Friday, May 15, 2009

At the Airport(s)

I’ve come to terms that I’m one of those people that gets freaked out if I don’t travel regularly. The destination doesn’t matter so much, but I like to have a regular schedule of logistic obstacles. It’s the best time to think, especially when I’m flying.

I like to get to airports extremely early, like super early. I like to be through security with 2 hours to spare, you can do some of your best people watching at an airport. Airports are one of the many venues in which we as humans can realize how far yet how little we’ve actually evolved from animals.

My day started at the Seattle Sheraton where I was to catch the shuttle to the airport. I had a few obligations that I had to attend to in the city early. I planned on catching the 8:43 shuttle but when I got there the 8:13 was still waiting. I got on board, now, the driver’s supposed to be able to take my money, but she sent me inside. I asked her if I had enough time, she responded, “only if you run.” I guess in retrospect she was kind of rude but I wasn’t paying much attention. I waited at the concierge, there was a shuttle booth, but I didn’t notice it. I listened to banter back in forth with a couple trying to get to Vancouver. She informed them that the train left once a day, there was a shuttle that provided a quick service. This is all information one can obtain spending about 2 minutes tops on Google, maybe these people didn’t have laptops with them but let’s be real, they have money and they’re clueless. So I started getting a little anxious, not because I was in a hurry but because the shuttle was waiting, and I didn’t want to be that guy. Finally it took off. The lady gets to me. “How can I help you?” “I wanted tickets for that shuttle that just left.” “O, well their booth is right over there.” “Oops, I didn’t see it.” “No worries I can sell you a ticket here, will you be catching the next one?” “That’s the plan.” “You could’ve just bought it from the driver.” “She wouldn’t take my money.” “He didn’t except your money?” “She wouldn’t take my money.” “That’s strange.”

I went over to the booth I was supposed to go to in the first place. “Hey, just curious, can’t your drivers take money?” “Yeah.” “They wouldn’t take mine, they sent me straight in here, didn’t even offer, I had cash.” The girl sighed, “was it a woman driver?” “Umm yeah, do you guys have some weird policy with women taking money or something?” “Heh, no, she just does that, I don’t know why, I’m really sorry.” “Yeah, I just found it strange, oh well, life goes on.” The girl was cool. I probably could’ve talked her into giving me a comp trip but I wasn’t that bothered by the whole thing.

So I had a half-hour to kill in the Sheraton so I do what I think anybody should do and go around looking for a continental breakfast. I planned to walk in acting like I owned the place and score a free meal. Of course, a hotel as upscale as the Sheraton isn’t going to have such a thing, but I had nothing better to do.

Later at the airport I was waiting in line to check in. I went over to check to see if my bag was small enough to qualify as a carry-on and while doing so the guy behind me cut right in front of me. Proves that animal theory. I got behind him. “Wow, that was classy.” Again, I didn’t care, it’s just interesting how some people have no concept that life’s too short to be a dick for no apparent reason. We’re at the front of the line and they call the next person in line over, dude doesn’t move. They call again, he finally notices. “Let’s wake up buddy.” He didn’t respond to me, if you’re in that big of a hurry that you’re going to do something as petty as cut in front of one person, at least be on the ball with checking in.

As Karma would have it my line was quicker than his and I beat him through security. Yes, I did notice.

I’m at security and I put my stuff through and go through the metal detector. The TSA guy comes up to me. “Hello sir, I need you to either walk through the X-ray, or if you’d prefer I’ll give you a pat-down.”
My verbatim response: “I think I’d like you to pat me down.” I wasn’t trying to be funny or anything it just came out that way, I had nothing in my system but a Monster drink. After I said it though I couldn’t help but start laughing, especially since I could tell dude did not want to pat me down.

I’m now on a plane flying over Chicago, it’s dark out, and I’m listening to Rocket Man by Elton John. Now that’s perfection. “Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids, in fact it’s cold as hell.”
I touch-down in the Burgh around 10ET. You know, come to think of it, I’m not the man they think I am at home…

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