Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder

To quote Roger Murtaugh, Danny Glover's character in Lethal Weapon, "I'm getting too old for this shit."

I'm lounging in Austin-Bergstrom's President's Club after having arrived, without any toiletries and assorted gels, two hours in advance of my flight to Reagan National via Houston. I should be
working right now, but my few minutes of exposure had rendered me ready to rant and in need of a cocktail.

My nerves are already smoldering from the tourons running around in the airport. Teenagers abound wearing their fucking cargo pants with 16 pockets in which a myriad of miscellaneous shit is stashed. Only eight of the pockets have been emptied prior to their first attempt at the metal detector. Pockets are emptied one at a time resulting in an awkward, three-way two step between the shoeless knucklehead, the metal detector and the TSA agent until all mysterious items have been located. Just behind the kids were three Asian ladies who packed the equivalent of a Wal-Mart inventory in their carry-on bags. At least they have a valid excuse in that they don't speak any English except for the sundry pleasantries. My obnoxious compatriots in the P.C. have no such crutch.

Airline club patrons, in the U.S. anyway, typically consist of two breeds of traveler: corporate travelers and vacation travelers who gain entry via an overseas ticket or voucher. The vacation travelers are usually low profile, unless kids are on the trip, probably due to a fear of pissing of some Scotch swilling jerk with a blue tooth headset crammed in his ear. Corporate travellers are loud, gregarious and annoying. They know their way around the airport, hotels and car rental joints. But that does not give them carte blanche to yell into their phones via speakerphone, crank up their CD/DVD/IM audio on their laptop or boss around the airport staff like cabana boys.

I am embarrassed to be a corporate traveler on days like today.

I fit the mold of the corporate traveler in that I know may way around most airports of import and maintain the upper level of frequent traveler status at a couple of airlines and hotel chains. I hope that's where the similarities stop. All I ask is that you, my fellow traveler, no matter the sort, think about what you need to do at the security checkpoint before you get to the metal detector, if not before you leave the house, and that you exercise courtesy in your airport operations. Use headphones and don't yell into your cell phone or use the speakerphone. And, take the damned blue tooth headset out of your ear when you aren't using it if you don't want to
look stupid.

My friend, Garland, would say, "So young. So angry."

So what!

I may need an anger management class.

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