I was spending a bit of quality time with my drum kit the other day. Cleaning, tuning and stroking, everyday drummer's stuff.
As I caressed the metal and thought about how Soixante Neuf or Kinkywhat'shername might report the situation I looked at the bass pedal and noticed a sticker on the shaft. It said
"Made from aircraft quality aluminium"
Now this shaft on a bass pedal needs to be strong and long lasting. There's a hell of a lot of force that travels through it and it needs to be up to the job. But, "aircraft quality"?
I bet whoever wrote that brilliant bit of copy had never been on a Sri Lankan airlines plane. I bet they'd never sat for eleven hours on a flight with no working video screen or a seat in front that couldn't go back to the upright position.
When they say "aircraft quality" they can't be referring to the quality of the wiring in the overhead lights, the wiring that makes half of them stay on through the whole flight and the other half not work at all.
They can't be talking about the same quality that is evident in the ceiling panels that rattle and vibrate as if they're about to represent their country in the rattle and vibrate Olympics.
Perhaps they are talking about the same quality that goes into the little milk, or fake milk, cartons that you get with tea and coffee. Now they're tough and long lasting. They must be made of the same material used to make black boxes, things don't often get past or through them.
My first hand experience of plane crashes is limited, almost zero I suppose, but I have a feeling that the black box is actually just a copy of the milk carton things only about twenty times the size, with a tape recorder made out of the wrapping that they put the knives and forks in. This must cause untold confusion for the rescue teams as they wouldn't know if that milk carton looking thing in the distance was actually the black box really far away or a milk carton quite close.
Take it from me. Aircraft quality?
Pah! Or perhaps pffff!
I'm not sure which word fits the best.