Bring Back the Clap!


In no way am I suggesting you get out there and act like an alley cat to pick up gonorrhoea, it is far too hot this summer for such shenanigans. I am talking about the art of the applause.

You see, I recently took a flight from Sydney to Queensland which went without need to comment, until it came to the landing. As the tyres touched the tarmac, I noticed that a group of elderly travellers scattered out a light patter of clapping, which was giving thanks to the pilot and crew for their appreciation of the safe journey. It was at this point that Horatio, for the fifteenth time in sixty minutes that he was close to death due to malnutrition. And another thing happened.

I had great waves of nostalgia about clapping.

No one ever accused me of being afraid to create bizarre and irrelevant content.

I recall going to the movies as a child. The Richmond Regent was not yet a twin cinema experience and worked with the ground floor and then the balcony. The cinema’s proprietor would come out and welcome everyone to the session and give us a quick oral rundown about upcoming features. The lights would come down and the crowd would explode with excitement we watched an advertisement for Alpine and then Marlborough cigarettes, which was a trigger for the smokers who proceeded to light up. Shortly into the main feature, the owner would stop the movie and turn on the lights before storming onstage.

“If I catch the little bastard who keeps throwing the Jaffas from the balcony, you will be BANNED FOR LIFE!”

Again, a healthy applause rang though the cinema.

At the end of the movie, when ET eventually went home, the wild applause erupted again in appreciation of effort that Elliot went to out-run the baddies.

But back to the clapping on the touchdown of an aircraft. As I child, I remember this being a real thing.

In the early 80’s our family took a trip to Norfolk Island. I remember getting my haircut that morning and it was hot. I wanted to go swimming and Mum said i could as long as I didn’t put my head under the water because she wanted me to look nice on the plane. Back then, it was important for one to look nice on a place. Not like these days. Ever taken the Jetstar Bali Redeye? I have seen some things that one should never have to see.

I digress.

It was exciting times to be airborne! You got a little cup of orange juice and a colouring in set. FOR FREE! What a time to be alive. And it was the rule, rather than the exception that the entire plane would touch down, by celebrating with clapping. These days, you touch down with the flight attendant screaming at everyone to remain seated, then when the bell dings, everyone jumps to their feet and begins the overhead bag rumble. Which reminds me of the time I was travelling with Mr. Woog…

The bloke sitting next to Mr Woog leapt out of his seat as soon as the ding went. He was keen to get off the plane as well. In his anxiousness to stand like a tool in the isle while they fiddle-farted around getting the doors opened,  he had dislodged another passenger’s bag.  The other passenger was a 50-something businessman and HE WAS PISSED OFF – Irate if you will. He began to have a red-hot go at the eager-to-get-off-the plane-man,  who apologised once, twice then three times before he told the businessman to SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!! I was beside myself with glee,  watching two grown men fight over a dis-lodged bag! Mr Woog was staring really hard at the floor,  hissing at me under his breath “Do not stare like that…..”and “Please do not say anything…”

But I could not. I was speechless. Veins were seriously popping out of businessman’s neck. The man needed to relax. I was trying to imagine what his life would be like if the fact that someone moved his bag caused him to burst a poopa valve. And the best bit? After the exchange was over,  they had to stand there in the isle for another few minutes while people eyebrow raised and “tsk-tsked” them. I was DYING to say something. DYING!
Anyway, apart from School Assemblies where you are asked to hold the applause until everyone has received their award, don’t you think a little applause of appreciation is ok? Once I was off my face in the dentist’s chair and I did it when he finished a root canal. I also clapped when I got my L plates. But that now just seems self-indulgent.

So tell me punters, what makes you cheer with gay abandon?