The scene: A small group are being shuttled between hotels on a luxurious speedboat.
Describe your fellow traveller: Late 50s white male. His entitlement keeps showing.
The review: For the best part of an hour we glided glamorously along the waves, our collective James Bond fantasies at once realised. After thirty or so blissfull minutes, our faces glowing with evening sun and salty breeze, the captain offers a selection of soft drinks to the passengers. Water, Fanta and Diet Coke are all taken and sipped in a heady daze of privilege and contentment, and we sit back and give silent thanks for this incredible experience.
A lone, middle-aged male soul, though, was voicing some displeasure.
“I don’t mean to be picky, but do you have any Sprite?”
The captain looked nonplussed, but the questioner was insistent. “Could you please just check the cooler and see if you have any cans or bottles of Sprite?” But the more the captain looked, the more the Sprite wasn’t there.
Now, with increased hysteria. “Why wouldn’t you have Sprite? Honestly, that’s what you’re telling me? You have all these other drinks, but you don’t have Sprite! It’s like a joke! No, I don’t want anything else! I WANT SPRITE!”
Behind the man, the scarlet and violets of the sun melted away behind limestone cliffs, the sky afire with colour, the ocean a kaleidoscope of beauty. But a thirst remained unquenched. “Look, I suggest in future you stock up with a FULL RANGE of soft drinks. Some people want Sprite!” he was adding, perhaps unnecessarily. The captain nodded humbly.
The group sat silently, taking in the glorious end of day, almost overwhelmed at watching the tropical sunset from the decadence of a speedboat. One man sat silently too, oblivious to the natural splendour, but thinking about the carbonated lemon and lime drink that would surely be his within a matter of 20 minutes or so.
Verdict: Get a grip on your privilege.