Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Up and Away

It's generally acknowledged that modern air travel is a miserable, dehumanizing experience. Yeah, sure, but it's also pretty hilarious and chock full of parade-of-humanity wonderment. An enumeration:
  • The family on the Park 'n' Fly bus with the thick rural twangs and the brother and the grandma who videoed everything and the wide-baby who was amazed at everything. I asked the daddy if it was her first time flying. He said, "Yep. Mine too." (Family vacation. Las Vegas.)
  • A long but brisk security line full of excited kids, groggy parents, and women in notable hats.
  • Gaggles of upscale blonde southern women in white with silver accessories (except one who didn't get the memo and wore gold accessories instead).
  • Just generally, the amazing array of outfits people choose for their day of travel, from old-school dressy to reality show hooch to extreme to comfort-schlub to unclassifiably eccentric. (Though the variations are endless, two distinct philosophies are apparent: Look-Best vs. Be-Most-Comfortable. I must lean towards the former, because I'm regularly shocked by what some of the latter wear.)
  • Denver airport: surprisingly unfancy; mid-nineties-ish in it's food court offerings.
  • People have weird hobbies: some dude in some airport coffee kiosk with some 100-mile-extreme-such-n-such-run t-shirt. I suppose that's what folks do in places with underdeveloped drinking cultures.
  • It's often difficult to distinguish off-duty-military from gay. Buzz cuts, muscle tone, and cargo pants.
  • Seattle airport: dark, cool, rich, polyethnic.
  • Some people just can not wait for their assigned boarding group, are moved by some pathology to try to sneak in during 2 or when there's a big giant 3 on their ticket and they know they're going to get busted, shunted out of line to stand to the side, cowed, as all the legitimate Group 2-ers shoot them looks of scorn.
  • San Francisco airport: bright, cool, rich, polyethnic.
  • A man in one of those vented sailing shirts (de rigeur leisure wear for a certain slice of American maledom), to the steward, "So you're called stewards. That's a good name." what does that mean? Simultaneously chatty and aggressive.
  • Being shite-faced drunk on a plane ain't cool. (I know this from observation, not direct experience.)
  • Most stewards/stewardesses are ridiculously good at managing the general public who are often stressed and/or clueless and/or lost and/or nutty and/or shite-faced and often in serious need of some managing. (I did my time in the service industry. This is my professional opinion. These people are good.)
  • Having spent my time in the service biz, I love eavesdropping on their muttered gripes and back-room bitch-fests. (We're annoying. They've earned their gripes.)
Yeah, planes ain't great, but I reckon they're a damn sight better than horseback.1

1 I'm reading Lonesome Dove, which reinforces my opinion (and inspires my cowboy vernacular).

1 comment:

  1. Quite interesting observations. I have had many similar thoughts,