Sunday, August 3, 2008

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Part One: first class and no class

My travels started out on a high note - a fortunate series of events led me to the front of the plane, to the previously elusive and exclusive executive class seating. Though I am not an executive, it turns out that by merely giving the airline a significant amount of money, all of your and your husband's air miles, your most convincing pouty face followed by your winningest smile, well you too can be seated (or laid down, as it were) in the front of the plane! Actually, I spent most of the time as horizontal as possible - and this was possible, given the fabulous contraption that is the pod. I can only hope that as much engineering detail was put into the engine. Suffice it to say that I have had a taste of the good life - comfortable seats, great food and service, clean facilities... I was likely the only one disappointed when the pilot announced that due to a tail wind we would arrive in London 45 minutes early. I wanted to get my money's worth... and after security pried me kicking and screaming from my pod, I truly felt that I had.

The euphoria was short-lived when I disembarked the plane and then embarked a train, albeit as a regular passenger, en route to Plymouth. This turned out to be a perfectly lovely-ish town, site of the world premiere of Flashdance the Musical!

I'm torn here. I want to sum up the show for you, to tell you about the jaw-dropping choreography, the iconic scenes from the movie come to life, the moving performances (I laughed! I cried!), the unbelievable score... but this blog pretends to have something to do with chiropractic, so I'll talk about how this humble chiropractor saved the show.

A few hours before opening night, one of the actors hurt his neck during a run through. I happened to be sitting in the theatre and overheard a debate over what to do (ice!! when in doubt, put ICE on a fresh injury!!) - and I couldn't help but offer my services (is there a chiropractor in the house?). The actor had pinched a joint in his neck, an injury I see all the time in my patients. The only difference is that when you come in unable to move your head, you aren't usually due to be breakdancing on stage in 3 hours. We massaged and iced and gently moved the joint, and the show went on... as it must, I suppose. You couldn't tell he was sore at all, and I like to think this had as much to do with him being a great actor as me being a great chiropractor. Do they give a Tony for best adjustment in a musical? Flashdance was a huge success, and I was honoured to make my small contribution to this amazing production.

Soon it was time to leave Plymouth, to race to Stansted Airport to discover the haluciousness that is Ryan.air (I'm sensing that 'halucious' isn't technically a word... but trust me, it is the only one that accurately describes Ryan.air). Discount prices but a charge for every little thing (luggage $64, check in $16, bringing along a guitar $100, life jacket $45...), pandemonium at the check-in counter, no seating assignments, advertisements on the overhead luggage compartment, lotto ticket sales during the flight, sexy pictures of the airline attendants in the Ryan.air magazine, tiny seats cramped together, all taking place amid a sickly yellow and orange colour scheme! Halucious! But we made it alive and on time (the timely arrival is celebrated by a gaudy horn arrangement over the loudspeaker... 'do do doo doooo doo do! Another Ryanair flight has landed on time!' I was more amazed that we landed at all...) in Rome!

Thus began my week long gelato diet...

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