Aitch-Bar

Two Almost Physicists With Almost Something To Say

The Miracle of Modern Dissatisfaction

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I was on an aeroplane recently; certainly that distinguishes me somehow. I’ve been working on a theory for why people don’t like airports. To many this is apparent, and after putting such an obvious question, I have had people fix me with a pitying gaze and begin to speak a little slower for my benefit. You are jammed with a thousand other humans, standing or sitting around, guarding your possessions, paying unreasonable sums for food and drink after having to go through excessive security. I point out that this also describes a night club. The difference is that no one expects to get laid in an airport.

I sat down with Jeremy in a Fresh Air-style interview. I relate his story here, with minor embellishment. I envision it as would be portrayed by Zack Snyder; you may choose your own form of narration.

I got sneezed on, as that’s a staple of any air travel experience. I hate JFK. I was in a gate area about the size of this room [we are in a room which is not large enough to be a comfortable gate area]. On one side of the room there is the gate. On the other side of the room there is some restaurant or something. And the lines trail out from both of these, and they’re so long that they cross each other and block the entire room. Where the lines intersect, they are held together by people sneezing on each other constantly. There is this vapor, this fine mist, hanging in the air above them. And you hold your breath and put your arm out in Heismann pose and barrel through the snot fog but you’re still fucked in the end. Airborne is a placebo that tastes like old disgusting candy.

You have to get on those giant buses to get from one terminal to another because they couldn’t be bothered to plan things properly. You don’t even realize it’s a bus; you’re just following the herd. You and a bunch of other people pack into a room with no exit that reeks of gas, and you stay there because you’re an idiot with no sense of self-preservation. Then the whole room starts moving and you hold onto the railing that has snot all over it, narrowly dodging the largest planes in the world. By the time you get to the other side you’ve died from smog. The air is like being on Titan.

This all overlooks the positive aspects. The terminals are now a preserve habitat for the last few species of bookstore. You won’t be shot by anyone not wearing blue. If you don’t want a bag, just leave it somewhere conspicuous, and it will be disposed of in spectacular fashion. And, of course, you get to travel somewhere inaccessible by foot.

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