Thank You for Waiting
by Simon Armitage, from The Unaccompanied
At this moment in time we'd like to invite
First Class passengers only to board the aircraft.
Thank you for waiting. We now extend our invitation
to Exclusive, Superior, Privilege and Excelsior members,
followed by Triple, Double and Single Platinum members,
followed by Gold and Silver Card members,
followed by Pearl and Coral Club members.
Military personnel in uniform may also board at this time.
Thank you for waiting. We now invite
Bronze Alliance members and passengers enrolled
in our Rare Earth Metals Points and Reward Scheme
to come forward, and thank you for waiting.
Thank you for waiting. Accredited Beautiful People
may now board, plus any gentleman carrying a copy
of this month's Cigar Aficionado magazine, plus subscribers
to our Red Diamond, Black Opal or Blue Garnet promotion.
We also welcome Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald members
at this time, followed by Amethyst, Onyx, Obsidian, Jet,
Topaz, and Quartz members. Priority Lane customers,
Fast Track customers, Chosen Elite customers,
Preferred Access customers, and First Among Equals customers
may also now board.
On production of a valid receipt travelers of elegance and style
wearing designer and/or hand-tailored clothing
to a minimum value of ten thousand U.S. dollars may now board;
passengers in possession of items of jewelry
(including wristwatches) with a retail purchase price
greater than the average annual salary
of a mid-career high school teacher are also welcome to board.
Also welcome at this time are passengers talking loudly
into cellphone headsets about recently completed share deals,
property acquisitions, and aggressive takeovers,
plus hedge fund managers with proven track records
in the undermining of small-to-medium-sized ambitions.
Passengers in classes Loam, Chalk, Marl, and Clay
may also board. Customers who have purchased
our Dignity or Morning Orchid packages
may now collect their sanitized shell suits prior to boarding.
Thank you for waiting.
Mediocre passengers are now invited to board,
followed by passengers lacking business acumen
or genuine leadership potential, followed by people
of little or no consequence, followed by people
operating at a net fiscal loss as people.
Those holding tickets for zones Rust, Mulch, Cardboard,
Puddle, and Sand might now want to begin gathering
their tissues and crumbs prior to embarkation.
Passengers either partially or wholly dependent on welfare
or kindness: please have your travel coupons validated
at the Quarantine Desk.
Sweat, Dust, Shoddy, Scurf, Feces, Chaff, Remnant,
Ash, Pus, Sludge, Clinker, Splinter, and Soot:
all you people are now free to board.