Sunday, March 04, 2007

My flight has been delayed an hour…

…which means a three hour wait or so in the Nashville airport. Some random observations of no particular significance nor order:

Part 1:

I’m seated outside of the security checkpoint for Concourses A & B, outside of the “Andy Jackson Tavern...” I believe in exactly the same seat as I was when waiting for my coworker the other day. The line for security is incredibly long. I figure I’ll sit here a while and watch (also, I’m waiting to see if my colleagues show up – they have a different flight, but same security checkpoint and one had said something about having a “debrief” if we had time sitting around. I suspect they’re going to ditch me (again), but I’ll sit here for awhile and see if the line gets any shorter…)

· Women’s shoes don’t… you know, what? I’m not even going there…

· A family – a large, extended family – of Mennonites? (I don’t think they were Amish – too much color in the wardrobe) are moving around en masse. I’m not sure if they’re all traveling or just one or two of them are, but there must be over a dozen here of all ages. They are attracting a modicum of attention. It’s interesting to see who looks and how they react, or who stares, with or without feeling bad.

· You know, if any gene pool remains too isolated, everyone starts to look alike. Independent of gender.

· After careful analysis, I am forced to conclude that Absence DOES make the heart grow fonder (as opposed to “out of sight, out of mind,” I guess) – the people saying goodbye are by and large, not nearly as emotional as the people saying hello. I’ve seen a number of people welcomed home – families, daughters, soldiers – people really are glad to see people they pick up at the airport (the soldier won for most emotional homecoming, I think). I can say with some assurance that I am, in fact, looking forward to seeing MLW.

· I was surprised to learn the girl with the dog was a departure and not an arrival. The dog seems to be going along. What a well-behaved little (but not toy) dog.

· I think I finally understand the difference between dog people and cat people. Dog people feel it’s perfectly acceptable to walk up to a strange dog and a strange person and pet the dog and talk to the person. Not unlike dogs, I suppose… Cat people, well, I guess we like to chose who we walk up to, and vice versa…

· Dad? Oh, no. Of course, not. Why would he be in a Nashville airport? Striking resemblance though…

· I think I’ve forgotten what background noise sounded like pre-cellphones. Was it as constant? As loud? As random if you put the words together and make sentences?

· The line is not getting any shorter. Not really any longer, but not any shorter.

· My colleagues are no where to be seen. I hope they are okay.

Part II – Going through security

· I am curious to see how this compares. I got through National’s crack security with a pocket knife, a 2 oz bottle of undeclared hand sanitizer gel, and a book of matches. I did not intend to do this. It was not a planned test – I had forgotten I had the knife in my pocket, and so quickly moved it into my jacket pocket (where the rest of the contraband was, as it happened) hoping that I could just go with, “Oh? Really? I forgot…” should I be challenged, and not have to throw away the knife I’ve had since age 12. While they did stop the conveyer belt with my jacket in X-Ray and call over “Bill” for his opinion, the main exchange I caught was, “Do you want to open it?” (snorts derisively) “No. Do you?” At no point did anyone look at me, wave me over, look to see who picked up the jacket, ask me about it, etc. I feel so safe…

· On line one man, loudly declares to his traveling companion, “I don’t care… I am NOT throwing out my toothpaste!” I idly wonder if he will hold fast to that opinion if confronted with a full body-cavity search from an attendant named “Big Earl…”

· Someone could make a tidy profit hanging out on the “outside” of security just sweeping up the bottles of unopened beverages that people apparently buy and then abandon when they realize they can’t take it through. Not sure how, but I’m pretty sure there’s money to be made there…

· One of my colleagues is quite tall – I’m quite sure I could spot him over the throng of people. I don’t see him.

· It might actually be quicker if we all just flew naked and just got all our stuff on the other side. Colder, mind you, but possibly quicker.

· I really must get that Richard Reed a lovely fruit basket. I so enjoy taking my shoes on and off in public while there’s people waiting.

· Though it seemed much longer, it only took 15 minutes to actually start at the end of the line and get all the way through.


Part III – “The Other Side”

· My gate is down at the far end of Concourse B – if ever there was a desolated area, a Boulevard of Broken Dreams, this is it…

· Nice sunset… it doesn’t look like anyone noticed.

· When I sit down to drink my peach smoothie and eat my raspberry bar (see? Fruit. Who says I don’t eat healthy?), I notice two guys staring at an apple laptop (whatever they call them…. LapMacs? Mactops?) and while I’ve never seen either of them before the expression on their faces seems strangely familiar. Once I can see the computer screen it makes sense; they are playing Civilization…

· No matter how attractive a woman is, how well-coiffed, or put together, she loses the effect if she’s squatting on the floor outside the restrooms, back against the wall, texting someone…

· If you plug your laptop into an outlet in the airport, are you stealing their electricity? Does this affect the price of airline tickets? Clearly, I’m not the only person who had this idea…

· The Mennonites seem to have made it through security. Seems like it’s just the two eldest men traveling…

· Wandering around deciding what to buy to eat (and what tacky souvenirs to pick up), walking the length of both concourses, I must wonder if my bag would actually make the weight limit…

· Also, my colleagues are in a snack bar down near their gate (their flight is also now delayed… I wonder if something happened in DC… but not so much as that I want to pay for Internet access….) Clearly they thought better of the debriefing. Or something. Or they just don’t care for me, which I think might be the case in at least the one instance…

· The agent in front of the Gate (B10) has been patiently telling every person that has come up to ask when the flight will be here, “Ten Minutes” for at least 20 minutes now. It’s not hard People; look outside… you see a plane attached to the building near where we’re sitting? No? Then it’s not here yet! Clearly you need a lot more patience than I have to be in this line of work. Of course, that’s true of so many jobs…

· You know, if you smile at people, most of the time they do smile back…

· In the South, apparently it’s perfectly acceptable to call people “Baby,” “Sweetie,” “Honey,” and my personal favorite, “Sugarpie.” I am not going to try it, however.

· Each new person that goes up seems to think they are the first person to think to inquire as to when the flight might be arriving, leaving, if there’s news, the pilot’s name, etc.?

Special In-Flight Bonus Round!

· That must be the smallest cockpit I’ve ever seen… The pilot is practically sitting on the nose of the plane.

· Fun Fact, brought to you by the fine folks at US Airways (Get a piece of the Rock, fly US Airways and give a Coke to someone you love! *) – When a plane is late and the ground folks need to decide between a plane that’s on time and a plane that’s already late, they do everything they can to keep the one that’s on time, on time. Screw the late people. That would be us….

· Dun-duh-dun, dun-dun-da, dun, dun, Dun Dun Da, Dun Da-Da, Dun Da Da-DUN! Da, Da, Dun! Da Dun! Dun-Dun-Da, Da-Da, Da-Da DAAAAAAH! **

· I think if I live to be 200, I will still be amazed every single time I get on an airplane and it successfully takes off. I get it – we’ve been doing this for a hundred years now. Heavier than air objects fly by means of Bernoulli’s Principle (which spellchecker recognizes, btw) – yes, see, I know things – but I’m still amazed on some level. I don’t understand how people can become blasé about that…

· The flight is very empty – people have spread out. It’s a small plane – a small Canadian plane – I wonder if we’re past the point where distribution of the people’s weight matters. (You know, back at the beginning, they used to weigh people before they climbed aboard to make sure the weight was evenly distributed…)

· A lot of these people are younger than me… yeah, I know that’s only going to get worse. This one kid that was my seatmate for about a minute has Bose earphones… actually a bunch of these kids do… I thought Bose earphones were expensive? Maybe I’m wrong about that. What the hell do I know...? this kid could have invented the World Wide Mind or something and will be the next Quadzillionare by the time he can drive… Are we raising a generation of kids that will have severe hearing damage by the time they’re my age?

· The clouds always look pretty when illuminated by moonlight. So soft.

· Hmm. The planes headlights actually work to a short distance. Who knew?

· She going CRAZY with the pretzels. I know that will make me forget about arriving two hours late. (Mmmm… pretzels…)

· America is WAY lit up. Like it’s no wonder we use so much energy. Damn it, America, turn that light off if you’re not in the room! You think we’re made of money? What’s that? Oh…

· One Excedrin was not, in this case, all it took. But now I’m too WAH to sleep.

· I know it’s probably me, but he’s flying the plane banked. My water is tilted.

· Flight Attendant – another job I don’t have the patience for. Let’s keep a list, shall we?

· Anyone want to take a guess to see how long it takes me to post this once we land? I’m guessing April…

* = Or words to that effect.

** = Those amongst you with trained ears, will recognize that as a rousing chorus of the Air Force Anthem.

1 comment:

Jado said...

The pilot was flying tilted on purpose - they take a lot of crap, and they get very little leeway in the way they fly, so they take what joy they can. Exhibiting his amazing flying expertise by flying tilted - YET NOT SOOO TILTED THAT YOUR WATER SPILLS - may have been the highlight of the pilot's day.

Plus, he may have won a bar bet.