What Never to Say at the Airport... But Want To!
O Port of the Flying Metal Ships, with thy groping workers and lines as lengthy and lifeless as a politician’s string of promises!
I just returned home from a trip to the Southwestern branch of my family. This meant engaging in battle with my lifelong nemesis, the airport: its oozing lines; its cranky, perpetually-overworked and poorly-paid employees; its utter lack of personal and possessional privacy; its cramming of persons of all shapes and sizes into 17-inch-wide seats; its creepy, 1984-esque PA announcements to report suspicious persons; its adult touches after irradiating people via naked scans*. All this, plus the additional burdens of flying while fat: having to shoulder everyone’s terror at being the one who (gasp!) might have to sit next to us, knowing most folks believe the BS that fat folks are the reason they pay more for their tickets. Heck, with the exception of traveling at 500 mph and, well, knowing that the same invasive and embarrassing technology and procedures that rather needlessly humiliate millions of Americans daily have also resulted in more American jobs, nothing about flying doesn’t suck.
I’m not going to talk here about what it’s like to fly fat; others have done it with great eloquence elsewhere (although I did write a soon-to-be-published poem called “Not Moving” on the topic). Instead, I’m going to jot down a monologue that pops into my noggin every time I fly. I’m normally a pretty easygoing, happy-go-lucky person; just add airport and the bruising of my fourth amendment rights, stir, and suddenly, I’m desperate to recapture some of my individuality and dignity by immaturely thumbing my nose at this ineffective, needlessly invasive, and dehumanizing process of homogenizing, preserving, canning, and delivering two million
sardines Americans every day.
All that said, here is the script that runs through my head while standing in one of the many, many slow-moving airport lines.
“So, hey, what about that Peter Jackson? I swear, that man’s career is a TICKING TIME BOMB. So sad his last movie BOMBED, amiright? It BOMBED big time, in spite of his CULT-like following. Not too difficult to believe, though, since he HIJACKED so many conventions that worked so well for the Lord of the Rings trilogy but just don’t translate well to non-fantasies. You bring those to another genre and ANARCHY reigns. That kind of image and concept SMUGGLING kind of DETONATES my temper a bit, I don’t mind saying. On the positive side, it had lots of things that go BANG. I dig a movie with a lot of EXPLOSIONS and WEAPONS. Well, and it was kind of deliciously scary. Okay, it was the TERROR-EST thing I ever saw. What? Is too a word, and I most certainly don’t appreciate you policing my language. Maybe you’re a TERROR-IST: you know, one who discriminates against uses of 'TERROR.' It’s unfair how you go GUNNING for people who speak differently than you. Oh, hey, don’t cry. I’m sorry. Here, take some eye drops; I SNUCK THEM IN VIA MY SHOE.”
Kinda cathartic, really. But, kids, please don’t try this at home—or, more specifically, at the airport. And if you do, don’t mention my name.
* You, like me, may be thrilled to know the TSA is phasing out the naked scans.