I recently got back to Chicago from South Dakota where I had a job interview for a job I had essentially already been offered. Tomorrow I will trek back to the other airport and fly to Knoxville for Christmas.
I love air travel. The mindless waiting in airports, seeing the weird new ways airport security will find to search me. (This time they were particularly fixated with my boots, and needed to swab them down to make sure I didn't have any bomb residue on them.) I especially hate having to wait for your flight next to the moving walkway that finds it necessary to announce every 3 seconds, "(loudly) Caution! The Moving Walkway is ending!"
But the fun does not really begin until you get on the plane. They kick it off right by reminding you that in the event of a water landing (how this would be accomplished between Rapid City and Denver is interesting in itself...) your seat cushion can be used as a floatation device. I especially enjoy the Federally mandated insult to your intelligence by explaining the workings of a seat belt with a live action demonstration.
When you finally get into the air, having been served the quarter can of Pepsi product of your choice, you can look at the highlight of the flight: the Skymall catalog. You know the one I mean. The catalog in the seat pocket in front of you that has the outlandish gadgets at the even more outlandish prices. Everything for the techno-geek. Solar powered ear wax removers ($59.95), voice activated and life size R2-D2's ($495), and my personal favorite, the 9-foot, real thatched umbrella picnic table and tiki torch set ($1495). Tiki torches and dried thatch are no doubt such good combinations with you throw in the combo family stainless steel BBQ grill and generator operated freezer ($2,450 + $500 shipping), for all your outdoor bonfire needs. One word: POOF!
And what flight is complete without sitting in front of the members of the new hit band, Screaming Babies, who insist on practicing their hit techno-remix of Twisted Sister's 'We're not gonna take it!'
I did, however, run into something new this flight that I had not seen before: Politically Correct Airsick Bags. These were fancy. I almost took one, but there is just something that seems ethically wrong with stealing PC barf bags. On the front, these little beauties had directions in 3 languages (English, Spanish, and what appeared to be Chinese) along with pictograms of a white woman and an African American pre-adolescent kindly demonstrating how to correctly and incorrectly use the barf bag. Luckily the woman who used it incorrectly apparently only had the dry heaves as no real airsickness was pictured. (I resisted the urge to use my pen and add some artwork.)
Wilbur and Orville: it's all your fault!