Sunday, December 05, 2004


Let us speak of airports and how I love them, and how they hate me. I adore an airport environment, as long as I have plenty of reading material and $57,000 in ready cash to buy a bottle of water and nobody touching, or within a ten-mile radius of, my person.

People are going places in an airport: Are they coming or going? Happy or sad? Trying to kill me, or merely attempting to goad me into killing them by sucking up four entire chairs with their carry-on barges? You must observe these things; otherwise, it’s all gate announcements and automatic faucets (“Will waving my hands here turn it on? Here? Here? No? Here? Screw it, I’m washing my hands in the toilet.”)

So I’m sitting there at the gate the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and I’m eating my hot pretzel (net worth: $1.8 billion) and I throw away the napkins and I go to the Little Jaded Traveller’s Room, and when I get back… ummmmmmmm… where’s my boarding pass?

No step-retracing like a frantic step-retracing involving a now-unflushed public toilet, and I couldn’t find it, and now they’re announcing the flight, and oh crap oh crap oh crap, and… awwwwww man, I know where I haven’t looked.

I have suffered many airport indignities, not the least of which involved lying down in the middle of Stapleton Airport in an attempted absolute refusal to leave the state of Colorado, but they all fall dead in the face of dumpster diving for a boarding pass. I don’t know about you, but I like my boarding passes wadded with salty napkins, reclining against a half-eaten tuna roll, slightly moist.

I began to feel horrible about handing this thing off to the gate agent, but when he picked up the gate microphone and said, “It’s time to talk turkey about boarding rows eighteen through twenty-nine!” my heart was filled with gladness.

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