Here's a couple of stories that caught my eye over the weekend. The first involves a plane hijack the second mushy peas.
An Air Mauritania plane en route for the Canaries was hijacked by a man with a gun. The question of how he smuggled the gun onto the plane was never mentioned. One supposes the Mauritanian check-in staff were too busy with those new regulations looking for bottles of water or oddly shaped toothpaste tubes to notice it.
Anyway the gunman takes control of the plane and demands it be flown to France. The captain then comes up with a cunning plan. He noticed that the hijacker couldn't speak French but knew that the majority of his passengers would. So, he made an announcement in French over the speakers.
"This is your captain speaking, I have a cunning plan," he said. "When we land I am going to hit the brakes then accelerate hard. The hijacker will fall over - for as a hijacker he will not wear a seat belt. When he falls over will all women and children run to the rear of the plane and all men leap on the hijacker and subdue him."
As someone about to undertake a number of flights this summer, I read this part of the story with more than the usual amount of interest. Should I be prepared for other pilots with cunning plans? And wasn't there a large flaw in this one? Wouldn't all the women and children fleeing to the rear get in the way of all the men rushing forward? Would the sudden shift in weight topple the plane over?
But, amazingly, the plan worked. The hijacker was standing in the aisle when the pilot hit the brakes then accelerated. He fell to the floor, dropping one of his two 7mm pistols. In a departure from the cunning plan, flight attendants rushed from the galley and threw boiling water over the man's face and chest. Ten men then jumped him. And fifteen large women trampled him underfoot.
Twenty passengers were slightly injured when the plane braked suddenly but otherwise everyone on board emerged unscathed - except for the hijacker who was prised out of the man-sized depression in the central aisle and taken away for questioning.
The second story also has boiling water in it. The lucky recipient being one Keiran Naylor, a 21 year-old masked robber, who, armed with a hammer, decided to rob a Fish and Chip shop in Manchester.
The masked raider jumped over the counter and struck the 65-year-old male shop owner on the head and shoulder. Then the shop owner's 61-year-old wife came onto the scene. And she had peas.
Hammer v Peas. It's a question that has exercised the brains of military strategists throughout the ages. Who would win? The man with the hammer or the woman with the peas?
No contest. The woman threw the peas at the man who lost his footing - all those peas - and fell over. Then came the boiling water. The raider ran from the shop empty-handed and was later found to have suffered burns to his arms, chest and neck which needed hospital treatment.
He was sentenced to three years in jail. The judge said he got off lightly. After all it was a chip shop and it could have been boiling oil and not water they threw over him.
No mention was made of the raider being battered:)