Airport Angst

Aside from the fact that it’s currently mid-April and we’ve got more snow than Christmas here in the tundra (what the actual fuck), I’m still basking in the glow of my reunion trip with a few girlfraaaans from high school.  We all converged in beautiful Cali – where we did the pre-requisite trip to the San Diego Zoo (complete with my insistence on taking every possible sexual/inappropriate photo with all animal statues), took a drive to Point Loma, saw family, and spent a necessary Saturday night out on the towwwwn.

Right.  Well.  What could she possibly rant about today, you ask?  Sounds gorgeous!  Splendid!  Spectacular!

Indeed, my friends.  Indeed.  But here’s the thing about taking a trip across the country.  Unless you want to drive for three days, you have to enter the realm of The Airport.  While once a magical locale of my youth (those damn play areas at O’Hare are the shizz, people), over the years I’ve come to notice that certain, shall we say irritants, tend to clog up my mystical unicorn land of yesteryear.

I give you the horrors of The Airport.  May you never have to encounter them in your lifetime.  And should you encounter said treacherous beings (which, unless you’re a hermit, you probably will), know that you’re not alone in the battle.  Just get a good pair of headphones and practice the art of blocking it all out.  This is, of course, always easier said than done.

  • Crying Babies  I think it should be a pre-requisite for all teens to go through a 7 hour plane ride with at least 4 different screaming infants.  Because I guarantee they’d wait to stick a P in a V for a very long time.  I mean, holy shit.  I think I actually felt a stabbing pain in my muff for a solid 20 minutes until what I can only assume as the grace of the cabin pressure caused said children to SHUT THE FUCK UP.  And those children who were old enough to burp out “Mama” who still didn’t stop?  Well, as you can imagine, the parentals did the only thing they could think of to shut their yappers.  They began to sing “Monkey’s Jumping on a Bed.”  If you are not familiar with it, it is what I like to call “The Song That Never Fucking Ends.”  See, you start with, like, 20 monkeys, and then you knock a monkey off one by one – but you have to sing an entire verse to do so.  “20 little monkeys jumping on a bed, one fell off and bumped his head!  Momma called the doctor and the doctor said…no more monkeys jumping on – ” OH MY GAWD FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY STOP SINGING.
  • Bathroom Chats  I happened to be in the Denver airport for a 3-hour long layover.  I had settled in with my latte and laptop, and lo and behold, about an hour later I had to tinkle (I really don’t know why I just said tinkle…who says tinkle?).  So there I am in a stall that I somehow managed to squeeze into with both my carry-ons (honestly – I don’t care how small your ass is, it is a FEAT to get around those doors).  I’m sitting comfortably on my little tush protector sheet, bags at my feet, ready to do my thang.  All of a sudden, from the stall next to me, I start hearing a woman grunting.  I was actually concerned that she was birthing a child.  After a few heave-ho’s, I thought, “Phew!  She’s gotta be done.  Thank God I’ll be outta here before the stank assaults my nostrils!”  And then she started speaking.  Into her phone.  She ANSWERED HER PHONE IN A PUBLIC RESTROOM STALL WHILE TAKING A MASSIVE SHIT.  “Yeah, hi, it’s Barb Williams.  How are ya?  Great!  Yeah, so our plane gets in about 5:30.  We’re on the 7710.  That’s 7-7-1-0.  Yep.  Uh-huh.  Oh wonderful!  Oh great.  Will you let her know that?  Oh perfect!  Yes.  Of course.  Sure, I’ll see you soon!  Thanks.”  I would have paid to see the look on the other person’s face when in between her answers, there was a distinct sound of flushing.  Specifically, multiple stalls’ toilets being flushed simultaneously.  I had to stuff the corner of my shirt into my mouth so I wouldn’t laugh out loud.  Now, I don’t mean to be all Holy – I’m not at all above doin’ my private thang on the phone.  I really could give two shits (ha – get it?).  However – and that’s a big HOWEVER – I only do it in the privacy of my home, while I’m on the phone with people who are very close to me and will love me unconditionally despite the fact that there’s a good chance they just heard me drop the kids off at the pool.  Ladies and gentlemen, I beg of you, choose your poo chats wisely.
  • Vegas-Bound Divorcees  There’s always that group of people (usually women) who are middle-aged, a bit overweight, ringless, and in a reverted 16-year-old state of mind.  Suddenly, drinking is naughty again and overly loud giggling is the status quo.  The best is when they get up from their assigned seats during the flight to meander down the aisle and squat in front of the row of their friend, proceeding to VERY LOUDLY talk over the two people closest to the aisle, all because “hee-hee, ho-ho, ha-ha, OMG I just went to the bathroom and they ran out of TP, so I had to drip dry!  Isn’t that the darndest thang?”  No.  It’s not.  I do it every weekend when I go to the bars.  It’s called shaking the lettuce and it’s a necessary survival technique for all public restrooms – especially during outdoor concerts.  In fact, lady, if you wouldn’t mind shuffling on back to your seat, I’d really appreciate it.  JT is serenading me and you’re interrupting a very vivid fantasy.  K thx. Byeeee.
  • Chatty Kathies  I cannot STAND playing 20 questions on a flight.  I don’t get to travel as often as I like.  And between work and friends and everything else that consumes my time, I find that vacation is the one time when I can just kick back and relax.  And unless I’m going to a secluded beach and planning to spend a week reading, vacation usually consists of more “busy” entertainment.  It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but when I’m flying out to see friends, pretty much the only down time I know I’ll have is my time spent at The Airport and on the plane.  So, when you turn to me with the standard “So, you coming or going?” question, I immediately feel as though I’m getting hives.  There’s nothing more uncomfortable than politely half-answering questions while trying to give a person the hint that your Dan Brown novel is all you want to be focusing on for the next two hours.  And hints like that generally fall on deaf ears and blind eyes (What’s Helen Keller’s favorite color?  Corduroy!  Bahaha – get it?  I know, I know, I’m an insensitive shit.  Get over it.)
  • Overpriced Food  I paid 15 buckaroos for a shitty/boring/blah cheeseburger and a handful of fries.  All because I didn’t realize that a newly opened Subway had just been built down the hall.  Though I’m sure that would’ve cost me nearly the same amount of bank.  I believe it was the most I spent on food during my entire trip.  And it sucked massive balls.  The end.

But, like all things in life, for every negative there’s a damn good positive.  You can’t beat having an empty seat between you and a stranger – and there’s really nothing better than getting a free bump up to first class.  The latter has only happened to me once in my lifetime.  And I celebrated by ordering a complimentary Bloody Mary.  It was 5 in the morning.  But dammit, they never specified that “5 o’clock somewhere” had to be a sunset.

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One thought on “Airport Angst

  1. I recently flew cross country without alcohol and let me tell you, it was a whole other world. It’s really, really unpleasant without a buzz. Apparently.

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