That’s three hundred probably overweight – some obese - mostly menopausal women, checking under their seat every 5 minutes to double check there’s not a car.
You could hear the screaming from the ground. Not that the plane hit turbulence; it’s just because they showed The Colour Purple as an in-flight movie. It was perhaps one journey where you would not be wholly disappointed if there was a multiple engine failure.
The 14 hours in the air would have been pure Oprah: the Chief Pilot even promised to come over the loud speaker and weep about his childhood.
The meal service was top secret, so expect it to be on Wikileaks in an hour. Rumour is that the food schedule reflected Oprah’s lifelong culinary struggle: chocolate cake, followed by lettuce, another cake, a cherry tomato, pavlova (Australian touch), chocolate cake, a carrot and then the plane landed. Passengers then disembarked directly into a McCafe for a McCoffee of their McChoice.
In plain old Chicago, Oprah fans are excitable to a degree that should arouse the concern of mental health professionals. Throw in an all-expenses trip to Australia, and I fear the giant Oprah Crazy-o-meter will shatter its glass encasing, leaving fans and onlookers to contend with years of flashbacks and laser treatment of their facial scars.
One thrilled American audience member said, “I’m just going to have the best time of my life”. What might that entail? Well, “We just want to see her in the flesh, shake her hand and shake a kangaroo’s hand”. This is of major concern. Kangaroos are notoriously unruly in a greeting situation. We don’t know why they shun physical hellos. Some zoologists believe it’s because kangaroos don’t have opposable thumbs, and shaking their hand only rubs that in. I think I once saw a documentary that said a high-five or peck on the cheek is OK, and that's good enough for me and therefore you.
What of the show itself? Oprah wants to see the real Australia. This would be a disaster. But the woman is paying so let’s give her what she wants.
A chat on the couch with Warwick Capper and Brendan Fevola. Asking them to ‘chat’ might be a stretch, so we'll limit it to three minutes of grunting and giggles. Those blokes really capture Australia’s je ne se qua.
A guide to Australian fashion with Brynne Edelsten. We’ll let Geoffrey sit beside his new wife to make the obligatory sexual gag about "(something something) down under". That crap slays me every time.
A musical interlude. I’m thinking a song from The Jackson Jive. It’s harmless family fun that will be sure to make Oprah’s jaw drop.
I’m not entirely sure but maybe it would be fun to have a cooking segment with our World Cup Kangaroo. The kangaroo can’t talk, so we’ll throw in Roberta Williams to translate. Fingers crossed the segment ends in a cross-species all-Aussie scrag fight.
Over the next few weeks, any American tourist you meet could be influential, so be sure to say hello. It’s an exciting time for Australia and it’s a very exciting time for our visitors; I just hope Oprah put enough Prozac in their bum bags.