A recent stowaway in business class on a Singapore Airlines flight to London avoided detection for 12 hours before the cabin crew cottoned on to her presence.
It wasn’t the twister and it wasn’t a plane. It was, however, a bird.
Dinah was a Singaporean mynah, which longed to transcend its humble origins and trip the light fantastic. In short, Dinah the mynah wanted something finer.
There were too many of her kind back in Singapore and she wished to be rid of her constantly squabbling flock. And so she resolved to travel to London where she had polite relatives called starlings and where she’d heard a nightingale always sang in Berkeley Square.
Like most Singaporeans, Dinah could muster a modicum of Singlish, which she had been told would stand her in good stead in the United Kingdom.
Finally, the avian adventurer wanted to see London because it was a monarchist at heart and hoped it might meet the Queen. Lest we forget, she was also tired of Majulah Singapura and yearned for the return of colonialism and God Save the Queen.
As she was still a citizen of the city-state, however, she decided that the way to London would have to be by way of Singapore Airlines where she had heard good things about its business class services.
The ease by which the feathered fugitive stealthily sailed over the republic’s Immigration controls while simultaneously resisting the urge to make a sizeable deposit on the burnished berets of the stolid Singaporeans has now become the stuff of legend and could become a movie starring Meryl Cheep and Jay Leno.
The militant mynah even had the gumption to dawdle in SIA’s business lounge where she sampled some indifferent cheese that she decided she wouldn’t write home about before she made her historic tryst with destiny.
But for such a noisy, oftentimes aggressive, bird to have avoided detection for almost the whole flight – it takes 14 hours to Heathrow from Changi – was nothing short of a miracle. You see, Dinah may have been crazy but she wasn’t stupid and knew full well
that a bird in the hand was usually dead.
And it would have got away with it too. Except that nature took over. You see, there is an unseen force that lets birds know just when you’ve washed your car… or your hair.
Realising that there were only two hours till London, passenger M decided to wash her hair. Alas, the merciless mynah noticed and the jig was up.
In a statement on Sunday (Jan 13), an SIA spokesman confirmed that a bird was found on flight SQ322 on January 7.
“It was subsequently caught by cabin crew with the assistance of some of the passengers on board,” said the spokesman.
Alas, poor Dinah. She had been handed over to British quarantine officials fearful of bird flu. You couldn’t blame them either: she was a bird and she had just flown.
Singapore has publicly repudiated the mutinous mynah for disavowing its national anthem but SIA is said to be considering her as a flyting advertisement for its business class services along the lines of “well, if you had to stow away…”
Press reports have since indicated that Dinah has taken up with a British starling with a drink problem.
You see where this is heading don’t you?
I mean, that’s like, getting two birds stoned at once.