Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tom Gutteridge Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tom Gutteridge Columnist

Article excerpt


IZZY was convinced the missing plane was lost in fog and would go home as soon as it cleared. Just like Mummy when she's driving, except that she always phones Daddy to come and rescue her, even when he says it's only mist and she should just follow the white lines. Mummy won't drive in fog.

"What if it's not foggy up in the sky, Izzy?" Jo asked her, quickly changing the subject. My daughter looked uncertain, thought hard and then said with far more conviction than the Malaysian prime minister: "Pirates stole it."

Our whole family, like most of the world, is obsessed by the lost plane story. Sky News has temporarily replaced Nick Junior as our channel of choice, even though they've now exported the unwatchable, morose Kay Burley to be their presenter on the ground in Malaysia. I sometimes wish Sky would lose her in a fog.

I hope that by the time you read this we'll know a lot more of what happened to Flight MH370, not just for the sake of those poor families being torn apart by the uncertainty and contradiction of the daily reports about their loved ones' destiny, but also for the millions of viewers hooked on this unlikely saga.

I bet producers have already signed up Paul Greengrass to shoot the movie. Just imagine if it actually had a happy ending, and the passengers are reunited with their relatives on some distant Uzbekistan military airstrip, with the villain led away in chains and Brad Pitt the geeky radar operatorcum-hero saving the day, having put together the ping coordinates that finally located the plane.

"It's definitely not Captain Hook, you know," said Izzy, bringing us back to reality.

Why not? "Because he's not real, silly. But it could be a real pirate fairy."

"So how will they get the plane back?" "Easy. Tinkerbell and her friends will turn the bad pirate into a good one and they'll fly to the cave hiding the plane and, pouf, (here she waves her imaginary wand), it will pop back out and fly everybody home."

Frankly, the real story unfolding in the daily Kuala Lumpur press conferences is even less credible. …

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