Visa check, Visa check, check-in man

Ryanair visa check at Shannon Airport

Here is a notice at Ryanair’s check-in desk in Shannon Airport (click to enlarge (the image, not the airport)). Irish caricaturist Allan Cavanagh sent me this photo, and its contents immediately enchanted me – as all good chants do. It reads like a percussive jingle, which is a very unusual attribute in an airport sign.

Why is the line “Visa check” repeatedly repeated? Please don’t say it’s for emphasis; I couldn’t live with so dull a revelation, and would rather imagine that the word processor became self-aware and tried to revolt.

But is its chant of escape a chorus or a verse? What would come next, if the chant were extended? Would poetry suddenly emerge from the Langton’s-ant-esque loop of monotony? I would love to hear your ideas. Despite the banality of its subject matter and the maturity of its intended audience, “Visa check, Visa check…” may yet gain the popularity of classic chants like “Eeny, meeny, miney, moe”. Here at Sentence first, its rhythm suggested a riff on another well-known nursery rhyme:

Visa check, Visa check, check-in man,
Check my pass as fast as you can;
Cleave it, click it, and mark it with B,
Say a quick prayer for luggage and me.

12 Responses to Visa check, Visa check, check-in man

  1. My kids are already learning this off for propagation in the school playground.

  2. Stan says:

    Allan: Hooray! Another obscure dream edges closer to realisation.

  3. Steph Spann says:

    I think the best thing for me about this catchy rhyme is that now when I get frustrated at airports (which always happens) I can sing and everything will at least seem all right for those few seconds!

  4. Stan says:

    Steph: Frustration at airports is as inevitable as wetness in swimming pools or panic in a lion’s den. It never occurred to me that the rhyme might have the power to soothe nerves. By all means, use it.

  5. That’s tickled me! Stan, I don’t suppose you want to add the photo to my Flickr group, Sub editors untie!, do you?

  6. Stan says:

    JD: Eventually I’ll join that group and upload a load. In the meantime, you’re welcome to add it yourself; Allan has passed on his blessing. Can you link back to this post?

  7. I really wish I hadn’t clicked through to the Flickr group, I’m getting nothing done laughing from.

  8. Stan: I’ve uploaded the photo, added it to the group, and linked it back to this post. Thanks! But no thanks for introducing me to Langton’s Ant – I think the little blighter has hypnotised me…

  9. Stan says:

    Heh. I remember Langton’s ant thoroughly hypnotising me too, when I first discovered it.

    Allan’s comment has reminded me to put on record my enjoyment of the Sub editors untie! Flickr group. I pop in now and then, and when I find time for it I’ll definitely join in the fun.

  10. Becky says:

    Maybe four different people have to check your visa. Airports have tight security these days.

  11. Stan says:

    Maybe, Becky! It would be a plausible hypothesis if the notice wasn’t at the check-in desk of a notoriously low-budget airline. Ryanair would surely find a way to minimise redundancy (so to speak) in their security procedure.

  12. […] Visa Check Visa Check Visa Check Visa Check Image by engineroomblog A rather rhythmic notice at Ryanair’s check-in desk in Shannon Airport. "Is its chant of escape a chorus or a verse?" asks Stan at the blog Sentence First: stancarey.wordpress.com/2009/08/18/visa-check-visa-check-… […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s