A LONG WAY FROM MANY PLACES
This Old Airport’s Got Me Down
Flying again. The glamour’s almost too much to take. I hate these ropey baggage stickers. Let the attendant do it. There we go, bag’s tagged and on the black rubber belt. See you in Montreal, my friend. I hope. Otherwise we’ll always have Edmonton. All right, top up the nicotine and then security after that. The line’s not too bad. Remember: face neutral, be polite and no snide remarks. What? Remove shoes and belt? Jesus Christ. Do I look like a terrorist? You know the security tax I’m paying atop my ticket covers the cost of your cheap uniform and your blue rubber gloves? Your parents must be very proud of their successful little fascist. Bastard. Okay, shoes, belt, wallet, passport, boarding pass and loose change: check, check, check, check, check, check. Did I forget anything? What’s the gate number? A-something. Here we go. Dear Lord, look at that clown. Think you’ve got enough carry-on? Idiot. Any potential seatmate fatties? Oh, sister, no offence but with your body shape and those leotards… If that wailing, rat-faced kid is sitting anywhere near me on the flight I will throttle it. Where’s my book? Hmm, type’s getting small. Should have my eyes examined. What’s it been, five years? What’s that over the intercom? Garble, garble. Maybe my ears too. Hang on, what? Delay. A few minutes. Maintenance crew still aboard. Problem with the emergency lighting system. Who cares? If this flight’s destined to nosedive into the Canadian Shield it really doesn’t matter if the cabin’s lit, you know? Let’s just go, shall we? Oh Christ, a no-fly part breakdown. Some cheap Chinese circuit board is fried. Goddamn it. What!? A three-and-a-half-hour delay? Gaa! Oh boy, we all get a $10 food voucher. Wow. Look at those sheep lining up for it. Die Air Canada! Die! ‘From the depths of hell I’ll stab at thee!’ Dear God, I need a drink. Correction: I would enjoy a refreshing beverage at this particular moment. Airports are strange places. You’re never really sure where you are nor what time it is. You can always get a beer. Would a smoking lounge kill anyone? Smokers aside, that is. Ah, a few empty stools at the bar. Elbow room. Hello, yoo-hoo! Sweetheart? Hello, you’ve got a customer. How about that? And you work in the hospitality industry. Can you do the math? Why don’t you, like, put your iPhone down and wait until your break to, like, text? LOL! Calm. OMG. Aggravation level high, red zone. Nicotine and alcohol levels low. Is this place self-serve? Tell you what, why don’t I just go behind your bar, take you by the back of your vacant little head and smash your face into the beer taps? Would that get your attention? Breathe. Hold the tiger. Carry the tiger. Release the tiger. Breathe. A miracle! Saints preserve us, a pint! Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Jesus. How much? Let me call my banker. Uh-oh, need the men’s room. Public toilets are revolting. Why do adult males piss all over the floor? Is it some primitive territorial thing? Wonder what the women’s johns are like though an investigation might cause undue commotion. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I’m behind an old guy, a senior; thank Christ I’m not quite up there yet. This is going to take a while. Wonder what shape my prostate’s in? Oh God, do not think of Niagara Falls and Lake Superior. Too late. C’mon, c’mon. Shake it! Zip it up and get your butt to the wash basin, pal! Okay, skip that part. Phew! Must do this again, cannot piss in the plane’s can. Disgusting. Anyway, there’s room for another pint or two now that the seal’s been broken. Get a load of this character. Whoa, death’s head ball cap, earrings, a billy goat scruff beard, sleeve tats and track pants! Quite the ensemble. Death metal King Tut. You must beat the women off with a tire iron. And Jager shots. Dude, I am not worthy. I am merely an inadequate middle-aged man. But I would happily kill you if it meant a cigarette. Christ, I need a smoke. Maybe three. Well, there’s nothing but time to waste here and I’m flush with it. All right, back outside to top up the nicotine quotient once more and then security again after that. The line’s not too bad. Remember: face neutral, be polite and no snide remarks. What? Remove shoes and belt? Jesus Christ. Do I look like a terrorist? You know the security tax I’m paying atop my ticket covers the cost of your cheap uniform and your blue rubber gloves? Your parents must be very proud of their successful little fascist. Bastard. Okay, shoes, belt, wallet, passport, boarding pass and loose change: check, check, check, check, check, check. Did I forget anything? What’s the gate number? A-something. Here we go again.