Jan 17, 2008

things i'd like to do at the airport or on the airplane

But I don't have the courage to.

When the person working at the desk asks me, "Do you have any baggage to check?"
I'd like to respond, "Does that include emotional baggage, cause I've got a lot of that."

I'd like to go through the security line in a trench coat, much like a streaker would wear. I'd also like to wear only the trench coat... like a streaker.

Then, when they ask me to remove my coat, I'd simply tell them that this was the only article of clothing I was wearing (much like a dress), and that by taking off my trench coat I'd be undressing. "You wouldn't ask that woman to remove her dress, would you?"

After some confusion and thoughts of me being some sort of weirdo... I'd like to pass through security with the satisfaction that I didn't have to do what the TSA people said. Some of them really really enjoy enforcing arbitrary rules on people. I want to give them a dose of their own medicine.

Maybe the first time I tried It I'd just wear a tank top and some gym shorts... try to call their bluff and see if they'd check me. Surely, It can't be against the law to wear only a trench coat, do you think?

When I'm on the plane, I'd like to recline without guilt. I cannot do this, so I do not. When people try to recline in front of me I simply strengthen my resolve of wedging my knees behind their seat. You see, it takes no effort for me to do this as my knees are already touching the back. All I need is a little ire, and then the person in front of me becomes enemy #1. Try as they might, their seat will not recline. I'd rather go through five hours of constant pressure on my knees than let you have the satisfaction of reclining. Unless they appear to be taller than me... then I yield out of empathy.

However, the odds of this are pretty small. Standing at 6'4", I'm taller than approximately 99.4% of American men. That means there are roughly 9 million men taller than me in the US, or one out of 16 men. I like those odds!

Did you know, the average height for men in the Dinaric Alps is 6'1". 5'7" for women. Wow.

Once the plane lands (and that familiar ding goes off), everyone rushes to their feet. But we all know that there will be little movement for the next 10-15 minutes. It seems like I'm always toward the back, hating every individual that is in front of me. They were so skilled at putting their suitcase up in the overhead storage, now it appears as though they are trying to disarm a nuclear bomb as they take it down. They look so puzzled. "Get that damn bag out or I'll come over there and bludgeon you with mine."

But really, what I'd like to do is push my way forward with a little "excuse me, pardon me" sequence. You notice how almost any one moves at the request of "excuse me," even when it's to their own detriment. You see people doing this number all the time, on crowded mass transit, at concerts, etc. People move, even when it is in their best interest to stay put. We've been programmed. I'll use their programming against them.

Once off the plane I want to ride on the baggage claim carousel (or is it marry-go-round) and look at everyone's face who was just on the plane with me. I'd like to do that, and to climb back up into that cavernous-black whole where all of the luggage appears. In my mind, once I pop my head in for a gander, I'd see an enormous system of belts and claws, notched wheels and an intricate system of cogs like a grandfather clock. Controlled chaos. Like the inside of a toy/claw game.

[For those of you who think you are good at those, read this amazing pathetic story]

That pretty much sums up all of the things I'd like to do at the airport or on an airplane. What would you like to do?


Blythe said...

Well, really it could be anywhere (not just an airport) but I've decided I want to throw a cake at someone. I did it on facebook, but I want to do it to a real person, with an actual cake. Just imagine their surprise! Unfortunately, life affords few opportunities for actual cake throwing.

I've always wanted to ride on the luggage rack too, btw. It was a childhood dream.

Mia said...

TSA people really are into the arbitrary rules. One person made me throw out a Trix yogurt even though Zo was standing next to me whining about how starving she was. He said that technically it was a liquid. I know his decision was ridiculous because after we were about a half a step past him his co-worker called him a "jerk" (add in your own explitive) and walked away from their station.

The trench coat idea is totally hilarious! I think that a lady could pull it off easier because she really could claim it was a dress, especially if she had a fantastic pair of heels. If you get anyone to try this let me know!

aisy said...

i'm glad you wouldn't ever do the 'emotional baggage' joke. it's a bit of a groaner.

i'd like to pretend i'm deaf in hopes that i wouldn't have to take off my shoes. i think that's the stupidest of all the rules they have.

Katie said...

I want to rip the phone out of the person-next-to-me's hand and throw it across the cabin. No one needs to tell the person coming to pick them up that they are here in that moment when my ear is literially 6 inches from theirs.

Either that or I'd like to get in on their converstaion and ask, "oh, really, is Aunt Susie's hip acting up again? That's a real shame. I figured that since you were having this conversation so close to me you clearly wanted me to join in."

Really bugs.

Ryan said...

The knees in the back of the chair is SO Dave. That cracked me up

Fernando said...

Great job!! I´ve enjoyed it very much!!

Craig said...

Keep my chair reclined the entire time. What is that bullcrap about your seat being in the full upright position during takeoff and landing?

I often will recline my seat right after the flight attendants have sat down and belted in themselves, just to prove it makes no difference if my seat is in the full upright position! What is the captain gonna be all,
"I'm sorry folks, we seem to be having some trouble taking off. It may just be a small engine problem or it may be someone's seat was reclined. We'll look right into it and hopefully try and get off the ground again in the next 45 minutes. Thank you."

Sorry Dave, but I couldn't care more... or at all for that matter about the lanky goof sitting behind me. If coach is to constricting for you, spring for 1st class or sit in the effing exit row!

meghann said...

Craig, problem with authority much?
Seriously if the plane crash lands, which you know, it would probably do that during take-off or landing, they want to make sure people can get out of the burning wreckage with as much room as possible. Plus it's like 30 minutes, sheesh.

What I would like to do on an airplane is take a zanax and forget all about self-entitled pricks who cannot understand they are not the only person on the plane.

sigh, caught me on a bad day I guess.

david said...

craig.. i'm telling you... it's a physical impossibility for you to recline your seat if i'm behind you... i don't care how much your highlighted hair, nickelback on the ipod jamming... unemployed butt wants to recline, it's a simple matter of physics.

Pseudojen said...

i tried the knees in the back of the chair thing on a recent flight to Paris. i'm 5'10" and the lady in front of me was probably about 5'2"...she kept trying and trying until she finally flagged the flight attendant who told me that I needed to sit up straight so that she could recline because "everyone has the right to be comfortable"...except for me, I suppose. Damn US Air.