriminator - I mean, can’t you just grab the 1st copy on the whole damn pile instead of digging down to the next few copies underneath until you find a fresh copy? Uncle, just because the front page is a little crumpled that doesn’t mean the paper is not readable. So when your girlfriend is old and wrinkly you do the same lar?
b) The Ambitious Newspaper Reader - On a short flight to Kuantan (40 minutes) or Penang (50 minutes), a passenger travelling alone can grab a copy each of the Star, NST, Sin Chew and Nan Yang. Sure or not…you so ‘keng’ can read so fast one meh? Want to tapau is it…
c) The Newspaper Rapist - Sorry to say but strangely this happens to mostly Chinese readers. Why oh why, must you separate every page from it’s arrangement? I know that Chinese papers has lots of sections for reading but must you really violate the reading material to the point of molestation? To salvage the poor paper for the next flight would be near impossible, especially if the Rapist is an Ambitious Reader as well. I think other than the safety demonstration, crew should carry out a ‘How-To-Read-Your-Newspaper’ demonstration too. I guess it could start off with something like this. "This is your newspaper. To read it, open it up like this……’
d) The Newspaper Snatcher - Often on domestic flights, quantities of newspapers gradually lessen through out the day. This is mostly contributed by (b) and (c). And so, what’s a passenger to do? That’s easy - Pretend’s the word. While passing through the Business Class cabin prior to entering the Economy Class cabin, start by pretending to admire the spacious seats, carelessly drop something and then lazily bend down to pick it up and while straightening up faster faster snatch a newspaper from the seat pockets. Whilst doing all these, maintain a straight face and pretend that it is the most natural thing to do. If caught, again, pretend to be in a state of total ignorance and exclaim, ‘Why, I didn’t know that this newspaper is exclusively for Business Class passengers!’
e) The Die-Die Also Must Read Newspaper Tonight Passenger - So, it’s the last flight into JB. It’s 10.30pm. Passenger boards the aircraft and upon eyeing the empty newspaper trolley, frowns, then asked ‘No more newspaper ah?’ I answered ‘Sorry sir, but it is quite late and all the copies that were displayed have been taken by the rest of the passengers before you.’ The frown turned into a scowl and he spat, ‘What? How come?Cut cost ar?’. Sigh….First of all, rilek lar brader..It’s one and a half hours before the day is over. Want to read apa lagi? If the news is really so important to you, get your own copy 1st thing in the morning. If like what you quoted ‘cut cost’, then read it online lar. Why make your life so miserable?
f) The Newspaper Vendor - Ah…This one’s very cute. At the end of the flight, he will collect an assortment of the day’s newspapers (almost every copy available), tucks it under his arm, grins at you and disembarks with it. Wei ah chek! Want to tapau also do it discreetly lar. But my colleague had the last word for the ah chek, this is what she said, "Aiyo sir, why you take so many. Take one enough lar. You want to bukak payung outside and sell is it?!"