Air Travel: The Bad (Part 1 in a series of 2)
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
1. People from warmer climates complaining about the cold. Folks, I'll grant you this -- it's Chicago and we are all generally accustomed to a colder environment. But let's not forget that we're INSIDE the damn airport. Our A/C is the same shit you've got down in Biloxi or Baton Rouge, or wherever the hell you've connected from. Go buy yourself a cheesy airport sweatshirt, and shame on you for not dressing in layers!

2. People who cut in line, also known as Those Mysteriously Afflicted with a Supernatural Sense of Personal Entitlement. Queue jumpers should be shot on sight. Enough said.

3. People who stubbornly drag broken luggage behind them. This isn't the buck you shot last week in Sturgeon Bay - it's your suitcase. If it doesn't have wheels, you will actually have to pick it up. You know, into the air. And carry it. With your hands and arms.

4. People who bring smelly takeaway onto the planes. These are usually the same people that will then sit down next to me, and slurp/chomp like maniacs. DO YOU SEE A WHITE TABLECLOTH AND A CENTERPIECE? Oh yes, that's right, YOU DON'T. Because Seat 19C isn't a restaurant. For the love of all things holy and righteous, take your krauty reuben sandwich elsewhere.

5. Men wearing shorts, tiki shirts, and loafers with no socks. I regret to inform you that you are no longer on the golf course.

6. People who claim to be TOTALLY UNF***ING AWARE of the most recent security regulations and expectations. You're about to fly through the sky in a glorified (albeit atmospherically balanced) tin can. Show some initiative, for Pete's sake. You, and your 19 children attempting to carry on mousse cans and Sally Hansen bonus-sized bottles of hairspray, are the reason for our mutual delay, and my sour mood. Also, you have to take off your shoes. No, you cannot haggle with the TSA employees about the shoe policy - this is not a negotiation, or a yard sale, and our collective safety and security is not the same as a one-eyed teddy bear you found in a "Everything is $2" bin.

7. In that same vein, families with multiple children and no stroller(s). If your kids can walk, fantastic! Congratulations! That doesn't mean you get to meander around a Hudson Booksellers store while your teeny tiny offspring terrorize any innocent bystanders that DEIGN to walk between the sunglasses kiosk and the Starbucks. I don't care if it takes a leash, folks, you are responsible for your children.

8. People that walk into the center of the hall, only to slow down (and eventually stop) to look around at the ceiling, signage, sky, flags, maps, etc. Airport hallways are like a highway -- do you see me pulling into the left lane, then stopping to check a map? NO. Bear right, and would it kill you to look over your shoulder before you stop? (oh sorry, that last question was directed towards the frazzled woman who turned on her heel somewhere around Gate B7 and plowed directly into me, and the other poor, unsuspecting bastard walking behind her)

9. People who stage layover camping sessions in the book/magazine stores. How do you expect all the shorts-and-loafer-wearing men to reach their copies of Hustler and Rolling Stone when you're sitting in front of the rack, 100 pages deep into the latest Jhumpa Lahiri novel?! Hmm? Answer me that. No, better yet -- buy the damn book and move along.

10. And finally, those arrogant SOBs that don't give right of way to all those suckers running to try and make a flight. We've all been there, and for whatever reason, sometimes it's simply necessary to sprint to the gate. You, yes you - the pushy man with visible chest hair poking out of your shirt -- it is NOT YOUR JOB to decide who gets to make their flight. If you see someone running towards you, or hear someone running up behind you, this isn't the time to police them with your actions. Just because your faux-Prada-and-way-too-much-eyeliner-wearing wife is lagging behind you and you aren't in a hurry, doesn't mean that you own the pace of the place. Let them by already, and save the body language lectures for another time.