Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate The Friendly Skies

There was once a time when traveling on an airplane was special, and people dressed like they were going to be in public with other human beings. You would enter the magic tube, have a cordial flight, and set out on a great adventure wherever your plane gracefully set down its glistening silver wings. Sure, there was a “smoking section” on the plane, which is roughly like having a smoking section in a Chevrolet Suburban, but they were different times. Try flying someplace now. Now it’s like a half step above being in a bus station in Toledo. Enjoy dodging sexual deviants and swarthy mentally retarded foreigners from impossible to distinguish lands. Pay $11 for a stale turkey sandwich. Have a $9 beer. Midway Airport isn’t really that much different from that bar in the first Star Wars movie except Midway has more annoying security and worse food.

One of my major beefs is that as our society continues to become more about individual comfort and less about empathy, people feel that airline travel is now akin to a slumber party in the sky. Who the fuck was the first person to decide it was OK to wear pajama bottoms in public? Cotton PJ pants with colorful characters and designs should be worn by six year olds waiting for stories and mental patients that have hopped a fence at a nearby facility. 23 year old girls should have form fitting pants or a sundress on. A simple rule of thumb for the ladies should be, if a man is pulling your pants off and these pants make him wonder if he is committing a crime against a minor, perhaps you need to step up the old wardrobe.

Beef number 2… I am not a large man. I would say I am very average in a staggering number of ways. That being the case, why do airline seats in coach make me feel like I am a starting defensive tackle for the Rams? I sat next to some dude on a flight last week that was probably about 5-7 and 165 pounds. He and I had to take turns shifting in our seats like serpents so we could put our backs in a normal position. How much could it possibly cost to make airplanes another three feet wider and give everyone another six inches of width? Don’t even make me get into a flight I had next to a farting Samoan in 2007. I was wedged into the window seat like an old sock in a hamper while that guy rained farts down on me like the Nasal Apocalypse.

Beef number 3… Why does it take so long for people to get on/off the plane? Seats are arranged in the most simple grid system imaginable, yet every flight I am on there is some jackoff that can’t seem to find their seat. “Uh, I think you’re in my seat there buddy.” Even more incredibly, people can’t get off the plane. It takes me 2-5 seconds to get out of my seat and under way. I stand. I grab the bag from the overhead. I walk forward. If it takes 20 minutes to get people off a plane that has comfortably landed, do you think you’d have a chance in hell if you came skidding down into a cornfield? You’d be trapped in your flaming seat while some elderly woman poked around the overheads trying to figure out where she put her carry-on, and double checked her gate assignment at her layover. I would bet you I could get 25 house cats into a Southwest Flight before I could get 25 random people I plucked from Potbellies Sandwich Works at Midway.

Beef number 4… The Airport has become the bottom rung for employable people in the United States. It is a shocking contrast between flying out of the cordial efficient Barcelona Airport and landing at JFK. At Barcelona, the employees are knowledgeable and have social graces, despite the fact they are conversing with you in their second language. At JFK, it isn’t clear if anyone working there has any grasp on any language, much less a basic understanding of human interaction. JFK may consider hiring on a bunch of chimps to cut costs as well as potentially increase efficiency. When I was last in JFK, the bathrooms had standing water. When they lost my bag, the three attendants on duty couldn’t stop clowning around with each other long enough to track my bag. The lazy eyed endomorph at security spoke to me, and said “Muma Fa Muma Na”. It wasn’t much help. Your average Taco Bell has stricter hiring policies, and better leadership. JFK should consider getting that 16 year old kid with the headset at the Parma OH Taco Bell in there. She could clean that situation up.

The one thing to keep in mind? It’s still better than taking a Greyhound.


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