Monday, August 09, 2010

Fly the Friendly Skies

As if. These days, air travel has become a humiliating nuisance for absolutely everybody: crews, passengers, geese, you name it. This is perhaps the one turn of events that can be blamed squarely both on the Republicans and Jihad.
Screw them both.
Me? I hate all of it. From arriving at the airport to leaving it, with the flying in between. I hate the airlines and the passengers pretty much equally.
My biggest pet peeve among millions of them is the shoe thing. The removal of the shoes in the security lines in the US drives me absolutely bonkers. Who came up with this stroke of security genius? Surely the ninety year old granny with a cane has stashed Acme Brand TNT between her soles and her support pantyhose.  
Delta, an airline composed of a fleet of ancient food blenders, and which I've been loyally flying for decades (to earn miles), is now trying to screw me about the miles. It's telling me that if I want miles for a Mexico trip that I'm booking months in advance, I have to spend 50,000 instead of the usual 35,000.  On top of that, they sit me in a nasty ass window seat all the way at the end of a plane that as of now looks 3/4 empty. But if I call them, they'll charge a fee for reservations over the phone.
I don't understand how the citizens of this country, instead of their stupid tea parties and whatever it is that liberals organize when they bother to look up from their navels, don't rise as one and just make bloody war against the airlines. This is one issue that could unite us all.
Also, can we do something about those pretzels? Hate 'em.
On the other hand, you have the passengers. Has anybody at this point never taken a plane before? Don't people know the drill already? How many times do they have to tell you not to stand up before the captain turns off the seat belt sign? How many times do they have to ask you to turn off your stupid phone or electronic devices before takeoff? Are you deaf? Blind? Retarded? Why do you disobey?
Readers: please do whatever is in your power to read David Sedaris' hilarious piece on air travel in America in last week's New Yorker (it's not online). I howled with laughter.  Nothing that I say here can possibly top Sedaris' dead on observations about the great unwashed that now fart in the seat next to you.
And here, from the excellent novel Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, by Geoff Dyer, is another hilarious description of some of the horror that afflicts us today:

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