I mistakenly believed that since I quit my job and no longer have to sit on airplanes up to 8 times per month anymore that the experience of traveling this way would be more pleasant. I mean from here on out when I go somewhere it's primarily going to be for pleasure right? And I'm likely to be traveling with my lovely husband instead of all alone so what could be annoying about that?
Turns out plenty and that I was deluded and living in some fantasy.
Remember that long winded post that I wrote a couple of weeks ago about air travel? Well apparently nobody paid attention to Rule #1.
Here it is AGAIN (edited slightly) in bold and red to refresh your memory:
1. DO please (for the sweet love of BABY JESUS) when it is your turn - step up to the next available computerized check-in machine (uh, the thing that looks like an ATM). Don't stand there at the head of the line like a jackass waiting for one of the uniformed human beings behind the counter to help you. You must help yourself. It is your turn. The time is now. Go to the available machine. Go to it. Go to it now. Yes, you. It's your turn. Right now. Go.
For some reason we booked a flight that left at 5am.
Yes, in the morning.
The ticket counter for Northwest Airlines doesn't open until 4am. So at 15 minutes until 4am there were about 15 people in line in front of us to check in. The check-in machines were on and functioning and a man in a Northwest uniform made an announcement for people to go ahead and use the machines to check in and print boarding passes and then he said that if you are checking bags that the tags would print and the Northwest ticket agents would call your name when they arrived in a few minutes to check ID's and put the stickers on the luggage.
It's difficult to imagine that all of the people in line ahead of us were deaf and apparently not able to read lips, but it's true. It seemed to me that most of the people saw this man and appeared to be looking at him with some degree of interest as he spoke. We were at the back of the line and furthest away and yet somehow we were able to hear and comprehend.
Maybe they just liked his shirt.
Everyone in that line ahead of us just stood there, catatonic. And then they continued to just kept standing there in the same manner of not moving and acting as though they hadn't heard the man make the announcement.
After about 5 minutes of this nonsense MDH looked each other in the eye, nodded silently and made our move. We cut the line.
Yes we did.
We rolled ourselves and our luggage and brushed past 15 or so people and started to check ourselves in. I could feel 15 pairs of stupid, empty, catatonic eyes boring at the back of my head with deep hatred.
Here's the deal. MDH had about 15 or 20 minutes worth of work to do before 8am central time. He could have done it the night before, yes that's true, but he didn't. We both thought that if we got the airport early enough he could do it before we boarded the plane and then he wouldn't have to worry about it and we could enjoy the rest of our weekend. Until we got in line behind a bunch of catatonic sheep. If we had just stood there stamping around waiting for these assholes to bust a move we wouldn't have had enough time for MDH to get his work done.
By the time we were finished checking in and printing our boarding passes the first Northwest ticket agent showed up and put the tags on our luggage. We were still the only people to step up and use one of the machines. I had thought that some of these zombies would follow our example and take some initiative, but no.
I whispered to the ticket counter person, "I don't think anyone here understands it's OK to use the machines." She started yelling at them after that. Something to the effect of "C'mon guys, plenty of machines available, step right up", etc..
And then we went about our business.
IMPORTANT UPDATE 11/08/07 1:39pm
I was just noticing how pretty the picture of the sheep looks against the green background of my blog. Then I noticed after I stared at the picture of the sheep for a really long time how much they kind of look like my parents right after my mom got her trifocals and my dad quit smoking and chewed on toothpicks all day. I should give them a call.