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The Wrath Of The Ribena

By Todd Maguire on April 6, 2011 in Other

For the frequently travelling family, the trip to the friendly isles of Fiji goes down as the most traumatic overseas experience to date. Jen’s husband and two young kids had contracted a stomach bug that turned their lavish beachside bure into a putrid vomatorium.

Hugging the cool porcelain of the ensuite brasco had become her husband’s safety blanket for the past few days while the kids just puked willy-nilly. Somehow Jen had managed to escape from the island unscathed, but no amount of kava could wash away the mental anguish of the journey home to Sydney.

Jen placed the family carry-on luggage in the overhead locker above one of the first seats on the plane. Travelling outside of the holiday season allowed for the comfort of a number of vacant seats so Jen proceeded to march the family down the aisle to a vacant row much closer to the toilets. Convenience on this flight was vital. Row 35 seemed like a safe-haven as the Qantas flight finally let go of the tarmac, setting sail for Mascot airport.

“Only 5 hours to go,” the weary mother reflected as she set her watch for the destination’s local time. She had never looked forward to getting home more. But unfortunately this was to be a very long five hours.

While the kids and the husband settled in for the flight, Jen trudged to the front of the plane to gather a few personal belongings from the overhead locker. She neared the pointy end of the airship and was confronted by a harrowing scenario. Fresh blood was dripping from the overhead locker as the plane cruised along. As the blood trickled onto the unassuming passengers shrill screams of terror began to fill the aircraft.

The routine flight had turned into a state of emergency as the loose fluid methodically made its way down the plane. No one was spared. It dripped on a lady’s new white jacket; on a couple coming home from their romantic honeymoon; on the tanned bald spot of a large man returning from a relaxing week in the islands.

The flight service director was of no use at all. He simply passed out at the sight of the rivulet of blood – as useful as tits on a bull. Jen was well trained in the service industry and was normally one to go out of her way to lend a hand. But not this day. She was rendered speechless as she turned and headed back to her seat. The wayward fluid in question was not blood. Unfortunately, Jen knew of its source.

Stashed in Jen’s carry on bag was a bottle of red Ribena cordial for the kids. Carelessly, the lid had not been secured properly. When the plane took off, the bottle of thick red cordial began to spill its crimson contents. The bottle had become the primary suspect at the bogus murder scene.

Did the passengers know it was Jen’s fault? She didn’t give them the chance as she hid under every airline blanket she could find. The remainder of the trip went by like a rainy month of Sundays while the kids and husband continued to utilise their overflowing sick bags. Needless to say, it was not the best of flights.

When the plane finally touched down the cloak and dagger scenario continued. On familiar soil, Jen grabbed the kids and sheepishly plucked the offending bag from the overhead locker. She awkwardly marched the kids past the sneering flight attendants and other straggling passengers as the ailing husband brought up the rear. Jen hid behind her designer sunglasses trying not to catch anyone’s eye as she bolted through customs leaving a trail of vomit and Ribena in her wake.

Fortunately, the place still holds a soft spot in the heart of the frequently travelling family. The miserable, blood-riddled flight had overshadowed the harrowing week of vomit in the friendly isles of Fiji. Thankfully some things happen for a reason. There is no use in crying over spilt milk… or Ribena.