Air New Zealand is about to attempt to put the laws of gravity to the test.
At least, that’s the implication of a Herald headline today.
It says –
Dash 8 fleet to stay in air
Alf reckons the last time anyone tried to perform a stunt like this was when King Canute commanded the tide to stay back.
Alf will be among the keen observers of what is bound to happen when the bloody planes run out of fuel.
He certainly will not be putting his money on the fleet remaining in the air for too long after the last drop has been consumed.
But he is prepared to consider putting a few bob on, if someone opens a book on when the last of the fleet will come back to earth.
Oh, and he wonders if the airline is willing to try the same stunt with its bigger airliners, preferably packed with Labour and Green party MPs and their supporters.
As for the Canute feller, the legend says he learned that his flattering courtiers claimed he was “So great, he could command the tides of the sea to go back”.
Now Canute was not only a religious man, but also a clever politician. He knew his limitations – even if his courtiers did not – so he had his throne carried to the seashore and sat on it as the tide came in, commanding the waves to advance no further. When they didn’t, he had made his point that, though the deeds of kings might appear ‘great’ in the minds of men, they were as nothing in the face of God’s power.
Indeed, a clever bugger.
Not so, the headline writer at the Herald.