Saturday, February 11, 2006

Road Bunny


There is preciously little to do in the Indianapolis Airport at one thirty in the afternoon, hideously early for a four o’clock plane, than drink beer.

It masks the pain of your realizing that either the bluetooth connection to your laptop is not installed, working, or more than likely, you are too stupid to use it. I’m going for the last option as fizzy hops start to infuse my brain. I worry less about missed emails by the moment.

No, not really.

The sound system is playing Coldplay, a song which reminds me either of every song U2 has cut out of their albums, or a cat being neutered without benefit of anesthesia. Never mind, the band is tremendously popular with a woman I care deeply for so I will soldier on with a stiff upper ear. That, and in dark moments alone, continue to refer to them as Headcold or U2 Too.

In a little while, I’ll shuffle myself and my baggage through the TSA (Transportation Stupidity Administration) security checkpoint and disrobe to the point of wishing I had worked on those abs a little harder all to ensure that I won’t do anything worse on board the aircraft than push peanuts up my nose. I don’t have any issues with security checkpoints nor do I in principle object to going through most of the random and seemingly senseless searches and bag dumps trotted out by the TSA. I’m sure that there’s a significant purpose to the security precautions, no matter how silly they may seem. What disturbs me is that I have a sneaking suspicion that most of the TSA workers feel the same way. They have no fucking idea why people need to take their shoes off, turn their head and cough. But it must be good for flushing terrorists somehow. Just not sure how. And bothering to ask puts you on an immediate no fly list. Do not pass go, do not collect your boarding pass.

You have to, if you are cursed with hauling a laptop around the skies, remove that laptop from its protective carrying case and run it through x-ray.

Again, I have no idea why. Perhaps the foam padding of the case hides secret wires connected to fart bombs stowed in the deepest recesses of the evil carrying case. Perhaps the case protects the delicate electronics of the computer from the harsh x-rays guaranteed to scramble multiple hard drives and we can’t have that, can we. Perhaps, early on, a TSA inspector was bitten by a laptop that was hiding in the dark at the very back of the carrying case. The poor fellow innocently reached in and got a nasty nip on the forefingers. Pulling the little nasties out of the case will keep prying fingers safe from hereon in. Everybody knows how docile laptops become in the light of day.

The thing that bothers me most about the checkpoints are the varying senses of urgency enforced upon the innocent traveler. Dashing for the plane, you have to come to an absolute crawl so that some geriatric with worse eyesight that Stevie Wonder can check out your driver’s license and note that, “you’ve shaved your mustache off.” Yes, yes I have. I want to be clean shaven when I meet the prophet. No. I didn’t say that out loud. Don’t worry. Anyway, we continue to disrobe and slither through the x-ray station slower than a slug on ‘ludes and then, suddenly, once we’re clear, we have to re-dress and gather our things faster than waking up in a strange bedroom with an angry boyfriend downstairs.

It’s like gigolo training.

With any luck, I will be on my plane at four, right on time and ahead of the paralyzing nor’easter that will descend on my mid-Atlantic home this weekend, laying down a full inch to inch and a half of snow. I had better stock up on bread and milk for, as anyone knows, milk soaked bread is the only viable nutrition source for the wilds of winter.

With better luck, my plane will be called early and I’ll be able to depart the bar where a young fellow has just sat down with an attractive French woman and has begun to recount his entire recent romantic history through his nose. She keeps making phone calls and looking around anxiously. He keeps starting up the conversation with “yeah, so anyway.”

Yeah, so anyway. She’s not interested. Neither am I. Neither is anybody else within earshot of you and that’s a lot of people. Oh heck, and he’s only a few sips into his beer. This is going to get a lot worse.

And beer will worsen it. For both of us. Time to catch a plane.

Bunny on.

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