Ah, the joy of flying. To be quite honest, I actually do not mind it. I do fly a lot and have it down to a relatively uncomplicated and smooth-ish system. I say this with reservation because there are so many factors to take into consideration (mainly other people- other travelers, babies, security guards, unhelpful asshole airline employees etc).
So, today I a flying off to Chicago for an annual Cianci related experience. I get to the kiosk and there is an old woman who is tapping away at the screen at the station next to me. I effortlessly complete my transaction in about 2 minutes (it would have been shorter, but I spent a few seconds seriously considering the offer to upgrade to 1st class, a decision I will deeply regret later). As I finish, the woman, turns to me. She has two large bags to check and her wallet is hemorrhaging papers/cards/money as she tries desperately yo slide her credit card through a slot clearly marked for passports. She politely says “Can you please help me with this?”. I am not wearing a fancy American Airlines vest and I do not have an foreign accent. Clearly I do not work at the airport, so no dice, grandma, but nice try. I do not make eye contact and instead continue on my way to the security checkpoint.
I will not comment directly on the security station because it has been overdone. Instead, dear reader, extrapolate stereotypical scenarios from the following questions I would ask other travelers:
1- You have multiple children uinder the age of 5, are you sure that it is worth the cost and trouble to see your family for a few days?
2- when you btough your huge stroller or wheelchair/scooter, did you not think that shoving coats/toys/bags/water bottles all thorugh it might be a bad idea?
3- Are you afraid that your house will be robbed while you are gone? That is the only reason I can think of for why you would be wearing every piece of jewelry you own. Did you not know that jewelry is metal? And metal sets of a metal detector? I undestand that you are taking your bling off piece by piece? When you take it off, do you really find it relaxing to act exasperated as if someone else is to blame for this situation?
4- I love those boots!! They do not look difficult or time consuming to remove at all.
So, I made it through security. Although, for full disclosure, I mist admit that I did delay the line a little. I took off my shoes and then pay my coat across them, I also removed my computer and put it in a separate bin and stayed with my belongings to push them through the x-ray machine. I did not however, remove my scarf. True, I could have expertly tailored it with explosives. My bulky sweater/jacket though, was not a security risk. Good job, security, I feel so much safer.
Anyhoo, I positioned myself near the gare, back facing the on-slaught of commutters, and instead busied myself with reading a terrifying and graphic novel-type thing my parents bought for Christmas. It is aptly titled “ZOMBIES: A Record of the Year of Infection” field notes by Dr. Robert Twombly. It is exactly as the name describes. There are rather bloody, abstract drawings of reanimated corpses in various states of decay. Since I have an overwhelming fear of zombies, it was an odd choice of book…but my parents know best that I am a crippling masochist, so maybe it was perfect. The drawings are…severe?
I am very used to being a people watcher, and indeed, would have busied myself observing the rushed and weary traveler instead of reading had I not been a little curious. I am very thankful that I kept my attention on the book for two reasons:
1- It made everyone around me very uncomfortable. I really really like to make strangers un comfortable. These are people that I will never see again in my entire life and whom I will forget the instant I get off the plane. The cover had the word ZOMBIES scrawled across it in blood red lettering as well as the picture of a rotting zombie from both a front and rear view. Many of these passengers stared at the cover as I read, and the small child next to me was removed by a concerned parent. I guess I am glad I had this book because it made the people-watchers great people to watch.
2- Reading distracted me from the fact that a woman staggered down the hall and proceeded to vomit all over herself. I did not hear it, not gagging, no sputtering. Not the splash of it hitting the glossy airport floor. Instead I heard the horrified gasps of those around me and saw the disgust register in every face. One woman across from me was on the phone and thankfully, she said “Dad, this woman just puked on herself…she is heading to the bathroom.” Her narration was most helpful. All the catty women around me began chatting about how they really really hoped that she was not on our flight. That narration was not helpful…no shit Sherlock, I also do not want Vomit McPukesherself on our flight. I took that moment to think if maybe I should find out if she needs assistance…since I am some sort of medical professional-but instead I chose to stay in my seat and brainstorm ways to sabotage her if indeed she tried to board our plane.. I am settled on diagnosing her with highly contagious bacterial meningitis and went back to my book.
Well, now I am sitting here on the plane, at a crusing altitude of 25,000 feet, with my iTunes on, typing this post to distract me from the two children in the seats surrounding me- one of which I am pretty sure shit its pants sometime right after take-off…but god forbid mom notices, she doesn’t even notice that her son is screaming his head off, she should have saved some of the vamlium for jr. and done us all a favor.
Also, most of you readers know that I like booze. In fact, I am going to say that I love booze. I have admitted this kind of undying, faithful and self-sacrificing love only one other time in my life..so yeah, I am pretty serious. I brought bottled water on the plane so declined the offer of more water from the glorified air-waitress. I regretted it immediately when the man sitting next to me bought three mini-bottle of Jack Daniels. My mouth watered at the thought, but then I realized it was 1030am…so yeah…despite the offer of a mid-flight drinking buddy, I stuck to water.
Well, my plane is “starting it’s decent” into Chicago.