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May 2nd, 2012

Travel Joys

I recently had the privilege of air travel. Which is really more of a task than a privilege these days.

That was a very “First World Problems” kind of thing to say, but I feel like you all get it. It’s a hassle to fly now. It used to be part of the journey. Now it’s just another thing you need to be shithoused to get through. Crowded airports, shuttles, planes. Shoes off and on, laptops in a bin, being patted down by a guy with Little Debbie remnants in his mustache and two different-colored eyes. A crying baby, an old man who lives 2,000 miles away from you and wants to take you out if you’re ever in town, which you will never be, because he lives in Duluth. NINE DOLLAR SANDWICHES. I mean, what HAPPENED?

Remember when you could walk into an airport, breeze through security (with your effing nail clippers), and get right on the plane? Remember when your knees didn’t touch your esophagus when you sat in a non-exit row? And remember how you used to get a real knife and fork with your unfairly criticized airplane meal?

I barely do.

And neither, I’d wager, does the round, sweaty, man I witnessed in the airport the other night. He walked up to his gate only to find that the plane had already taken off. He pounded the window with his fist and a dead-eyed gate agent approached to ask if she could help him. He explained to her that the plane took off early and that he didn’t even hear his named being called. The woman began to type into her computer terminal, and explained that there were no more flights today. The man screamed at the gate agent, “Stop laughing at us!”

Let me be clear: The guy was alone. There was no “us.” It was just the guy and his sweat beads and the garment bag he was carrying. Perhaps the garment bag contained a suit made of the skin of the person he wanted to be. But that’s really the only reason I can think of that he’d be including himself in a group. The gate agent seemed to have the same thought, as she began to back away. While the man continued to yell, I looked up and noticed the plane had been bound for Fresno.

This seems like an inappropriately strong response for a trip to Fresno. Although a guy who wants to be in Fresno that badly is probably the kind of person who would carry around a skin suit in a garment bag and refer to it as an additional person. So at least that explains part of it.

My point is this: I will be taking the train everywhere from now on.

1 comment to Travel Joys

  • Norm harney

    I haven’t flown commercially for several years. The last time was when I flew my own plane up to Oregon to the buyer and had to fly comercial to get get home.

    My personal plane only took 5 hours total to get to mid Oregon and that included a one hour fuel and lunch stop.

    The return started at noon with a one hour drive from the buyer’s house to the nearest commercial airport, then the flight to San francisco was 2 hours late so I missed my connecting flight to Santa Barabara and had to wait there for 2 hours,cancel my rental car in Santa Barbara, and reschedule a flight to Burbank and rental car. I finally got home to Channel Islands Harbor at 2:00 a.m.

    I leave for Thailand on the 16th. Halfway around the world, that should be a fun commercial flight.

    If you hear on the news about a passenger going berserk and needing to be be restrained on a Korean Air flight you can tell your friends who it was.

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